Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween Saturday

I already had today's Halloween post ready to go, when I got a nice email from reader Grant McCormick, who was kind enough to share some of his family photos (they lived in Anaheim, by the way). They're so great that I had to add them!

Grant says, The 1956 photo is a six year old me on the left. Mom in the middle. The three girls are Tommy Walker's daughters Diane, Debbie and Patty, who lived across the street from us.

Tommy Walker! Disneyland royalty, he was the son of Vesey Walker, leader of the Disneyland Band. He had his own impressive career, you can look him up on Wikipedia if you so desire.

I love this photo, Grant's smiling face is so full of joy, it is wonderful. Grant added, My mom was a make up artist (you may remember her as the "lady in red" who staffed the Crane Company Bathroom of Tomorrow at Disneyland) and every Halloween she would do real grease paint clown faces.

That would explain why they look so great.

NEXT... The 1958 one is me, my three year old sister, Debbie Walker and a neighbor friend in the Wyatt Earp (?) mask.

I did a little research and found that the mask was Bat Masterson. Again, such a fun photo of cute kids!

Now back to our regularly-scheduled random non-McCormick assortment, from "sometime in the '50s". This bunny rabbit and rosy-cheeked piglet. Are they wearing jammies? The fuzzy slippers add to the horror. These kids are going to be the most comfortable trick-or-treaters in town.

I can't tell if the kid to the left is a boy dressed as a female character (a common thing back in those days) or if it really is a girl. Not that it matters a whole lot I guess! Do you know who he/she is supposed to be? Find out in a moment! Meanwhile, the girl on the right appears to be some sort of "Bo Peep" type. Those long "curls"! Her lollipop is interesting - what the heck is it? It has a candy-corn nose and lifesavers for eyes. 

Aaaannnd... here they are, all together. If you guessed that the kid in red was Olive Oyl (hard to read the sign, I know), you win my eternal admiration. 

Next we have a Halloween party in a rather plain, barely-decorated basement. Or maybe this is a prison! As different costumed kids took a seat, somebody took photos of them. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what the costumes were supposed to represent. The pointy hat on the left says "witch", and I guess the parasol means "elegant lady who drank too much Nyquil". If I saw that thing to the right following me down the street on a dark night, I'd probably have a heart attack.

Well, we had to have at least one hobo, didn't we? He's hoping that some nice lady will leave her pies to cool on the windowsill. Next to him is an old spinster. She'll tell you all about the pony she owned when she was a little girl. And finally a strange looking "woman". Those rubber masks are surprisingly creepy!

Oh, I like the black cat. "Follow me to the land of spooks", says the sign around its neck. Next is a.. um.. er... "pass". And then there's the clown who looks fairly dirty and murderous. This kid was ahead of his time.

MANY THANKS to Grant McCormick for sharing his personal Halloween photos. They make my other pix seem kind of lame by comparison, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Have a Happy Halloween, everybody!


"Lou and Sue" said...

I can’t wait to read everyone’s comments on these pictures!! I’ll check back in the afternoon, but I do want to mention the magical ashtray—look for it in each of the first three photos. Spooky!

Nanook said...

The only thing stranger in the first set of images than the costumes is the stark walls, drab sofa, the empty, three-tiered server, and 'sheer' curtains. Talk about minimalist-! (Nice steam heater, too).

But clearly the costumes [and especially the masks] in the second set of images are truly creepy, and downright scary.

Happy Halloween to all, and thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

I should add that after my week out of town, I almost forgot to add Grant's photos to today's post, and added them at the very last minute. In fact, I added them AFTER the last minute, which is why Lou and Sue and Nanook probably didn't see his great pictures. Sorry guys!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Yes, Major, I need to clarify that you now need to look at the ashtray in pictures #3, 4 and 5.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Btw Grant, you are a cute kid - love your costume! Thank you for sharing your pictures!

TokyoMagic! said...

Great make-up jobs, Mrs. McCormick! I wonder what that is, growing out of Grant's rubber "skull cap," in the second pic? A huge furuncle, perhaps?

Grant, I like your family's "early American" furniture. Is that a TV cabinet in the background of the first pic?

Sue, ha, ha! I noticed that disappearing and reappearing ashtray, too! It appears to have exactly four cigarette butts in it. I think we know what those kids were doing in between photos!

