Friday, October 28, 2005

Halloween - 50's Style

Do you remember any special Halloween costumes from your childhood years?

When I was a little girl in the late 40's and early 50's, Halloween was celebrated quite a bit differently than most do today. First of all, there was no such thing as a store bought costume.

You cut up a sheet, if Mama would let you, either to be a ghost or a mummy.

One year I padded out my Daddy's pants with some pillows and rolled up the pants legs. I wore a battered hat and a worn out long sleeve flannel shirt of his, held it all up with suspenders, and used eyebrow pencil to give myself a "beard". I finished the hobo look with a poke sack tied to a stick.

The costume I remember most fondly, though, was partly store bought. We had stopped at Starving Rock in Illinois, I think, that year, and I had begged (whined and pleaded, too!) for a full Chief's headress souvenir. It was beautiful, and I didn't know enough to realize that local Indians likely didn't dress like Plains Indians.

Mama made me a buckskin looking costume, and I already had moccasin bedroom slippers. I was completely in love with cowboys and Indians back then ... The Lone Ranger and Tonto were my idols ... so I already had the bow and arrows to finish it out. With my own hair done in pigtail braids, and lipstick face paint striped across my face, it was the best Halloween costume I ever had.

What's YOUR best childhood Halloween memory?

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Gem said...

One of my earliest memories, period, is my award-winning Little Miss Muffet costume, complete with bowl and spider. My grandmother was a wonderful seamstress and made me an adorable costume. The dress was the typical 1800's child's mid-calf dress with pantaloons peeking out from beneath. I had a sweet moppet cap, you know, the poof on top with a frilly brim all the way around. From the cap she hung a large (HUGE in my 4yo mind) spider from a piece of wire, so it bounced just at my periferal vision! I was so scared of that spider!!! All the pictures from that night show me with my eyes cocked up and to the right, checking on that spider! We must have gone to some kind of community Halloween party, b/c I remember getting a blue ribbon! Those early memories are sketchy, but oh-so-full of feeling!

Gem said...

Oh, another one I have seen pictures of -- I was too young to remember -- is my Little Bo Peep. Grandma probably used the same pattern as the Miss Muffet one, and made me a crook with a broom handle and a bent hanger covered with paper mache. I have twin sisters who are 20 months younger than I am, so I was probably 3, they were all of maybe 1 1/2. They wore sleepers with sheep on them, and mom stuffed their little ruffle tights and stuck them on their heads for ears! I do remember when I was a little older thinking it was so funny that they wore their tights on their heads!!!

Dirty Butter said...

What absolutely wonderful memories, Gem, and thank you so much for sharing them. Your grandmother sounds like she was a very creative lady, for sure.

I'm going to be chuckling about the tights on your sisters' heads the rest of the day LOL!