Saturday, October 31, 2015

My go-to costume

As a kid, my go-to Halloween costume was “cowboy.”

Snap-up plaid shirt.  Blue jeans.  Sneakers.  10-gallon hat.  (Okay, maybe 5-gallon hat.)  Cap gun in holster.  Bandana.

And a couple of special effects that put me miles ahead of the other cowboys.

What were those, you ask?

Well, first, there was a genius concoction that Mom had come up with.  Something that she’d read about in a magazine or heard about from another mother.  It was our secret weapon during the Halloween season:

A stubbly cowboy beard.

How this worked … Mom mixed coffee grounds with some sort of sticky substance—which may have been Elmer’s glue, I’m not sure—and then gently sponged the mixture onto my face.

Cowboy stubble—voilà!

Then, there was my own killer addition—a big wad of bubble gum in my check which I worked like chewing tobacco, even spitting from time to time to make my character come alive.

I believe I was the most convincing cowboy around those parts.

Except for the sneakers.

I probably could have used a pair of boots.

Cheryl’s go-to costume, Pippi Longstocking


  1. We used vaseline and coffee grounds. People totally thought it was real.

  2. This is so interesting. I don't know that I ever saw you in your cowboy costume, but I do remember that I used to think you reminded me of John Wayne. Funny, hunh? Maybe I was intuiting your inner cowboy all those years?

    1. Dad loved John Wayne. My costume (and personality) may have reflected this. :-)