Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween 1961

Here's what my older siblings and I looked like for Halloween 1961. (Sorry, Ed – you were only seven months old and too young to join this rogue's gallery!)

It's interesting to me mainly because of my older brother's costume (certainly not because of mine!) Remember back here a few days ago when I mentioned that TV cartoons would soon take over the kid's Halloween costume market in the late 1950's? Here's a good example.

The Flintstones had debuted a year earlier in September 1960 as an adult show, but it didn't take very long for the show to begin influencing children's products.

Thinking back, we must have accumulated more than a dozen of those flimsy plastic masks through the years, including Woody Woodpecker, Huckleberry Hound, Popeye, Bugs Bunny, Casper, etc. Every year a few more new ones came out and were added to the stash.

I still remember the masks cracking easily and rubbing against our face. Sometimes the mask would split where the hole for the rubber band was, so that it wouldn't keep it on your head, and you had to just hold it up with your hand (making it hard to maneuver your trick or treat bag).

The bottom part of the costume always had the character's name, as well as an illustration of them. I always thought that was a little bit strange. Why would Fred Flintstone wear a shirt with his name on it and a picture of him? The bearskin rug that my brother wore was a much better solution (and warmer too.)

Ebay is a great place to find these old masks. I looked a few days ago, and there was the Fred Flintstone mask, looking just like I remembered it.

In later years, we grew out of the plastic cartoon masks. The last time I went trick-or-treating was as a hobo (a costume which in today's economy will probably be making a big comeback). I had the whole burnt cork bit around my mouth not unlike Fred Flintstone's muzzle.

I think I was in junior high, or almost, and my younger brother and I were racing around the Masson School area, trying to squeeze in as many houses as possible.

The reason I remember that night is because at one of the very last houses, the guy that answered the door (I still remember the house) took one look at me and sneered, "Aren't you a little old to be trick-or-treating?"

I was crushed, and that was the end of my trick-or-treating career.

Now, decades later, I've seen kids with real facial stubble trick-or-treating. Oh well.

Happy Halloween!


-Alan D Hopewell said...

Great costumes! See mine, c.1960, at my blog.

Ed said...

Dan, now a days a 7 month old is never too young to trick/treat and for the parent to collect candy "for the kid"! BTW, this is Natalie's last trick/treat (8th grade); she decided to pass out candy.

Dan Brady said...

I think she's bailing too soon! Although we haven't gotten any kids here on Route 6 in years, whenever I do see trick-or-treaters out and about in neighboring cities, they look pretty big to me.

A better reason to hang up the ol' costumes would be those ironically-named FUN SIZE (!) puny versions of candy bars--they probably aren't worth the trouble any more!