Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Memories

Halloween has always been a favorite time of the year for me. I used to love putting on a costume and hauling my humongous Trick-or-Treat bag through the neighborhood. This was back when you actually knew the people whose house you were calling on and they knew you. You didn't get dumped off in a different neighborhood. Despite the fact that we stayed in our neighborhood, I remember having to go back to home base at least once or twice in the middle of Trick-or-Treating in order to empty out my bag. We are talking a big booty of candy! This first photo shows my brothers in 1961, dressed up for Halloween at our home in Lemon Grove, CA. My oldest brother was a pink rabbit and my middle brother was a Jolly Roger Pirate. AAAAAARGH!!!

Halloween 1962 shows the tradition of hand-me down; the older brother got the new costume, while the younger one inherited what had been worn the year before.

While middle brother became the dreaded pink bunny, older brother got to be Huckleberry Hound! Not sure who the little witch is; probably a cousin or a neighbor.

I am digging these pumpkins; so much so, that I am hoping that mom still has them stashed in the attic. Awaiting her reply...

One last shot before hitting the streets, under mom's watchful eye!

Besides my birth, 1964 must have been a good year for my family. New costumes for BOTH brothers!

A generic skeleton for one, and Casper the Friendly Ghost for the other. Must...get...those...pumpkin...buckets!

My first Halloween was 1966; I inherited the Jolly Roger. A lion costume for middle brother and a devil for the oldest.

I was a much less scary pirate without the mask!

For our first Halloween in Philadelphia, I assumed the dreaded pink bunny costume. Oh the shame.

Oldest brother was the devil again and middle brother was the lion again. The hobo and Droopy Dog costumes were probably worn by the neighbors' kids. I remember those Trick or Treat bags so well; I can still hear the sound they made as you emptied them out. Those were some high quality paper bags; they lasted for years.

Halloween 1968 shows my brothers as the Esso (now Exxon) Tiger ("Put a tiger in your tank!") and King Kong. Note the orange UNICEF collection box in my brother's hand.

It appears I went out separately; these are all my brother's friends. I was probably too young to hang with the cool older kids!

The party afterwards was always fun; comparing the candy everyone had gotten and eating the treats that mom had made for all the neighborhood kids to enjoy. It was a festive time of year!

The world has changed and Halloween is a somewhat different celebration for kids. I remember at some point during the 70s hearing that we had to be careful about people who put razor blades in apples. I couldn't believe that people would do stuff like that. Then, taking your kids to the mall and trick-or-treating at the shops became a new alternative. Now, with all the sickos that you hear about, the ability to enjoy a care-free celebration of harmless spookery is much more difficult. I feel bad for the youth of today who are unable to have the same type of fun that we did.

See more vintage & current Daveland photos on my regular web pages.


K. Martinez said...

There sure were a lot of boys in your house. I grew up with four sisters, all older than me. No brothers.

I think the Jack-O-Lanterns are cool, but I really like the vintage costumes. The Huckleberry Hound and King Kong costumes are very cool. There's something about that era.

For my first Halloween I was Casper the Friendly Ghost. I remember breathing through those precut nostril holes with my face becoming warm and sticky behind those masks. Ah, the memories!

Happy Halloween!

JG said...

That generic skull mask on the left looks really familiar. I bet I had one similar. Never had a full suit to go with it, just wore old clothes.

Dave, thank you for these. Really a memory-mover for me.


beachgal said...

Fun photos. I have lots of fond memories of Halloween like most kids. But it's always been a real special day for me since it's my b'day too! Mom always made my costumes or dad got them out of one of the studios he worked for. Can recall the only 'bad' costume I had and got stuck in it like you did for 2 yrs because it still fit, was a pilgrim costume! Horrors! No one thought it was cool - least of all me! Mom seemed to think it was fine however since he had been a pilgrim as a kid herself and recalled thinking it was very neat. I felt like I was a month ahead of everything dressed like that! Thinking by 4th grade it was no more costumes however - we went as what we called back then - hobos (or maybe we called 'em bums). Pillowcase was always our requite candy collection bag.

TokyoMagic! said...

Awwwwww! Too cute! I love these costumes. I'm guessing that most of them were made by "Ben Cooper." And is that a baby pic of you behind your brother that's dressed as a skeleton?

Daveland said...

Ken - I too can still remember the feel of those masks; the sweat that built up from having them on your face. Brings a smile to my face!

Beachgal - We used pillowcases, too, when those heavy duty paper bags wore out! Pillowcases were used by the older "cooler" kids!

Chris - The photo is actually of an older cousin of mine.

thepicklebarrel said...

wow. i need to smoke a cigarette and i don't smoke!

how cool!

Fifthrider said...

LOL, Ben Cooper costumes. Remember how the rubber band would always get tangled up in your hair and for some reason you always had to stick your tongue into that hole in the front of the mask just to see how wide of an opening you had? Kids today have way better costumes that we did, but it was a simpler time.