Since the post I did on my costumes was such a hit, I’m updating you with what I was this year for Halloween. If you haven’t seen the post I did on Halloween, make sure you check it out.
Every year, my Halloween costume has to do with whatever is going on in my life for that year. This year, I have been taking care of my 88 year old father. From January to the end of June, I traveled back and forth from Los Angeles County to Sonoma County once or twice a month. It was exhausting. As summer approached, I brought my dad up to stay with me. No way was I going to be in LA in the 100 degree temperature! This week I took my dad back home after 4 months of staying at my house. As I write this, I am currently in Los Angeles at his house. He is glad to be home. But I guess I’ll be going back and forth again real soon!
So this Halloween, I had no idea what I was going to be. I thought I might be a Valley Girl, since I was spending so much time in So Cal helping my dad and working on his house. Then I thought about being a nurse or a psychologist, since I was taking care of my dad’s medical and mental health. And then I though maybe a maid, once again, cooking and cleaning for my dad.
I was discussing this on the phone with my friend Karin and she said, “Maybe you should just BE your dad.” BINGO! Of course she was thinking of my dad at 88: white thinning hair, beard, cane, dark sunglasses, blue lounge pants and flannel shirts.
I, however, was thinking of my dad as I remember him when I was a kid.
A little background: my dad was an engineer in his younger days. He worked for North American Aviation during the early years of The Race for Space. They were commissioned by NASA, and he was working on the prototype for the Space Shuttle. I was surprised when he told me this story. One: I only knew my dad as a Math/Drafting instructor at a private school, Don Bosco Tech. Second: I had no idea NASA was working on the Space Shuttle in the 1950s!
So I have a joke with my friends. When something is easy to do, I say, “It doesn’t take the daughter of a rocket scientist to figure this out.”
A while back, I was watching Mad Men and they were talking about North American Aviation. How cool was that!
The men in Mad Men look like how I remember my dad: a man in a suit with slicked back hair. When I was a kid, my dad always seemed to be in a white shirt, even when he was working in the yard or on the truck. I think he only owned white shirts and slacks. I remember the hounds tooth suit jacket he liked to wear. I think it was his favorite. We always knew dad was in a good mood when he wore that jacket, even though he didn’t smile very often. He had a serious, almost pained, expression most of the time.
My memory of him looks much like the photo above but more grey in his hair, as he had more grey by the time I was born. And he always had a 5:00 shadow.
And so on Halloween evening, the transformation began. I slicked my hair back with some temporary black hair mousse, added some grey at the temples with white grease paint, added some dark eye shadow on my face, and dug though my closet to find clothing that would work. I happened to have that hounds tooth jacket (he gave it to me a decade or so ago) and tah dah!
I walked in to the kitchen where my dad was sitting and I said, “Want to see my Halloween costume?” His serious face burst into laughter as he giggle,”You decided to be ME!” He must have laughed for a good 10 minutes. Karin came by to pick me up for a party and she took this photo of my elder dad and my younger dad!
How fun was that! And I had to make this photo black and white just to get the full true effect. Almost all the photos I have of my dad younger are in black and white.
My dad still laughs when he sees the photos from Halloween. He said it is the son he never had.