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StoryCorps in Oklahoma: Growing Up, "We Were All Pranksters." (Apr 01, 2011)

Today as part of StoryCorps in Oklahoma Edmond resident Harry Hawley reflects on childhood mischievousness to his daughter, Melissa.

Harry Hawley:
"I don’t recall having what people think of today as real best friends. I had a lot of friends. If you looked at it in relation to today, we were a gang. Only, we didn’t do some of the thing a gang did. We didn’t have guns and we didn’t go around beating up on people or shooting people or anything like that. We had some other pranks that we did.

For example, four of us would sit on each side of the curb right at dusk. When a car would come along, we would all lean back like we were pulling on a rope and the cars would come to a screeching halt. That was a favorite past time to do that. We had a golf course not too far away and we would go pick up lost golf balls. It was a big thing to take a golf ball and bounce it on the pavement underneath the car and it would continue to bounce up and down at the car went down the street."

Melissa Hawley: "Didn’t they ever call the police on you or something? I would think someone would have complained."

HH: "Johnny Williams, my next door neighbor, his dad was a policeman and his Uncle Willy was a policeman. We’d go down to the High School sometimes and would play football on the lawn down there, which was against the school rules. Somebody called the police and said that we were playing football on the school lawns and then pretty soon a police car would show up and we would start passing the football around and the cops would be out there playing football with us."

MH: "Now it seems to me that you’ve told some stories about other pranks at the High School that involved cars in the parking lot.

HH: "Yes, there were some of those. As I grew older, and became a little but more muscular and everything else along with typical teenage high–schoolers, I didn’t have a car. But there were some of the boys at the school that had cars and there was an iron railing around the school property that was about two feet high or two and a half feet and we used to occasionally take somebody’s car and swing it around and set it up on the railing. Or we would take somebody’s car and jack it up just enough so that the rear wheels were off of the ground and set it up on wooden blocks and when they would get in their car it wouldn’t go anyplace. I have to admit I was a prankster along with all my friends. I think we were all pranksters. That was our way of having fun."

Produced for KGOU by Jim Johnson, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday people. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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