Thank you for sharing these, Major and Grant McCormick!

JC Shannon said...

Wow, great spooky Halloween 50s goodness. TM, I love that early American furniture as well. The morphing ashtray is kinda scary too. 50s and early 60s Halloween decs go for big bucks on ebay nowadays, I shoulda kept all my paper mache punkins. I remember one Halloween I was the man of steel. I absolutely idolized George Reeves in The Adventures of Superman, plus I had a crush on Noel Neill. I will be loving these scans all day.

Chuck said...

These are just the ticket on a sleepy Hallowe'en morning. I love the bunny holding the carrot. And Grant, thanks so much for sharing your family photos. They are standouts even without the Disneyland connection.

Happy Halowe'en, Team Gorilla!

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, some say that anyone who looks at the ashtray will be haunted forever. FOREVER!

Nanook, sometimes less is more. But sometimes it is just less. There, I have blown your mind. You’re welcome. What is it about those rubber masks that is so creepy?!

Lou and Sue, I’m sure I posted those photos out of order (not realizing that there was a haunted ashtray). Now we know that there was at least one smoker in the house. Why isn’t there any candy in the triple-tiered serving dish?

Lou and Sue, the one with Grant laughing looks like a photo from LIFE magazine.

TokyoMagic!, I don’t know what a furuncle is, but I think I saw one in Oxnard last week. He does have a bump on his noggin though! I’m just glad that the ashtray has cigarette butts in it and not the remains of doobies.

Jonathan, I used to follow a blog (which I can no longer find) that was all about vintage Halloween decorations and how the prices had skyrocketed. It was super interesting and I loved seeing this person’s collection of rare items. Paper mache pumpkins really do go for a lot now, I only had plastic ones and even THOSE are valuable. You don’t happen to have any photos of you in your Superman costume??

Chuck, I figured that these were a good way to get the day started - I’m sure that a lot of Halloween plans will be abbreviated this year. We bought candy in case any trick-or-treaters come by, but this time I will be wearing a mask too.

Melissa said...

We always had our Halloween parties in the basement for a more authentic dungeon feel.

Nanook said...


That 'greasepaint' is top-notch, fer sure-! Yes - and that wooden cabinet with shutters. So 1950's/60'S-!

Thanks, Grant.

Chuck said...

Major, I put together 40 candy-and-party-favor bags this morning just in case. I'll have them on a small table next to the sidewalk while I sit - masked - at least 6 feet away (per city guidelines) under a Coleman lantern (which is not required by the city but a good idea so trick-or-treaters can see me and the candy). I doubt they'll all get picked up, but I want to be there for the little ones who do come out. I feel I owe it to them to help create some sort of fun memories for them to ramble on about on their own blogs 50 years from now.

K. Martinez said...

The McCormick photos are great. Love Grant's smile in the first pic and his three years old sister in the second pic. They look like they're having a grand time of it.

The bunny with the carrot is another favorite as is the cat in the last pic.

Thanks, Grant and Major!

Happy Halloween to all!

Kathy! said...

Cute pictures, Grant. Those are some nice, non-spooky clowns. Now the one in the last photo, that’s scary. Those rubber feet! So many questions about that “party”. Why is there a wrapped gift on the ground that no one takes? Where do the other guests go — is it the same people just changing costumes?

I like the real carrot that the bunny has. I could tell that was Olive Oyl, though the mask doesn’t help. If you need an identifying sign around your neck, maybe you need to rethink the costume. Or wear a great plastic smock costume with your name and picture printed right on it! Happy Halloween Major and all!

Anonymous said...

Oh how hot those rubber masks were. You know, back in the 1961...I remember my friends and I stopping at 101 houses. I counted them all. Since I don't eat much candy, I let my schoolmates eat all theirs and about a week later I sold mine to them!! Great margins on low overhead. Now that I think about it, why I didn't make sales a career is a mystery to me. Happy Halloween KS

Melissa said...

I don’t know about you, Kathy, but I’d think twice about accepting a wrapped gift from anybody at that party!

JC Shannon said...

Major, you couldn't handle it. "I'm to sexy for my cape, to sexy for my shirt, so sexy that it hurts!"

"Lou and Sue" said...

