HALLOWEEN – WEST COAST STYLE

Halloween festivities seem to be a peculiarly American holiday, and it becomes more rambunctious and extravagant every year. From kids in simple costumes trick-a-treating in neighborhoods, it’s grown to large events in shopping centers, parades, and special haunted houses, especially in Los Angeles because of our great weather in October. There’s Knott’s Scary Farm, the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Universal Studios Horror Nights, a costume ball at LA County Art Museum, and the famous and probably largest street party in the world in West Hollywood from 6-11 p.m. My daughter Heidi attended a few years ago.

I was reminded of these festivities by finding my photo of Vincent Price, renowned for his scary roles — The Pit and the Pendulum, House of Wax, The Masque of the Red Death, etc. Although he died in 1993, any movie fan will remember his distinctive cultured voice, despite his being born in St. Louis, Missouri! I met him when I was a guest at a realtors’ convention in Las Vegas back in the mid 1970s. My mother-in-law had invited me to join her and her brother-in-law; it was a good excuse to celebrate in Vegas. I had my photo taken with the charming Vincent and remember asking him why he had a lapel pin on his jacket in the shape of a coat hangar (can’t be seen in the photo). He laughed and said it was because he didn’t have any “hangups!”

Me and Vincent Price. Looks like I'm doing publicity.

Me and Vincent Price. Looks like I’m doing publicity.

Me and Vincent Price. Looks like I’m doing publicity glad-handing!
Back in the 1960s, when I was working as a service representative at AT&T (known as Pacific Bell then), we always celebrated Halloween. We had about 10 sections of side-by-side desks in our large office in Hollywood on Gower Street, a couple of blocks from Columbia Studios. Each section, including the supervisor, would choose their own section costume. We were inventive as you can see in these old photos.

 

 

Halloween at the PacBell Phone Co office

Halloween at the PacBell Phone Co office. We were Cave Women. I’m third from the left. In my last blog I mentioned Ruth Stewart went out with comic Marty Ingels. She is the short woman-4th from the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Halloween at the Phone Company

Another Halloween at the Phone Company. I’m third from the left again. We are space creatures, probably Star Trek inspired.

When my kids were growing up, we were fortunate to live in a suburban housing development between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Simi Hills, a safe place to raise kids and an easy place for trick-or-treating. Now that I’m more in the city in an area of apartment buildings, I don’t see normal trick-or-treating. Kids who don’t live in housing tracts will dress up for their schools, and also go with parents to shopping centers to get free candy.

Hansi as a Frontier Cowboy

Son Hansi as a Frontier Cowboy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi as a version of American Indian

Daughter Heidi as a version of American Indian

 

Heidi & Zombie - West Hollywood Halloween

Heidi & Zombie – West Hollywood Halloween Carnival

Because Los Angeles is the Entertainment Capital of the World, there’s nothing that matches the zany and outrageous Gay West Hollywood Halloween Parade and Carnival. Thousands of participants of all sexual persuasions meander down a mile-long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard on Halloween night. Some come just to gawk; others join in the fun with costumes seen nowhere else. There’s entertainment, bands, dancing, and plenty of food and drink. My daughter Heidi and a few friends dressed up a few years ago, but Heidi seemed to be the only one who got revelers to show off in photos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button