SOLSC2014: Halloween Costumes

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Each Tuesday a community of writers shares a slice of life at Two Writing Teachers. So grateful to participate in this community.

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Circa 1961 with brother and Grandmother.
When I look at this photo, I wonder if I really trick or treated with that mask on the whole time. How could I see with that mask covering my face? How could my brother see? The costume probably wasn’t made of flame retardant in 1961.

The neighborhood where this home was a fun one to go trick or treating. First we’d walk down the block and then up and around. The houses were terraced so it was a bit of a hike.

This photo is perhaps the only one I have with a Halloween costume. My favorite costume, the one I remember the best, is the one my mother made me. Most likely it was the year before this photo.

My mother created a pumpkin costume. She dyed a sheet orange. On the top and bottom she sewed a seam for drawstrings and left arm hole spaces. With a black felt pen, she created the face. I wore black tights and a black shirt. To “plump me up”, the bottom drawstring was cinched up. Then my parents wadded up newspaper and stuff their little pumpkin.

I so wish I had a photo. Living in Southern California meant that Halloween weather was often not very cold. That Halloween was warm. Did you know that newspaper makes very good insulation. So about half way through trick or treating, I had to slim down the pumpkin so I wasn’t so warm.

I think about this costume every Halloween. These days, I dress as Grandma Spider, a name given to me by my grand girls for my fascination with spiders. I love wearing all black with my spider jewelry and hair accessories. Our school doesn’t go out for this holiday but I am able to wear my spider regalia.

Do you remember a childhood costume?

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6 Responses to SOLSC2014: Halloween Costumes

  1. Ramona says:

    I remember the year we moved to the NW and my daughter wanted to be Big Bird. It’s one of the only times I dug and used my sewing machine (those genes skipped a generation on me). I wandered far afield in search of a bird mask with feathers and borrowed tights from another friend. It was a special Halloween!

  2. Tara Smith says:

    I didn’t have Halloween to look forward to in India, but I have wonderful memories of making costumes for my kids. I loved reading your reminiscences, though – such fun!

  3. arjeha says:

    One costume that stands out in my memory is a clown suit my aunt made for me. She worked in a garment factory and she enjoyed sewing. It was a striped suit with big ruffles around the neck and hands.

    My dad owned a bar so we would make a killing – usually 10 cents from everyone who was in the bar. Big money to a kid back then.

  4. cvarsalona says:

    Jone, it is fun to recall how we celebrated Halloween as a child. I remember those type of masks that were so warm on your face but I don’t recall any specific costume I wore. On the other hand I remember the multitude of costumes my mother made for my own children. She lovingly crafted a new one each year based upon my son or daughter’s likes. There was knight, a princess, and when my daughter was fascinated by Egypt she became Cleopatra with an amazing woven wig. The costume that stands out was my son’s two year old days of a blue robot. Each year, my children were proud to march in the community parade with the costumes made by their loving grandmother. Thank you for allowing me to recall happy memories.
    BTW: Are you ready to join me in finding fall for the upcoming gallery? I hope so. http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2014/09/falling-into-place-as-season-turns.html

  5. Linda Baie says:

    My sister-in-law has that kind of pumpkin costume, and has worn it at her school. I wish you had a picture, too, Jone. I wrote last week about some of my memories. The costume I remember most was being Tinker Bell, then having to cover that ”beautiful” costume with a winter coat because it was so cold. Halloween is huge at our school & we have a big parade with everyone. Some parents dress up, too! I have a box of clown costume stuff so usually pick out something to put on, & paint my face a bit, add a wig. It’s fun, but we’re all quite tired by the end of the day!

  6. Susie says:

    Love this picture and Slice. I remember a double dip ice cream cone costume my dad slaved over for weeks. It was gorgeous… A big chocolate scoop and a big strawberry scoop. But, it must have weighed 100 pounds. I ran into trees and porch lights. I couldn’t see a thing. And, I couldn’t keep up with the neighbrorhood kids. I came home exhausted,shoulders aching and told my dad it wa the best Halloween ever!

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