by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #61
Taken from the Crane News, published December 30, 1999.


     We know the word charivar as shivaree. This came from the French language and late Latin.  When I was growing up, this was the popular custom of going to newleywed's house and circling them while beating on tin pans or tubs, blowing whistles, honking horns and generally making lots of noise.  This was generally late at night.  It was done for Virginia and me here in Crane in 1940.  We had a little two room house commonly known as a shotgun house.  I figure that term came from the knowledge that when you opened the front door, the door to the kitchen and the back door lined up and you could shoot a shotgun straight through the house and not hit a thing.  We found two weeks ago that shirvareeing is not dead.  We have some older friends who lost their spouses.  They married and moved to a big mobile home.  We were delighted along with another couple to see that they stayed home that evening.  We went to their place to visit and keep them home. Soon the terrible racket started and surprised them.  Close to thirty people came in bringing all sorts of goodies and drinks.  A very good time was had by all.  I believe that the era of John Webb and his cohorts, the custom was pretty well forgotten here in Crane.  If so, I think it is sad.

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