I nominate the first picture of Grant for “Cutest Picture of the Year.” Mike Cozart’s saloon picture still has my vote for “Picture of the Year.”

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, there aren’t too many basements in California, for some reason! I always thought, “Why not have basements for all of that extra living space?”. But nobody asked me.

Nanook, our Pennsylvania basement had several cabinets like that, one that hid our oil heater.

Chuck, oh nice! We have a big bowl of candy, but have no idea if it’s way too much or not enough. My mom’s street (I’m visiting her today after her surgery) has a ton of families with young kids now, so it could be nuts. Last year had the most trick-or-treaters ever.

K. Martinez, I wonder how they got Grant and his sister to laugh! Probably a good knock-knock joke, that always works.

Kathy! yes, those feet look appropriately dirty and gross. I couldn’t tell what that thing was on ground in those three photos, I guess it’s a wrapped gift? It does look like it has a ribbon on it. Maybe it was something so horrible that nobody wanted it! You win some sort of prize for recognizing Olive Oyl, she needs to be much taller and thinner. Happy Halloween!

KS, the plastic Ben Foster masks were bad enough, I can only imagine how uncomfortable a rubber mask that covered most of the head would be. 101 houses! I always had dreams of achieving a number like that, and then partway through the night would realize that I was running out of steam. I should have sold my extra candy!

Melissa, yes, it probably contained a human hand!

Jonathan, I’m going to have to take you at your word!

Lou and Sue, I hope I don’t have to come up with a prize.

KellyM said...

Glad you all loved our family photos! Grant and I were lucky kids to have such a talented mom.
Kelly McCormick, Grant's little sister.

Dean Finder said...

The weird thing on the right of the first basement picture looks kind of like Gilbert Gottfried.

For trick-or-treaters this year, we set up a zipline from the front porch down to the curb and hung a Halloween pail from a clothesline pulley on it. It goes down by gravity and I pull it back with a fishing reel. Since we expected fewer kids, each one got a baggie full of treats. Only wound up with ~25 kids this year, about 1/3 to 1/4 of what we got just a few years ago.

Grant said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone. When I saw Major posting 50s Halloween pics I just had to send him mine. Even though I don't comment much I'm here every day. It's so cool to have pics on GDB and be in the company of Lou and Sue, the Dream Team and everyone else who has contributed photos to this exceptionally fun blog.

Major, Thank you for remembering to add my pics in spite of your distractions this week!

Lou and Sue, Wow! Not only do I have the honor of being on GDB, I received a nomination!! YaY!! Thank you. :)

TokyoMagic! and Nanook, Yes, it's a classic mid-century TV cabinet with a classic mid-century tv inside.

Major, I never thought about it but that first pic does have a wholesome Life Magazine look. I guess it should. It doesn't get more wholesome than 1950s suburban Anaheim.

JC Shannon and TokyoMagic!, I'm a big early American furniture fan too. I still have several pieces from that house.

K. Martinez, We really were having a good time. Halloween in our neighborhood was a big deal. Families with kids in most every house. We would have to stop by our house half way through the evening to empty our candy bags before going back out to finish the neighborhood.

Kathy!, Aren't non-spooky clowns refreshing? I don't recall scary clowns 50/60 years ago.

Kelly, We were indeed lucky to have such a talented mom. Not only was she skilled with make up she was a very good artist and actress too. I think we'll be seeing more of her here. :)

"Lou and Sue" said...

Grant, PLEASE DO give the Major more pictures of you, your beautiful mom and your adorable little sister, to share with us!!

Chuck said...

Major, believe it or not, I gave out all 40 bags and had to turn the lantern off at 7:30, which was only an hour and a half into the trick or treat window. So happy to see so many families out despite everything.

Grant and Kathy, I lived in a similar neighborhood back in the mid-to-late '70s - full of kids and only one or two houses that didn't turn on the porch light. We had to do a similar candy drop at the mid-point because even though there was still room in the pillowcase, it was just too heavy to carry. Live in the same house niow, and the neighborhood is starting to fill up with young families again. I'm loving it (even if the now-mature trees make fall weekends a bit more of a chore).

Looking forward to seeing more of your photos!

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much to Grant for sharing these cute photos.

The concrete block walls remind of my kids early Halloween parties in the old church basement, that was a long time ago.

Hope everyone had a good evening.

Thank you Major.