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Costumes — October Memoir Challenge

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

The October Memoir Challenge posting days are the odd-numbered ones, but I’m putting my third post up early since I’ll be at an all-day photography workshop tomorrow. The first week’s theme was Childhood. I covered two sub-themes of things that showed up more in my life as a child and less as an adult:

A third topic that fits in that realm — costumes. I know some adults find occasions (Cons, Renaissance Faire, roller derbies) to create and wear costumes. My response is equal parts envy (how cool!) and mystification (how can it possibly worth that much effort?).

little girl in floppy hat and oversized sweatshirt

My first Halloween costume. In fact, I was a hobo for Halloween and so was my brother for several years running. Mother liked how easy it was for her — one of Dad’s old shirts and one of her old hats, a touch of make up to simulate dirt and call it done.

When we were a bit older, Dale and I routinely won in the “group costume” category of the annual Lions Club Halloween Parade in Louisiana, Missouri. Of course, there were very few participants in the “group costume” category and that helped our chances considerably. Our costumes always consisted of homemade sandwich boards made from decorated poster sheets. I remember one year we were Ding Dongs (those Hostess chocolate-covered cupcakes) one of us was “Ding” and the other was “Dong.” For me, the best part of the Halloween Parade was powdered-sugar donuts and apple cider on the Riverfront at the end.

Two children in sandwich board costumes covered in political bumper stickers

The election year of 1972 was the one when my parents were most energized by politics. Watergate and more local disappointments dissipated that energy. Our Halloween costumes reflected their interests and got our pictures in the local newspaper.

When we got older, we had the rare occasion to make up our own costumes, but we seemed to have inherited my mother’s lack of patience and creativity in this area. Dale did better than me on this occasion.

Young woman and man in sixties costumes.

Dale and I dressed for a 60s themed party some time in the early 1980s

How often did you wear costumes as a child? How about now? Will you be dressing up for Halloween this year?

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