It’s Halloween. Halloween used to be quite a day when I was a kid. The first costume I remember having was when I was dressed as Laurence of Lodi, a twist on Laurence of Arabia, the fact that my never used middle name is Laurence, and the actor, Peter O’Toole who starred as Laurence of Arabia.
At least that’s what I gathered since no one actually came out and told me so. I got as far as the bottom of Riverview Avenue, to Trudy Drive. That’s all I can remember. I think I was about 3 or 4 years old. Still relatively adorable with a penchant for pinching girls asses. Precocious they called me.
Years later I was able to go out on Halloween night with my friends. Mainly we all had burnt cork on our faces, trying to pass as hobos. We would go up and down Riverview Avenue, Blue Ridge Road, Calvin Avenue, down Wilson to Main Street where we’d hit the garden apartments.
That was the jackpot. We didn’t want to get there too late, it was all in the timing. Once people ran out of candy that was it. Some people, the Manzo’s mainly, would leave a dish out with a note to take only one piece of candy per hobo.
Occasionally if we felt our candy hunting ground was thinning out, we would cross over to the next town, Rochelle Park and try to get whatever candy we could find there. Sometimes there would be bigger kids with eggs chasing us from Rochelle Park, but I don’t think they had any aim at all, since none of us ever got hit by eggs.
I stopped trick or treating when kids a year or two older than me mocked me for going trick or treating. They were in high school, I was in my last year of grammar school.
Years after that, it became adult parties. I went to a party at McSwells once, dressed as Darth Vader, had the official helmet back then, I thought I was cool when I walked into McSwells, but everyone else had home made costumes, mine was bought.
Someone made Steve Fallon a Mr. Peanut costume which was possibly the best costume ever. He looked good dressed as a big peanut, monocle drawn around his eye. I had a cape that my sister in law, Elaine made for brother Frank back in their hippie days. I believe my niece Meghan has the cape now, the mask has been lost for years, a victim of moving over and over.
One of the last times I got dressed up was in the eighties. My friend Rita and I were going to the Peppermint Lounge to see REM, billed as It Crawled From The South secretly opening up for the Cramps. Rita is a makeup wiz and we decided to dress me up as Andy Warhol.
Rita applied the right pallor to my face, I was clean shaven then (singular chin you know) and we spray painted my hair white so I could go as Andy Warhol. I don’t remember what Rita dressed as, and there are no photos from that night.
Unfortunately Andy was slight of build whereas I can be described as husky. I remember going into the club with Rita and not hearing people say, ‘Oh wow, Andy Warhol.’ No, instead I heard, ‘Oh look, Phil Donahue!’ Maybe Rita was dressed as Marlo Thomas.
Look out, Superman!!
Haunted Street corner! Boo!
Saving souls on all hallows eve……mwahahaha!!!
Have a happy and safe Halloween! And though no one has ever been killed by razor blade apples or pins in candy, you should still check it out.