It being Halloween and all...
My mother was a gifted seamstress and liked to make costumes. After all she went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and studied costume design. She could make her own patterns and everything. I wish I had pictures of the costumes she made for my sister and me.
I think it all started with playing dress-up at Charlotte's. She'd let me dig through her closet and pull out clothes from late twenties and early thirties. She even let me wear her little tiara. What a princess! It doesn't matter that the gloves and shoes are too big!
In the islands Halloween isn't the only time to get into costume; there's Carnival on St. Thomas, and the 4th of July on St. John. Here I am one 4th as some kind of Hawaiian chick wrestling with Gene, my sister's best friend.
Back in 1969 I was in two Carnival parades, back to back, The Children's Parade on Friday and the Adult's Parade on Saturday. It was a crazy thing to do. Totally exhausting, particularly since I walked both days.
I think my school's floop (a combination of troop and float) was a tribute to literary characters. You can't see much... but that's me, as Snoopy, helping to carry a banner. I'm the one on the left. The banner reads "Happiness is an Elected Governor," celebrating our first elected governor.
The next day I was in the Adult's Parade. That year there was a song called "Mah Na Mah Na," a one hit wonder that was very popular. Even Red Skelton used it on his show. He and others dressed up as a moon creatures and played the tune on kazoos. That lead to me being in the Carnival troop from St. John. We were moon creatures dressed up in painted foam costumes playing kazoos. (Boy was it hot in that foam!)
The sign reads, " Legalize Extra-Orbital Activities."
Those round spots were price stickers. I had a spotted sun burn.
And here for your entertainment is a humorous rendition of "Mah Na Mah Na" done by The Muppets. Don't blame me if the tune gets stuck in your head.
Other memorable costumes include:
A mermaid with a full tail
Raggedy Ann complete with red yarn wig
A sailor on Columbus's ship
A witch (every girl has to be a witch at least once in her life)
Bugs Bunny, I made a paper mache carrot that I carried in a pistol holster strapped to my hip. My best friend, a head shorter than me, went as Yosemite Sam
An ancient hippy (a ghost wearing love beads, medallion, peace and anti-war buttons)
A bag lady (I had every type of bag I could find pinned and/or taped to my clothes)
Miss Ellaneous, I wore a sash and a little crown and had paper clips, safety pins, pencils, pens, post-it notes, scissors, rulers etc. pinned to my person
I know there are more, but I that's all I can remember at the moment.
What about you, got a favorite costume memory? Happy Halloween.