Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Ryderboys Welcome You to the Countdown to Halloween 2013

This inaugural Halloween Countdown post is a snapshot from (unbelievably to me!) 20 years ago -- Halloween 1993.   This may be the best set of costumes we ever pulled off for the Ryderboys.

Here's the breakdown:

The Mummy Baby is my son Alex, who is 9 months old here.  As I recall, his costume consisted of a white sleeper, swathed in strips from a torn up white pillowcase or bedsheet.  I would like to say that the face is done with white makeup (although it could have been Desitin!) with eyebrow-pencil traced "bandages".  From the "What Th--" expression on his face, you can tell that he had not fully grasped the Halloween trick-or-treat concept yet.

In the back is Franken-Aaron, my oldest (6 years old here).  I bought that Frankenstein mask at Toys R Us for $10, which became the inspiration for that year's theme.  The mask is not rubber -- it is hard, molded plastic, definitely not the most comfortable mask to wear, though Aaron was a trouper.  You can't tell from this photo, but the eyes were holographic.  Some greenish makeup, more eyebrow pencil scars, and purple nail polish completed the look.

The blue-eyed wolfman in front is my middle son Christopher at 3 1/2 years old.  This mask was a feat of creativity and engineering that we never saw the like again -- courtesy of his namesake uncle.  

It is essentially a papier-mâché helmet, covered in some form of Party Store hair.  I don't recall the complete process, but I think Uncle Chris molded the mache around a basketball until it dried.  Then he covered it with some kind liquid adhesive and painstakingly applied and styled the hair.  Then the Rick Baker wannabe gave him tufted eyebrows, hard rubber lupine ears (crafted from flip-flop soles and painted brown and black), a rubber molded nose (off-the-rack), a red nail polish inner mouth, and the ever-present vampire teeth.

Truly, it was a thing of beauty.  With a tshirt and an easily obtained red flannel shirt (hey, it was 1993!), Christopher was ready to prowl.  The only downside to the mask was there was NO mouth hole -- as I recall, Uncle Chris felt it destroyed the integrity of the overall work.  Christopher could breathe fine (look at the size of those eyeholes for starters), but we were treated to muffled "AAoooooosss!!!" throughout the evening.

Now, 20 years later, the Frankenstein mask is placed over the porchlight, looking down somewhat sadly on our trick-or-treaters with those great glowing holographic eyes. 

The wolfman mask is still around, perhaps a little weathered -- he usually does duty peering out of our bushes with a skull head inside.   His nose, teeth, and one ear keep falling off, but I keep gluing them back on -- I will never get rid of him.

Aaron is 6'4" and would still be a great Frankenstein.

I can say with assurance that this is the most conservative costume Alex has worn since.

And Christopher has almost that much hair on his head and face.... and wants to name his first son Wolfgang.


Caffeinated Joe said...

Amazing how fast the time goes by! Thanks for posting the glimpse into the past. Happy October!

Anonymous said...

What memories! Now I got 2 little guys of my own. Your description was very accurate. I'm honored that you kept the wolfman mask all these years!
(Aaron, Chris & Alex's) Uncle Chris

Anonymous said...

Me again. I didn't know if you remembered this. But the Frankenstein mask came as only that Statue of Liberty green allover, so I took a sharpie (El Marko?) and colored his hair, then I used red fingernail polish to do Franky's forehead scar. I was gonna do more but didn't want to overdo it. Does that mask still look good? I remember the holographic eyes.