Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Vintage Halloween Mask - And The Story Behind Its Purchase

Hello! I've occasionally attended the garage sales hosted by a local antiques dealer, and a few years ago purchased this from one such event:

A vintage Halloween mask. It's got a few small cracks along the edges, but overall is in pretty good shape. I bought it because it reminded me of the Halloween masks I wore as a kid growing up in the mid-to-late 1960's. A quick eBay search of "1960's Halloween masks" showed a few dozen that look similar in manufacture.

A close-up of that gruesome face:

And therein lies another reason for buying it - the story from my childhood involving another creepy Halloween mask. 

I was in 2nd grade and Halloween happened to fall on a school day that year. I recall this because my siblings and I came home from school to the sight of boxes of Halloween costumes on the dining room table. Our mother had brought them down from the attic, ready for us younger kids to try on and find out what hand-me-down costumes would fit us this time around. (I have three older siblings, all girls, so I was already well-used to wearing the garments they'd grown out of.)

The sibling after me is a brother who's 14 months younger.  Being so close in age, we used to play/fight together a lot as kids. This Halloween was no exception, as my brother immediately grabbed a monster-type mask like the one shown above, put it on, and advanced toward me while making scary noises. 

I commanded him to stop trying to scare me. When he refused and came even closer, I pushed him away. Trouble was, I took no account of the fact that he was standing near a window - my push sent him through it. 

Fortunately, my brother was neither hurt by the fall nor by the broken glass, but of course our mother was livid when she learned what had caused the window to break. Punishment was swift and strong: she immediately barred us from going trick-or-treating that night! She couldn't have come up with a worse ruling. 

I was mad because I felt only my brother deserved to get in trouble - after all, if he had only listened to me when I'd ordered him to stop trying to frighten me with that stupid monster mask, I wouldn't have had to push him away. But our mom didn't see it that way. 
Not only were we deprived of procuring candy that evening, but I was later mortified when I learned that the nuns who taught us at the nearby parochial school had been made aware of our naughtiness. The convent was behind the school, so we used to go trick-or-treating there (the nuns may have been strict in the classrooms, but were generous on Halloween night). Our three older sisters had stopped there this particular year, as usual.

The nuns, noticing that my brother and I weren't with them, asked where we were. And so our sisters came home and informed us they had told the nuns of our bad behavior. I was so ashamed! It was almost as bad as not being able to trick-or-treat!

The nuns felt sorry for us, though. They gave extra candy to our sisters with the order to distribute it to us. Our sisters did as instructed, and obviously our mom went along with it. You don't mess around with Catholic school nuns, at least not back then!

My brother and I would continue on with various scrapes throughout our childhood, like the time he broke my arm (by accident; he tripped me because I was outrunning him during another altercation. My right arm took the brunt of my fall). We mostly get along pretty well as grown-ups now - I think. Uh, a couple of days ago I referred to him as "goofy" on another brother's Facebook page. He noticed this and called me out on it, lol. 

What's the saying that "old habits die hard"? Guess it applies here! We just do verbal assaults now instead of physical ones.

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