It’s That Time Of Year

University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 1955

Ah, the crisp air of autumn–not yet arrived here in muggy, dank … dare I say, sultry, Texas. Leaves are still green on many of the trees, and my hair is still frizzy with humidity. But Halloween, she comes. And with that, an obligation for children to trick or treat from home to home, virus be damned at this point. While I am not the sort of adult who dons costumes anymore, it is always fun to travel back in time to mid-century university life and revisit the apparel of yore. The couple above were captioned as “night-shirted mambo dancers.” They take it quite seriously.

But not as seriously as young love.

1947 Cactus

Next we have a gaggle of hoboes (also acceptable: hobos. Reminds me of the buffalo conundrum.) Yes, this is when it was acceptable to make fun of the homeless, before many of them were traumatized Vietnam vets. Back then, they were lovable tramps who hopped the trains–and evidently never left home (well, camp) sans hat.

Up next, a Li’l Abner couple, although little is the last word that comes to mind.

Finally, we have a prone mummy, an Indian brave and his maiden, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and others.

Do recall that Ann and Andy were siblings, so let’s hope this didn’t get weird at the end of the night. Did you know that the Raggedy siblings are over 100 years old now? Methinks we should bring the term “raggedy” back into play. It means shabby, so perhaps we could start calling interior design “raggedy chic”? Shabby chic with a hint of red yarn?

Ah, yes, this is perfect!

I Vant To Drink Your COVID Antibodies

Univ of Texas, Halloween 1976

This ape found his Chiquita Banana.

Although we bristle at this now, this was the reality of a 70s frat “Jungle Party” on 11/11/76. As Bob Wills says, “Time changes everything,” and we can see why.

That’s the great thing about yearbooks; they never get re-edited. So while it reveals a context with which we might now be uncomfortable, it also shows us how far we’ve come.

 

Mini Jack O’ Lanterns

Sunset magazine, Oct 2018

No, this isn’t a Halloween decoration. It’s the Japanese art of hoshigaki, and it starts this month! Last October’s issue of Sunset profiled the Yamanaka family of Northern California, detailing how they dry persimmons. From picking, air drying, and even massaging Hachiya persimmons, the entire family gets in on the action.

Once dried, the persimmons are shriveled but still moist and chewy. The sugary goodness inside will migrate to the edge, forming a white coat. They say the flavors are similar to dates and honey.

I’ve never tried persimmons in my life. What about you? They really do look like tomatoes, don’t they? That last one looks just like the roma in my fridge.

No time like the present; we’re smack dab in the middle of persimmon season. Why, you could even steal Sarah Ward’s recipe for persimmon and apple crumb pie.

http://www.ofthedirt.com

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and that would make a fine Turkey Day treat!

Bumpky Pumpky

These lovelies sat adjacent to the shopping carts yesterday, ensuring that no one was spared the somewhat unsettling gourds. Not exactly choice specimens for carving, but still a sign of the autumn we long for.

And just to be clear–it’s NOT beginning to feel a lot like autumn. Hot and dry with no end in sight. When will it ever end?

Laverne & Shirley, As We’d Always Suspected

1978 Cactus

No, no, it’s not that! It’s two co-eds passing a lifesaver on toothpicks during Halloween of 1977. In fact, all of these images are of college students celebrating Halloween that year. Bless her heart…

It’s the Great Pumpkin!

Double Dracula!

An ape loving his Chiquita Banana.

Reverse border patrol agent.  

Classic clowns. 

Members of Devo with a wooly beast.

And who could forget Tarzan and Jane? 

Halloween 1978

The original Halloween was released 40 years ago, in 1978.

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It still creeps me out. That mask is terrifying.

But the students at the University of Texas in 1978 were fairly tame by comparison. I’m not even sure what the woman on the left is. A younger girl?

These were “50s be-boppers.”

The large Groucho nose was a big deal in the late 70s. Why did everyone have Raggedy Ann cheeks?

Now this is more like it.

I still can’t figure out what was the deal with clowns. At least there’s a vampire here, although his head looks more like Han Solo. 

The saucy wench looks like she’s having the most fun–and it isn’t even dark yet!

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