Friday, October 29, 2010

The Haunting of Halloween Past

This past Christmas, my mom gifted us three kids with a photo album (courtesy of iMac) of hundreds of pictures of our growing up years.  She sat perched at her computer for hours upon hours sorting through bags of pictures (literally bags; paper, grocery bags to be exact) scanning them into her computer and then compiling them into this wonderful book of memories.  After we finished tearing up and marveling at this labor of love ... the giggling began.  Not only was this book full of sweet family memories (Yosemite trips, graduation, Christmases), it was also filled ... with us.  Growing up in the 80's in Ridgway apparently meant that we were, ummm, well, for lack of a better word ... goof-balls.  There were pictures we were glad to see ... and several more that struck fear into our hearts that anyone outside our immediate family might stumble across.  These, of course, are the ones my kids latched onto.  :)

Now as we come upon this fun time of year, Halloween, I thought that it would be fun to post some of our old pictures of when we dressed up.  My mom often made our costumes, usually with parts from around the house, and I have vivid memories of my sister and I being clowns for several years in the full-body jumpsuits she sewed.  I love that she made them so that they would accommodate a parka!  Trick o' treating in Colorado often involves snow.   I also have memories of my brother as a pirate ... puffy shirt and all.  Aargh!  

So ... I pulled out the disk my mom included with her album and started searching for these photos.  To my surprise, it appears that we dressed up.  A lot.  And not always for Halloween.  While I didn't find the clown or pirate pictures, I did find quite a few others.  So ... without further ado, I give you Halloween Past ... with a generous dose of the Everyday Scaries!

Let's start off with a bang!  Shall we?

This is not Halloween.  This is Spirit Day at school.  I hope.  I would like to draw your attention to the layered socks that I have on - over my red leggings.  I count four ... that's hot.  I mean, like sweaty.  :) Also, I'm not sure why my skirt looks tucked up on the sides - I'm sure it was "the fashion".  As for Joshua, the bandanas are a nice touch and I like how his hair matches his shirt.  Not an easy thing to do with tie-dye.  And Allison is Josie Cool:  shades with high-waters - awesome!

Joshua & I are so bright - Allison needs shades!

Next on the docket is a return to the 1800's.  This isn't Halloween either ... it's Christmas, of course!  This was our Christmas card that year ... which in context makes sense.  I especially like the ringlettes and the derby hat.  All that is missing are the stoic faces ... oh, wait.  We do look a tad bit serious.  Maybe the clothes are a bit suffocating.  But I don't remember having to wear a corset!

Come on, kids - "smile!"

Here's one.  Now I know that this is Halloween, but I am rather unsure as to what I am supposed to be.  A fairy? (That would make me complimentary to Allison's Peter Pan costume.)  But that doesn't look like any fairy I have every seen.  Ever.  Perhaps, I'm a bird.  With feathers only on my face.  Hmmm ... I'm not sure about the cape/veil ... or the lace gloves.  Yep ... that is a mystery for certain.

I love Peter Pan's fairy dust bags on her belt ... so authentic!
Here is me as a ballerina ... on a non-Halloween night.  Now I know where Norah gets it!  It must be in our genes to run around in leotards!  I actually remember this outfit.  It came from my grandparents in Florida and I wore it.  A lot.  Until my feet didn't fit in the slippers anymore.  But that didn't stop me from trying.  Squeeze and scrunch those toes ... that's the ticket!

Lovely toe-pointing - good form! :)
In the next one, we are apparently going on safari.  Or to school.  I'm honestly not certain why we are dressed like this ... what Joshua is wearing as a belt ... or why I have a monkey in my hands.  But, it's another wonderful example of our creativity in getting dressed up - it looks almost effortless.  To think that we pulled this all together from our own wardrobes.  Now that is Halloween-scary!

At least we're all smiling ... even the monkey!
Now ... I just want to warn you about the next one.  It is pretty scary ... hair-raising, you might say.  This one isn't from Halloween, either.  If you look closely, it appears that this was how I liked to do my hair when ... I dyed Easter eggs!  I think the combination of large horizontal stripes (as expected, not flattering) and the big, electrified hair is pretty scary.  Shocking, really!

There's enough hair there to stuff a pillow, I tell you!
This is a Halloween picture of some guy - a chef apparently.  The picture is a tad bit blurry, but he looks a bit familiar.  Wait a minute ... that's my mom!  :)  I remember the story of her going to work at the True Grit Cafe dressed like this and people asking for Linda all day.  Hmmm ... I wonder what sort of costume I could rig together that would make me unrecognizable ... just long enough to have a chance to go potty alone!

Bon Appetite!
For the next picture, we travel back in time again to the 1800's ... but this time it's the rough side of town.  These four beauties are having a good time ... but don't bother them or they just might shoot you!  Due to this picture being take mid-summer, you can imagine this was not Halloween.  When the California cousins came to play, we had a tradition of getting Ol' Time portraits taken.  So, "no" we didn't walk around town like this ... mainly because we had to use giant paper clips to keep the backs closed.  Nope, nope, nope ... we didn't go trick o' treating in these get-ups!

