Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Special Guest Halloween, 1965 - Part 2

It's time for more vintage Halloween photos from the personal collection of Ken Martinez! This post (and the next one) feature photos from around the Martinez home circa 1965. As before, Ken has provided great descriptive captions (highlighted in orange) for each photo. Let's go!

Image 1 - JACK O'LANTERNS - Here are five Jack O'Lanterns carved by us five kids. Odds are they were picked from a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay a week earlier.

My sister always liked the littlest pumpkins, I'll bet one of Ken's sisters carved the tiny one!

Image 2 - PRE-PARTY - One of the things my parents loved doing for us kids was making the holidays extra special throughout the year. The cake in this photo looks like it is out of the pages of some Good Housekeeping type magazine (holiday edition). It was probably where my mom got her ideas.

Image 3 - DAD AT TABLE - My dad dressed up every year for Halloween until I hit the double digits. I think he was trying to go for a Mr. Hyde/Phantom type look. He was really into the old Universal horror classics and that was probably influential in his costume idea. My dad and I used to watch all those old horror classics together. I even remember collecting all the monster models back in the 1960's.

Oh yeah, those awesome Aurora models! I know I had King Kong and the Mummy, while my brother probably had Dracula and Frankenstein. I loved those things!

Image 4 - PARTY IN ACTION - The party is in full swing with my sisters, two cousins and a neighborhood kid at the table enjoying cake and fruit punch. My mom and teenage sister are working the punch bowl. I think that's a homemade skeleton made out of black construction paper hanging on the cupboard.

All I can say is that Ken's family had WAY more fun on Halloween than my family did!! It was all we could do to get our costumes on, much less have a big party.

Image 5 - SCARED STIFF - Here's my father again with creepy attitude. My sister and cousin look more fascinated than scared. It's really the wallpaper that's scary.

Yes, the girls don't look very frightened, but Ken's dad is a method actor - always inhabiting the role!

Once again, a big thanks goes to Ken for sharing these awesome family photos. There's one more batch to go!


Nanook said...


Have to agree with the Major that these Halloween festivities look fairly involved - and fun. I have a soft spot for that porcelain pumpkin centerpiece/candleholder that makes a couple of appearances. I also like the paper, Casper the Friendly Ghost cutout sitting above your dad's left shoulder in the last photo.

And apparently the "princess look" is very much in fashion with the gals; I can't see what costume you were sporting.

Now... about that wallpaper....

Thanks Ken.

Chuck said...

These are gems, Ken!

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (released the following year) immediately comes to mind. Hallowe'en 1965 is immediately recognizable to me and doesn't seem to be too different from Hallowe'en 1975.

The Cinderella costume your sister is wearing in the last photo would have been very current at the time, having been re-released that previous summer.

Kudos to your parents for making the holiday special for you, your siblings, your cousins and your friends. We're about to attempt our first Hallowe'en party for a group of 6th grade boys, and I'm already getting a bit apprehensive at the amount of work that's going to go into it to do it right to my wife's standards.

Thanks again for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, thanks for sharing your memories with us. Brings back some of my own.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think girls have always loved dressing as princesses or brides; We'll see Ken's costume in the next post of his photos.

Chuck, I love the "Great Pumpkin" special, though I wish it didn't spend quite as much time with Snoopy as a WWI Flying Ace (with his Sopwith Camel). Good luck with your party. 6th grade boys, uh oh!

KS, I feel the same way, even though my family celebrated Halloween in a different way, these still remind me of my own childhood.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook - I remember that ceramic pumpkin being put out every Halloween. I loved it. Unfortunately, I don't know where it ended up. As for the wall paper, sometimes while sitting at the dining table, I'd zone out and stare up at it thinking WTH!?! Keep an eye out for the next installment as you'll definitely see me in full costume.

Chuck - I remember the debut year of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". It was my first exposure to Charles Schulz' Peanuts characters. I'm still a big fan of Charlie Brown and company.

One of the things I love about old family photos is seeing clues to the pop culture of the time. In next post of my family Halloween photos you'll see that my costume definitely has a connection to 1960's.

I'm sure you'll have fun putting the Halloween party together. Let us know how it goes.

KS - Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Major - One of my favorite parts of the "Great Pumpkin" is Snoopy crawling along the French countryside and the steam whistle blows in background. Also, Vince Guaraldi's musical score relaxes me so much that sometimes I've fallen asleep watching it.

Again, thanks for allowing me to share with your readers and thanks to all for the positive comments.

Connie Moreno said...


David said...

Maybe it's the fabulous gay man inside of me who loves odd things, but that wallpaper is charming.

Maybe not an entire kitchen done it it, but a nice wall done up with other 1950s advertising picture (a period I adore)to enhance it and we have a conversation starter.

K. Martinez said...

Connie - Thanks. I'm glad you like them. Stay tuned. There's one more set coming this month.

David - I think one wall of it would've worked, but it was a bit much having it in near circle-vision 360. My parents did my bedroom up in spaceman/spaceport themed wallpaper about the time these photos were taken. Now that was cool!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for sharing these, Ken - more evidence for my thesis on how great your parents are.

We had huge Halloween parties when my sister and I were young, because Halloween fell between my September birthday and hers in November, and it was easier than having two birthday parties so close together. The stores didn’t have all the great prefab decorations they have now, so the picture of your paper skeleton brings back great memories of all the homemade trimmings we labored over for days! I even remember having a Jack-o-Lantern cake a lot like the one in picture #3!

Mom always dressed up for the parties, but the only time I remember Dad getting into it was the year he put on a leather jacket, gloves, and a ski mask and sneaked around the house looking in the windows. He didn’t even tell Mom ahead of time; we were scared out of our little minds.

K. Martinez said...

Melissa - Thanks and glad you enjoyed these. Sounds like you had some pretty cool Halloween parties yourself when you were young. Sometimes I think those homemade holiday decorations were the best. There's a satisfaction knowing you did them yourself.

I love your story about your dad putting on a leather jacket and ski mask sneaking around looking through the windows. I can imagine it would be scary. And fun.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing these, Ken. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. :-)