Thursday, October 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: The Politically Incorrect Halloween Edition

I come by my love of Halloween naturally; when I was growing up, my parents encouraged Trick-or-Treating, Halloween parties, and decorations.

I can distinctly recall the cardboard skeleton that my mom would hang on the front door and the Gurley pumpkin and witch candles that she displayed on the end tables in the living room (I wonder what ever happened to those candles? They sell like rare treasure on eBay...and I digress), so, it comes as no surprise that I get a little excited about my own home.

Someday, I will find you, rare vintage Gurley witch...someday, you will be mine...

And, costumes? My parents always made sure we had costumes. When they could afford to do so, they purchased ready-made costumes for us at the local Ben Franklin. The masks were rigid plastic affairs, adhered to our faces with a combination of elastic band and condensation that had formed under the masks with every breath we took.

When finances were a bit tight, mom was forced to recycle old costumes (See duplication in photos above), or, to get creative; crafting costumes from things we had around the house. Those homemade costumes were some of my favorites, and I am grateful to have had a parent who went to the trouble of creating them.

That said: Looking back, it becomes apparent that we lived in far different, possibly less culturally sensitive, world, and, costumes that were perfectly acceptable at the time seem a bit...stereotypical, now (and I'm being kind when I say that).

Exhibit A:

Ummmm.... clowns and princesses...ok...the Mexican national? Yeah...maybe not her finest work.

Exhibit B:

Blackface? Oh, dear Lord, no.

My parents also got into the Halloween spirit, and my favorite non-PC costume of all time has got to be Exhibit C:

Shotgun bride, because rednecks were funny.

Actually, rednecks are still funny, and, I say that as the descendant of a long line of Tennessee bootleggers.

Anyway, I'm glad we have these pictures to look back on, not because they serve as a lesson in tolerance, but because they remind me of a simpler time, when people didn't immediately assume malice for what entertainment could explain.

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