Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Today our friend Ken Martinez has generously shared some of his family photos, from the golden days of 1968. These are really great, such a wonderful slice of Americana. Ken has also written some nice captions to go along with each picture, so I can spend more time watching daytime TV.
Image 1 - PUMPKIN PATCH - The pumpkin patch was located in Half Moon Bay, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. My parents used to take us there every mid-October in the 1960's and early 70's so us kids could pick out pumpkins to bring back home and carve into Jack 'O-Lanterns. Occasionally we'd bring friends along too. I'm the kid in the yellow shirt, who will shortly be wearing a robot costume about a week or so later on Halloween. The kid in the striped shirt was a childhood friend, who's name I unfortunately don't remember.
I think Linus would agree that this is a very sincere pumpkin patch! I wonder if this area is all developed today?
Image 2 - ROBOT COSTUME - Here I am in my Halloween robot costume posing for the camera on the driveway. My dad created the costume from various materials lying around the house. the main body was corrugated cardboard built around two Styrofoam wreath bases. The Panels on the front of the body were various plastic parts taken from discarded appliances or hardware. The top of then headpiece was mounted with a hubcap and radio antenna. The pants were a pair of jeans with open ended coffee cans inserted into both legs and corrugated cardboard for the lower legs. The boots were regular rain boots with zippers. Silver dict tape was used to hem the lookout window and edges of the leg and arm material. Masking tape was applied around the finger tips of some old work gloves to create tube-like fingers. Finally, the entire costume was spray painted silver to complete it.
Ken's dad did an amazing job! I hope Ken said "Crush - kill - destroy" as he walked stiff-legged.
Image 3 - THE SCHOOL YARD - Here we are in the elementary school yard where all the kids and teachers showed up dressed for Halloween. One of the rings I remember most about the robot costume was that it was real itchy. I had a hard time seeing and walking around in it. The kid in the blue space man costume (Dwight) was my neighbor, friend and classmate. I remember that he and Skeleton boy were watching out for me to make sure I didn't take a dive while standing and walking around. The witch was my teacher Mrs. Watkins. I remember the costume getting quite a response from all the kids and teachers that day.
Can you imagine wearing that costume for the entire school day? I hope Ken could take off part of it (the helmet at least) during classes! It looks like it would be impossible to sit down.
Image 4 - MORE SCHOOL YARD - Here's another image with my two school buddies still keeping watch to make sure I was stable. The robot costume was probably the most complicated costume I ever wore. Thanks to my dad's creative talent, it was also one of the most memorable Halloweens I ever had. I hope you all enjoyed.
MANY THANKS to Ken Martinez for sharing these awesome photos. They make me nostalgic for my own Halloweens from when I was around the same age. Perhaps 8 or 9 is the ultimate age for All Hallow's Eve? Anyway, Ken has sent more pictures to share in future posts, so stay tuned!