Halloween Through the Ages

A recent facebook post reminded Alice and me how busy we might have been this time of the year, 25-30 years ago. Halloween was Steve’s favorite holiday. For him, I don’t think it was so much the candy, but instead the opportunity to come up with a distinctive costume, and then show it off. He started off like most other children, donning a costume made of cloth and mask. One of the earliest we can remember was made possible by Grandma and Grandpa… Steve was an authentic Laplander:

The next year, it was to be a witch:

Then we started getting creative. Steve was always front and center in the design of these unorthodox costumes. I made the structural parts work, and when I told him something would just not work, he was cool about it and we revised until the possible just peeked around the corner. The following year he decided that a mailbox would suit him. Oh, the mailbox had to have a door that opened, a slot for seeing through, and a flag:

Steve had an unusually large vocabulary throughout his school years. One of his nicknames was “walking dictionary.” He filed that idea away until an October rolled around. We enlisted Alice’s sewing skills this time:

The next year Steve decided to be a lamp. It was mostly a sewing project, because in addition to a lampshade, complete with gold tassels, he wanted a sleek gold pedestal for his body. The lamp needed to have a working light with a switch that he controlled from inside. Alice worked so hard on this project that we forgot to take many pictures of it. This is the only one we could find:

Our most ambitious project of all followed. Steve decided to be a pop can. We surveyed various cans, and settled on Pepsi for its distinctiveness, and also the relative simplicity of the graphics. We bought a can, drained the contents, and cut the can apart and laid it flat. We then inscribed a precise grid on the can in pencil. Then we got some cloth, and thumb tacked it down to a wooden frame. We then installed thumb tacks at precise locations all along the frame, and wound string on the tacks to produce a grid on the cloth. Starting with cell 1A, we painted what was in the square on the flattened pop can. We enlisted the help of the neighbors to complete this project. My job was to make the frame out of thin, bendable, strips of cedar. Steve insisted on a pop top, and a cardboard cutout simulating a geyser of pop. The results were pretty cool:

4 Responses to “Halloween Through the Ages”

  1. marj krumm says:

    Thanks for all the great photos and explanations. Somehow, I missed out on these great costumes at the time. I hope Steve is still making Halloween costumes.

  2. admin0 says:

    I don’t think Halloween is as important to Steve as it once was 🙂 Thanks for the nice comments.

  3. Chris Moore says:

    I enjoyed your post and admire the creativity and follow through! Making a little boy happy – that’s a good thing. Chris

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