Taking over the late great Evelyn Long’s weekly column called “Reflections” is a monumental task for anyone, but an even larger one for me. I find the reason behind “reporting” is to be informative, but Evelyn left her personal touch on every story she looked back on for each edition of the Morrow County Sentinel. First, let me introduce myself. I am Quinn Maceyko, Evelyn’s across-the-street neighbor, for the previous 22 years before she passed away gracefully in February of this year. She was an influence on my life with her love and passion for everything Cardington. In addition to being neighbors, we share several other commonalities with both being graduates of Cardington-Lincoln High School, her in 1950 and I in 2018, lifelong residents of Cardington, her for over 80 years and I for 23 years, and our activism in the Cardington-Lincoln Alumni Association with Long serving as treasurer for 35 years and I in my third year on the committee and second one as president.
Evelyn took time to revisit the past and allowed for names to live once again through her weekly column. She was known as Cardington’s unofficial historian, and as a history major, I found interest in her articles about relatives of those I know today. When I approached our editor, Joshua Keeran, about bringing back this column, he gave me immediate approval and saw it as a tribute to continue it in her honor and memory.
While I may not be able to recollect on previous Cardington headlines and stories as often as she did, I plan to write at minimum once per month in similar style to keep the history of our village alive and in black and white.
Halloween is right around the corner and I cannot help but think about my childhood. The anticipation of Cardington’s annual trick-or-treat night fueled by counting down the days until the last Saturday in October. As a child, it definitely was my second favorite holiday season next to Christmas. I looked forward to finding the most creative and scariest costume to wear for that special Saturday.
I live on the busiest street for Halloween in Cardington: South Marion Street. My house hands out around 1,000 pieces of candy per year and is lined with people throughout the entire 90 minutes. When I was younger, I departed my house and headed south down the sidewalk. I would cross the street to go to Joanne Mathews’ house. Next up, a stop at Jack Wilhelm’s estate for some candy and to see his son, Bart, in the animatronic coffin with smoke pouring out while dressed up as a zombie or some other horrifying creature. But, the main goal of that walk down the street was to stop at 407 S. Marion St., the address of the Poorman family home.
Revered for the presence of the man who lived there, Theodore “Mills” Poorman, an alumnus and longtime educator at Cardington-Lincoln High School who became mayor later on life, it was not his night to shine in the spotlight, but his wife’s, Carolyn, the maker of the famous Poorman popcorn balls.
Sticky and gooey, they were only handed out on special request. In the first memories I have of trick-or-treating, I did not receive a popcorn ball, but my mother always did. To say I was jealous, as a child, would be the least bit of what I was feeling at the moment. I watched and learned to make sure I asked for a popcorn ball the next Halloween.
One of the fondest memories for not only me, but all others who grew up in Cardington, is to receive that precious popcorn ball and protect it as a prized possession similar to the crown jewels of the British monarchy. Evelyn chose to always write about someone within the area that contributed greatly to Cardington, and Carolyn has certainly done that. She made popcorn balls with love and spread her thoughtfulness for the community’s children through them causing smiles and jumps of joy after leaving her home.
I still make the trek down the one-and-a-half blocks every October to say “hello” to the ultimate popcorn ball maker and receive that special treat that each of us covet annually. Carolyn may have given up the task of physically making each popcorn ball to her grandchildren, but they still come from her house and provide those of my age and older the nostalgia of Halloweens many years ago when we got our first Poorman popcorn ball.