Robert Drake

Robert Drake

Are there pictures of you in your earliest Halloween costumes? I have pictures of some of the kids in my life in their earliest costumes. I have a picture of Jack the crying cowboy, although the crying part wasn’t planned. I have pictures of Ian and Gwyn as Superman and Rainbow Princess. I have pictures of Philip as Darth Vader! But I have no pictures of me in any Halloween costumes as a kid. What I do have is great memories of Halloween.

I won the first grade costume contest at Lincoln School for a fairy costume that I only remember because there was a picture in the local newspaper. The whole costume was white, and really looked more like a bridal outfit than a fairy costume. That was the year my mother used vegetables to decorate our pumpkin instead of carving a jack-o-lantern. This pumpkin had green pepper halves for ears. She brought it into school, and Mr. Marlowe the principal took us around to several classes to show other grades my mother’s work.

After that memorable Halloween, I remember several costume choices around being a flapper. A flapper was an image of a young woman in the 1920’s. My flapper costumes were based on an actress named Dorothy Provine on a TV show called “The Roaring 20’s.” Most flapper costumes had long fringe sewn to a basic sleeveless dress, but instead of fringe my costume used strips of leftover hat trim from my Grangree’s hat factory sewn to a sleeveless dress. They had little balls hanging at the end of the strips. It was an unusual choice, but it me gave the image of a flapper that I was going for.

My most memorable Halloween costume was one I still talk about on the radio because nobody got it. It was a time when “My Fair Lady” was a very popular movie. It’s the story of a poor flower seller who is taught to be a proper lady by a very mean professor who can’t sing. I thought dressing as Eliza Doolittle (the flower seller, played by Julie Andrews on Broadway and Audrey Hepburn in the movie) would be a well-regarded choice that Halloween. I was wrong. Despite sewing patches on my skirt and carrying a basket of flowers and smudging dirt on my face like Eliza had in the movie, nobody knew who I was! A couple of people even asked if I needed to wash the smudges off my face!

For this Halloween, I will make sure I have lots of candy to hand out to lots of kids. My neighborhood has a big Halloween parade for little kids and families. My favorite is when families go out together in a themed costume. I may not always know what a costume is supposed to be, but I always make sure to say “good job!” to kids in costume on Halloween because I know what kind of effort went into it.

The October Selection

by Roald Dahl

The Jumbies
by Tracey Baptiste (Series)

Funny Girl: Funniest Stories Ever
by Betsy Bird

Doll Bones
by Holly Black

by Alan Gratz

Flying Lessons & Other Stories
by Ellen Oh

Ghost Boys
by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Fruits In Suits
by Jared Chapman (Picture Book)

In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories
by Alvin Schwartz (Easy Reader)

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