Watch out!  The one on the right has a shot gun!
The next Halloween character ... vould like to suck your blooood!  Now worries, though, this vampire is pretty harmless.  I don't think those fangs are real ... and I'm pretty sure that's a pirate in a vampire costume.  (Take note of the puffy shirt.)  Wonder who he really is! :)  

He's a pretty smiley vampire!
In the next photograph are three little cuties on the ... on the Oregon Trail!  Nope ... not Halloween.  It's Labor Day.  And we are not bumping our way down the Oregon Trail ... but down HWY 550 through Ridgway.  In a parade.  While the bonnets and boots are real ... I don't think the gun is.

Y'haw!  Move along!
Here are two masked super heroes ... Superman and Supermidget!  My mom, in her creativity, made these costumes for us.  I wonder if she regretted that after the 124th day we wore them.  There is a decoration in the back of a little black-hatted witch, which could mean that these were actual Halloween costumes.  But I also know that I have pictures of us in these same suits ... in the middle of summer.  So perhaps they were Halloween costumes with an extended warranty!

It's a bird!  It's a plane!  It's Super-Somebody ... and his Silly Sidekick!

These next little blondies are all dressed up, too.  I remember my mom sewing these outfits.  The shirts had ribbons at the collar that matched the belts.  So cute ... for Cinco de Mayo.  Yep ... we dressed up for everything!


These next little old ladies are having a good time!  Oh wait ... they aren't old ladies ... their, like, 10 years old!  I vividly remember this day!  We were out visiting the cousins in California and someone got the idea to get out Great-Grandma Ruthie's clothes.  Hence the little ol' ladies!  It was a hoot to see the personalities that each girl took on when they got dressed.  They were transformed!  Some had sass like Ruth McClanahan from the "Gold Girls".  Others became slow moving and hunched ... like Estelle Getty.

Kinda makes you wonder what they'll be like when they are old!
Thankfully, this next one is from Halloween.  Whew!  That or my mom is actually a penguin!  I especially love Allison's bling ... her plastic bling!  Do you remember those charm necklaces ... I had an abacus that actually worked ... if you only needed to count to 45, that is.  I'm also glad that this is Halloween, because Allie is wearing a tad bit too much eye make-up ... and her hair is blue ... and she has that geometric shirt on.  As for me ... I'm apparently dead.  That black bunch is not my hair, it's my veil.  but it's probably masking my fantastic hair-do that I usually had.  What was that? ... you ask.  Well ... it's the same as Allison's (short on one side and long on the other), but the mirror-image.  Cool.

Love the bite marks on my neck ... I'm sure they weren't real. :)

Here we have the frightening, floating heads in a flower garden!  OOooooOOOoo!  No ... wait.  Hmmmm ... scratch that.  Apparently they are three, regularly attached heads ... attached to almost matching floral shirts.  Well ... you have to admit that this non-Halloween picture is still pretty scary.  In it's own "I'm a teenager and I'm going to only kinda smirk" sort of way.

If you squint, we could be a three-headed person ... with a mystery arm.

Here we are all dressed up ... and ready for something scary!  The Broncos at the Super Bowl ... one of the six times they went.  And, no, they didn't win this time!  At least I don't think so ... if you want real stats about the game, I am not the one to have that info.  I do like the feathered hair (scary) and the acid wash skirt (scarier) and the flat-billed ball-caps (very scariest).  Yep ... once again, it has Halloween potential.

Go Team!  Or ... whatever!
This picture has all the possibility of being a Halloween thriller:  big hair, crazy clothes, lots of make-up.  But ... alas.  This is from our Spanish Telenovela.  We were all dressed up to film the TV episode we wrote.  Now that must have been scary!

Mi Mejor Amiga y Yo :)

I thought I would leave you with one final, authentic Halloween costume.  My favorite from my childhood.  I was a Purple People Eater!  Now you know where my creativity comes from:  my mom.  I love the crazy wig, the foil cuffs, the mysterious decal on my belly ... and the fact that my mom STAPLED the costume together with me in it!  Imagine with me how the dressing went:

"Do you have to go potty, honey?"
"Are you sure?"
"Are you really sure?"  
"Yes, Mom."
"Mo-om ... I'm fine."
"Okay..." ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk ... 
"There you have it.  You can go potty in about 5 hours."

Love the pose ... I became the Purple People Eater!
Yes, indeed ... we practiced all year long so that we would be ready for Halloween.  Such fun memories of being goofy, crazy, creative ... and sometimes, scary.  But mainly just in our fashion-sense! 

Have fun this weekend, stay safe and I'll have some fun snapshots of my own little costumed-kids next week!


  1. Morgan, your commentary is hilarious! Were your albums put together using Shutterfly? Kelly Pacic just showed me some she did of her kids and I loved it.
    P.S. LOVED your additions to song lyrics yesterday too- so funny!

  2. okay....that one made me laugh til I cried. thanks.

  3. great! that's just one of the services I provide :)

    No, Beth ... I just import them from my iPhoto. I have used Smilebox and I like that. Thanks for reading ... and laughing! :)


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