The Nightlights of Oysterville

Oct 31, 2010 | 3 comments

Happy Halloween!

     At this time of year in Oysterville, the nights are long and dark.  “Big Dark,” as a friend’s toddler calls nighttime.  In fact, when the skies are cloudy and there is no ambient moon or starlight, it is pitch black out here.  But not tonight!  On this Halloween Eve, there will be Jack-o’lanterns galore and aglow.
     There have never been street lights in Oysterville, but several households did have security lights during the last few decades of the twentieth century. Most of those lights were mounted on the telephone poles that snaked their way through town, but they disappeared when our electrical and telephone lines went underground in 2001.  The only voices in favor of replacing them were from folks who had basked in their glow but had no financial responsibility for them.  Isn’t that always the way?
     The security light at our house was actually mounted on the side of our garage.  It was a nuisance.  Definitely more trouble than it was worth.  Periodically it would go out, more often than not it was shot out, and replacing the bulb meant hiring a bucket truck and buying a very expensive bulb.  Given the dearth of nighttime activity on the streets of Oysterville, we elected to remove it well before the underground wiring went in.  We’ve never missed it.
     So, at this time of year, the darkness in Oysterville is impressive.  As one of our neighbors recently commented, “When I wake up, I look toward your house and if I see lights, I know it’s morning.”  (We are early risers; he isn’t.)  The village is the perfect setting for illumination by candlelight, especially if the candles are nestled in the heads of Halloween Jack-o-lanterns.  I’m looking forward to this evening’s witching hour stroll!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I am sure that Oysterville does get “big dark” these nights! That will give the resident jack-o-lanterns a special glow.

  2. Jim Courtnier

    I’ve come to regard street lights being as a response to fear. A little like the “Neighborhood Watch” signs. Isn’t it wonderful to live with less fear than others must maintain. It’s not as if we don’t have lights where and when we want them and not as if we don’t keep a lookout for our neighbors, but we have the luxury of being more “low key” about it.

  3. Memi

    One year on Halloween, back in the thirties when there WERE children in town, we donned our sheets and us group of ghosts went trick or treating. Mostly we were given apples and oranges and maybe a cookie, but very little candy. At your grandparent’s house (yours now) we were invited in for a glass of root beer. It was the first and only time I was ever in your house until many years later when I went to Edith Olson’s 80th birthday party, given by you and your mother. It was just as exciting as that Halloween years before. When I hear the term “gracious living”, I think of your home. So light up Oysterville with your Jack-o-Lanterns and have a wonderful time tonight.


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