Halloween strikes a chord in everyone’s nostalgic heart. The kid in the most staid adult comes out grinning widely at the memory of being a scary zombie, a punk rocker with a Mohawk do, or a pirate (old school but still popular due to Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack). Mom could whip up anything on her trusty Singer sewing machine—a marvel of technology. No store bought stuff adorned my pampered body. I was her precious son and she could spend hours making costumes year after year.
She didn’t get to make school clothes as I grew so fast, so had to express her creativity with Halloween garb. My first one was awesome—thanks mom. I remember every stitch and seam. She designed it herself, cut her own pattern, bought the fabric and accessories, and it fit, as they say, to a t. You will never guess what it was.
No, not a cowboy outfit or a spaceman. Too run of the mill. It was not an alien of any kind, nor was it an animal of an exotic nature like the Lion King. Mom knew I liked music and dressed me as Gene Simmons from Kiss, her personal favorite. Ok, it was before my prime time, but I knew all the guys well—those weird painted faces, wild hair dos, studded leather vests, and black very high platform boots. Mom wanted to make a wide triangular collar. You can see it in old photos. She made it out of cardboard that she covered with fabric and painted metallic silver. All the details were there. It had a zigzag design in the front and went over some kind of black shirt. That was the easiest thing she had to make but it soon turned into a project as she appliqued shiny silver stars on the sleeves. The leather skinny pants were tougher, even if it was done in a small child’s size.
You couldn’t get the boots easily online then—such a unique item—but she found a movie studio outlet store and bought some outer space-looking punk ones in a diminutive size. I think they were adult shoes made for a little person who might have been a transvestite. She made them almost knee height with a row of silver leather at the top. The sewing machine had met its match with these heavy fabrics.
I admire her efforts and photos show I looked pretty good, a miniature Kiss band member in all my tiny glory. I had a painted cardboard guitar that looked like an ancient silver arrow. It had sharp edges that flared out on both sides. So cool. She told me to stick out my tongue as I went trick or treating and hoped I would get a lot of laughs and extra candy.
I actually did that first Halloween. It was a landmark event and my mother’s supreme triumph. All her costumes in later years were great, but that one stood out as very special. I have a nostalgic feeling about it and great love for her loving care (and fabulous sewing machine).