While people come to enjoy the fall colors this time of year, the Schalo family of Redding has made a unique family tradition of it. The kids earn money by catching falling leaves and use it to buy candy at the Mercantile.

While people come to enjoy the fall colors this time of year, the Schalo family of Redding has made a unique family tradition of it.

On the upper end of Main Street in McCloud among the leaf blanketed street, this family of six stands along the center dividing line looking up at the fluttering, colorful fall trees with their hands over their heads. They are catching the falling leaves.

Taking a break from her leaf catching, 17 year old Caroline Schalo explains their family’s unusual practice that brings them to McCloud every year at this time: “It is our family tradition to come up to McCloud each year in October to do this since we were little. When the train was running we would come and also get pumpkins, but now we come just for the leaves. We get a dollar for each falling leaf we catch before it hits the ground and then we get to go to the candy store in the Mercantile and treat ourselves with our winnings.”

Scott Schalo, an orthodontist in Redding, says, “We have been doing this for about 10 years. Now that the kids are older, I too, try to catch leaves as well and the leaves that I catch counteract from their winnings. I had to start doing this as they got older so they won’t bankrupt me with the exquisite falling-leaf-catching skills they have acquired through the years.”

Sophie Wood, age 14, pulls her winnings from her pocket to see how many leaves she has caught. She says they brought their grandfather along this year “to show him our fun family competition.”