Archive for Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Linenberger: Halloween spirit

October 28, 2009

I feel as though my mother was way ahead of the whole reduce, recycle, reuse mantra.

As a child of the ’80s, my Halloween costume was an Ewok from “Return of the Jedi” one year, a Care Bear the next and Garfield the year after that.

The body of the costume each year was the same $2 “furry” robe or the like my mother found at a garage sale. With some artful redesign, the first two years it served the purpose of complementing an Ewok mask and then a Care Bear mask. The third year, my mom added stripes via magic marker, a long striped tail and a Garfield mask for the lasagna-eating feline ensemble.

Yes, my mother was quite the costume designer. I remember my earliest costume being E.T. and a later one being that of a California Raisin. Purple material covered my upper body with holes cut out for my eyes and arms. I wore a black sweatshirt underneath the body of the costume and sweatpants for the rest of the costume.

Of course, my favorite costume arguably is my mother’s greatest masterpiece: a Jayhawk. The head and beak of the Jayhawk was covered in red and yellow felt. Beneath the felt, a combination of ball caps and some stuffing formed together to provide the underworkings of the beak. She said this entire costume required staying up all night to finish and it was one of her greatest accomplishments.

Again, sweatshirt and sweatpants, this time blue in color, provided the body of the costume. Out of felt, Mom cut out a “K” and “U” and affixed them to the sweatshirt. She even thought of “tailfeathers,” a blue pillow of sorts that resembled the Jayhawk’s tailfeathers and were sewn onto the back of the sweatpants. As for the Jayhawk shoes, socks dyed yellow with red squares of felt glued to the tops of the socks mimicked the Jayhawks’ shoes.

Growing up in Wildcat country, I received a few negative comments about my costume of choice from Kansas State faithful. After one comment, I told my parents we should go to the local bar and charge all the drinks to the Wildcats. I guess it was because we weren’t far from the bar. After all, I was 9 and I’m not sure how many Dr. Peppers or Shirley Temples I could consume before this Wildcat tab would be insurmountable.

Since those early years, my costumes haven’t been as creative, I must admit. In 2003, when my Chicago Cubs were so close to advancing to the World Series for the first time in ages, Cubs fan Steve Bartman drew the ire of many Cubbies for trying to catch a foul ball that former Cub Moises Alou may or may not have been able to catch. I went to a Halloween gathering as Steve Bartman, wearing headphones and a Cubs hat, as well as a baseball connected to my wrist by string.

I’m pretty sure there will be many far better costumes than my Bartman get-up to be seen Friday during Spooktacular festivities in downtown Tonganoxie.

The first year of the event (in 2008) was quite awesome. I’m not sure how many people visited the elementary school and downtown businesses for treats, but it was a steady flow of ghosts and goblins for those two hours.

I expect the same turnout from 6-8 p.m. this Friday.

As we get ready for the Spooktacular event, there might be some folks who are in need of last-minute costume ideas.

Give them some ideas by letting us know what your best costume or costumes have been for Halloween. Find this column in the viewpoints section of our Web site,, and post your best costumes in the comments section at the bottom of the story.

Who knows, I might need some ideas as well.

I’m not sure whether I can fit into that Ewok/Care Bear/Garfield outfit anymore.


Jane_fashion 8 years, 7 months ago

Wonderful! Your article is so vivid that remind me of all my Halloween costumes and makeup, and those agnoys, laughs, tears.


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