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Tricks or Treats

October 30, 2014

For me, Halloween has always been about the costumes and the candy. The trick-or-treating itself was just a necessary means to the candy.

One of my earliest memories of Halloween was when I was about 3 years old and my mom and dad dressed up in costumes for a costume party. My mom went as Zorro and my dad went as Harpo Marx.   Dad looked funny and kept on honking his horn.  Mom looked mysterious in her black costume, mask and mustache.  The costuming was confusing to me as a young child, but I learned that dressing up in costumes could be fun.



That same year (1969?), I was a tiger and my brother, Michael, was a Chicago Cub baseball player.  (Yes, Michael has been a Chicago Cub fan since he was a toddler.) The tiger costume was one of the few store bought costumes I ever had.  Ever since then, the expectation has been that we had to get creative with our costumes making them out of whatever we had around the house.



The following year, I dressed up in a homemade Batman costume, and my brother, Michael, wore the same tiger costume I had worn the prior year.



In later years, I was a circus strong man one year, a Mexican bandito wearing a sombrero and drawn on mustache in another year, and a robot wearing a cardboard box with aluminum foil and knobs and switches drawn on it in yet another year.

Each Halloween we would get in our costumes after school, meet up with our friends, then trick-or-treat house to house in our neighborhood picking up candy, or sometimes money, along the way.  When we got home with our haul, we would go through our candy with my mom, and then have lots of candy to eat for weeks.

One of the more creative costumes I wore in the late 1970’s was when I dressed up as a martian.  My mom had a funny looking coat that she crocheted out of yard.  It was intended to be a women’s coat, but was so funny looking I don’t think she ever wore it. I added some aluminum foil antennae to a crocheted hat that she had made and went as a martian.  My brother Michael went as Snoopy.


Michael as Snoopy and me as a martian


My most embarrassing costume ever was the year (1979?) that I dressed up in drag as a woman (actually I think it was a prostitute).  I wore a blond wig, makeup, jewelry, a dress, a shawl, panty hose and high heels.  It was awkward, but memorable.  I haven’t done anything like it since, and don’t intend to again.  It did give me great empathy for what you ladies do to dress up. Walking around in high heels is not an easy task.



My brother, Michael, as Dracula; my cousin, John, as a zombie, and me in drag


Over the years, I still occasionally dress up for Halloween. Last year I dressed up as The Lone Ranger. And this year I dressed up as Clark Kent for a Halloween party I went to last weekend.


Tonto and The Lone Ranger in vintage effect photo



At my age, Halloween isn’t so much about the candy anymore.

But it can still be fun to dress up in a costume and pretend you’re someone or something else for the day.

What was your most embarrassing or memorable Halloween costume?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a Happy Halloween!

And for goodness sake, have some fun dressing up in a fun and festive costume for the day, take some pictures, and make some memories (and photos) to cherish for a lifetime.







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