Monday, October 19, 2020

A Vintage Halloween Potpourri (1960s & 1970s)


I thought for Halloween this year, I would share a selection of Halloween photos and "spooky" items from my childhood.  We'll start with some Halloween costumes.

This 1965 photo of my brother, shows him wearing his "scary" Halloween costume.  I say "scary," because doesn't that description apply to pretty much ALL clowns?  I wasn't even one year old yet at this point, so I'm pretty sure that I did not have a costume that year.

For 1966, my brother was the Hanna-Barbera character, Peter Potamus, and I was a "teddy bear."  Both of our costumes had huge rolled up cuffs on the pant legs.  There is a photo of us in our costumes from that year, but it is a little blurry.  Since we both wore the exact same costumes the following year, I'm only including this pic from 1967.  I'm assuming that my mom saved the costumes, because they were so big on us the previous year.  Why not get two years use out of them, right?  That was the only year that we ever reused a Halloween costume.

By the way, I still have those plastic pumpkins that each of us is holding.  And, I still have my childhood teddy bear, which I am also holding in the photo.  Those Halloween costumes however, did not get saved.

For the following year (1968), my brother was a "devil," and I was a "tiger."  These costumes were made of a flannel material and were similar to pajamas.   My teddy bear costume from the year before, was made of the same type of material.  Because of this, my mom let us wear these costumes as pajamas, after Halloween.

I also still have that large plastic pumpkin, which was new for me that year.  I remember my mom buying it at Gemco, which was similar to a Walmart or Target store.

For the next year (1969), both of our costumes came from Gemco.  Mine was a "skeleton," and I believe my brother's was "Igor."

I saved my mask from that year.  I remember that it was bothering my nose, so I cut a triangle shape out of it, for my nose to go through.  I thought I still had the costume that went with the mask, but I wasn't able to locate it.

For 1970, my brother was a "skeleton" and apparently, I wanted to be a "tiger" again.


Both my mask and my costume, managed to survive all of these years.

In 1971, I was "Dracula" and my brother was "Frankenstein's Monster."  Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of us from this year, but I saved my mask and costume.  The teeth on my Dracula mask, glowed in the dark!

My brother's costume did not survive, but I was able to find his mask on ebay.

Now we will switch gears a bit, here.  This book of "Spooky Tricks," belonged to my brother.  It was published by Scholastic Book Services, and was one of those books that was ordered through school.  Once a year (or maybe it was twice a year), the teachers would pass out order forms which included a list of books and their prices.  We would take those home to our parents, and check off the books we wanted to order.  After giving the forms back to the teacher, along with our money, we'd wait a few weeks and then our books would arrive.

There isn't a copyright date in this book, but I know it goes back to at least to 1968, because I have a picture of my brother from that year, and he is holding this book in the photo.

I've only scanned a few of the pages inside:

The back cover:

This is another childhood book from Scholastic Book Services.

This one has a copyright date, of 1972.

Again, I only scanned a few pages.  Some....okay, ALL of these jokes are real "groaners."

The back cover of the book:

We will end this post today, with some vintage Halloween Cards from the 1970s.  All of these cards were from my aunt and uncle.  They sent my brother and me Halloween cards every year throughout our childhood, and even beyond that.


This card is my favorite, out of all of them.  
The inside is "three-dimensional," but I pressed it flat to scan it.  When you lift the lid of the wooden crate, the ghoul and black cat "pop up" out of the tub.

This card even had graphics printed on it's backside.

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Halloween!


Last week, Elvira released a new Halloween video.  Just by coincidence, it includes both my brother's Frankenstein and Igor masks, and also my Skeleton and Teddy Bear masks.  Below, are a couple screen grabs showing these masks, along with the full video.

 ****Update - 10-11-22****

To see more vintage Halloween greeting cards, costumes, and "scary" themed children's books, click here for "Part 2" to this post:  A Vintage Halloween Potpourri - Part 2

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Queen Mary In Long Beach - Special Guest Post! (Part 2)

Back in May of 2019, I featured a "Special Guest Post" about the Queen Mary, from Gorillas Don't Blog and Meet The World reader and commenter, "JG."  Well, as previously mentioned, JG had more photos from his stay aboard the Queen Mary, and once again, he has generously offered to share them with us!  The following narrative is from JG, himself:

My wife and I visited the Queen Mary in 1983 for a conference, but we couldn’t afford to stay on board then.  When we had a chance to return to Long Beach for another conference, we decided to stay one night on the QM before moving to the Convention Center hotel, since 34 years later, we could afford a nice room.

As promised, here are some follow-up pictures of the exteriors and other parts of the ship, including the special exhibit on Winston Churchill with props from the 2017 movie, Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman.

First is the Retail Promenade, still in good shape, but the shops' merchandise is very different from what I remember years ago. Similar to Disneyland Main Street, there are more key rings and coffee cups and less authentic British or Scottish goods.  There was a wine shop featuring products from a local winery that was unfamiliar to me, but quite good.  We shared a bottle in our room that night.  Notice the inlaid linoleum, this is the original floor.  Linoleum is pretty bullet-proof.  The stripes at the base of the wall are different color strips of lino laid into the field.

The exterior walkways still look good, and were recently featured in a Netflix series made in Spain, set on an ocean liner.  The interiors of that show were all sets, but many exterior scenes were filmed on the QM.

The stair/elevator towers to enter the ship have been remodeled a bit since the 1970’s, and the signage is updated.  The domed hangar built for the Spruce Goose is still there, but I understand that the plane was moved again, so I never got to see it.

Down deep in the ship, where the Jacques Cousteau “Living Sea” exhibit used to be, a special exhibit was mounted, featuring props and scenery from the recent film, Darkest Hour.  The Imperial War Rooms were replicated for the film.  I had visited the real War Rooms in London some years ago, so it was very interesting to see how well the film scenes replicated the originals.  Almost down to the flyspecks.

Churchill’s bedroom, deep underground with over 20 feet of concrete in the ceiling was one of the sets.  None of this furniture was original, of course.  Any of the real things surviving are in museums in Britain.  The bedroom had an animated projection effect showing Churchill (Gary Oldman) walking back and forth.

There was also a replica of Churchill's quarters on the QM, used on his many travels aboard, but for some reason, I did not take a picture of these rooms.  These were very nice rooms, as might be imagined for VIP first class quarters on the ship.

The ship’s exteriors still look good from a distance, but if you get close up, you can see the toll of the years in a maritime environment with little effective maintenance.  It made me sad to see it.  

We did tour the bridge and some of the upper deck cabins in Officers’ Country, including the radio room.

The bridge with the brass telegraphs looked much like I remembered it, only more worn and in need of polishing.

Overall, it was a good trip to re-visit the Queen Mary, but I don't want to go back.  I don't know how much longer the ship can survive with the present management.  It's very down-at-the-heels and doesn't have the feeling of a top destination anymore.

TokyoMagic!, here again.  I want to give a great big "thank you" to JG, for sharing his personal photos and memories with us!