When I was four my mother took a picture of me next to a scarecrow she’d made and placed on the porch. This was at our apartment on Broadway, so it must have been around 1979. I don’t remember it at all, save the snapshot I have.
It was 1980-something when my mother decided to dress up as Raggedy Anne for Halloween and pull me in a wagon as a Jack or Jane in the Box. I am not sure where Mom got the idea, but it was cute. During the parade, Mom pulled me in the wagon and my job was to just pop up every so often and wave. At the end of the parade we won a trophy for Most Creative Costume.
For about 3 or 4 years after that I went as a witch for Trick or Treat. My mother made my costume. I think she used a sewing pattern from McCall’s or Simplicity. It was a simple black dress with orange yarn trim. We bought a black hat from the store and I carried a plastic pumpkin around. I’d fallen in love with witches after reading the book My Mother The Witch by Rose Blue. I have searched my photo albums for a picture of this costume, but I can’t find it anywhere.
But then my mother didn’t take a ton of pictures while I was growing up. The constant documentation of holidays and daily life didn’t start until I got my own camera when I was 10 years old. And of course since I was behind the camera most of the time, there still weren’t a lot of pictures of me.
One year I got a Halloween Joke book from Scholastic. I lay on the floor of our dining room as Mom worked in the kitchen and flipped through my new book. It was dark out and the lights were on in our apartment. It was cool outside and warm inside, so I felt cozy and safe that night. It was a pleasant memory.
I am not sure what year it was, but I have a distinct memory of trick or treating with my cousins and then and coming home to eat what I had gotten. I sat in a dining room chair or something in front of the TV. I watched Bugs Bunny’s Halloween Special. There was something about Marvin The Martian in the Special. The Special came out in 1977, but it reran every Halloween for a while in the 80s.
I pretended to smoke my candy cigarettes before chewing on them. I am not sure what year they stopped handing those out on Halloween, but I haven’t seen them in years. In any case, my mother and grandmother both smoked. Surprisingly, when I grew up I never did become a smoker despite the corruptive influence of the candy cigarettes!
One year I decided to be The Ghost of an Indian Princess for Halloween. I’d just finished reading An Acceptable Time, which was published in 1989 and it dealt with the Native Americans, so that was probably the book that was source for my crazy idea. I do have a picture of this costume. It was merely a white cape, tiara and white gloves. It didn’t fit what a Native American would look like at all. It was more like just the Ghost of a Princess! It was fun to creative even if no one got what I was going for.
It was 1990 when my friend Nikki talked me into walking in the parade with her. We dressed as Hippies. I wore my peace sign earrings, tie-dyed t-shirt and bell bottom jeans. Although I enjoyed hanging out with my friend and participating in the festivities, I did not walk the entire parade route. I was tired and cold, so I ducked out and went to my grandmother’s house for a bit. I met back up with Nikki for the judging of the costumes on the Boulevard. We didn’t win, so we went home to talk, watch TV and eat some candy. I didn’t get a picture of that exact costume, but I did something similar for a picture in 1991. That is what you see below.
In 1993 I took the kids I babysat for trick or treating. I don’t think I dressed up, but it was fun to walk around again. They made out like bandits and shared some of their candy with me or maybe I just stole a few pieces. Either way, it was a good Halloween.