I grew up like most kids, watching cartoons and loving superheroes, dinosaurs, and outer space. Every day I’d be playing with action figures, and race cars, while watching Ultraman on UHF. Every night I would go to bed in my Luke Skywalker underoos; but every late Friday night I would catch the Rocketman and Flash Gordon serials on channel 7. Like every kid, I wanted to be the hero I saw on the screen. So, every year on Halloween, I dressed as such and wandered around with other kids bagging for candy.
One year I was Underdog, in a costume my mother made. Yup, anything was possible. So back in October of 1977, I was farm boy Luke Skywalker. My family insisted that I made the costume; my first costume! But, I distinctly remember just standing on small table, with my arms outstretched like an airplane, while cloth was draped over me. Another year I was a mummy, which I don’t remember making myself, either.
The costume I actually remember making first, was actually an E.T. costume. A brownish long sleeve shirt with brownish pants and gloves, with a glow stick at the end of one finger, were the clothes. I constructed the head out of cardboard and tape,,,,painted it too! Folks loved it, but I am my own worst critic sometimes, and felt I could do better.
Another year I made a Ghostbuster costume. It had a gray shirt and gray pants and black shoes(Venkman style). I made the backpack out of cardboard and foam, all painted black, connected by a tube. The proton thrower was made from cardboard as well, with a pen light in the tip. I wore it to the school Halloween dance, and was led around by nearly everyone, because they wanted to “zap ghosts.”
Basically, every year I kept making my own costume. From Robocop to a half Batman half Joker, to an unintentional Captain Harlock, to Jack Skellington, to Fox Mulder, to Qui Gonn Jin, to Professor Snape, to Ace Ventura, to the Mask, to the Riddler(this must have been my Jim Carrey phase), to V for Vendetta, to Sweeney Todd, to Captain Jack Sparrow; to name a few(LOL). With Jack Sparrow I wore it to the Magic Kingdom, in Florida to their Halloween party. Well wore costumes, but due to what happened, mine was becoming a problem.
From the moment we stepped off the ferry, trying to make our way to the front gate, people kept asking to take a photo with me. As one can imagine, this slowed our progress into the park(and to the rest of our group) quite considerably. Once we got through the gate, I decided to press forward, head down and determined. Apparently there was a parade going on, as we made our way to the hub, and our group. Most of the way there, I was tapped on the back, and I turned around and up on the float was the park’s Jack Sparrow hollering at me. He tipped his hat and bowed to me as I did the same to him, smiling widely, before I turned and continued on my trek.
There were other adventures that night, for me. While in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I was stopped for photos over and over, and picked up many small admirers(much to the chagrin of the folks I was with). Also, while waiting outside It’s A Small World, two plain clothed Disney security wandered up to me. On their way, it clearly looked as though they thought I was their Jack, and were probably wondering where my character lead was! But, as they got closer their demeanor changed, and we could tell they new I didn’t “work” there. “Turning a lot of heads tonight?” they asked, smiling. Laughing, I replied,”A little.”
This whole thing was a really weird experience for me. I never posed for pictures with perfect strangers before, simply because I was dressed like a movie hero(or anti-hero?). I didn’t really think much of it after we left, except for some funny stories to tell. So, I went back to my usual yearly costume.