From 1962-1968 I was in grade school in a small Oklahoma town that was kept solvent by Phillips 66, Reda Pump, and Cities Service.
Will Rogers Elementary School served Grades 1-6 in those days. Once a year came Fun Night!
It was only much later that I figured out that Fun Night was probably a PTA fundraiser. For us kids, it was simply Fun Night!
At Fun Night, all sorts of activities went on. There was a Cake Walk (boring!), a gypsy Fortune Teller, variations on Cake Walks (boring-er!!), carnival-like games of skill, and a fishing game. This involved dangling a string on a bamboo pole until it hung past a barrier. Crouched down, unseen by us kids, a parent would attach a trinket to the line.
As you can imagine, the “prizes” we won were the same sorts of things you could get from a penny-candy dispenser. Wax moustaches, little rubber balls, marbles, the dreaded pencil or pink eraser -- these were some of the “prizes” won for the price of the tickets our parents bought at the ticket booth.
But for me …. The best prizes were the scary or monster ones! And one of my treasures from the 1960s ….
Theoretically, you put these in your pocket. Your unsuspecting patsy (AKA everybody else) would think a skeleton was crawling from your pocket.
I didn’t learn until much later that these things were often sold with a plastic skull attached.
By the 1970s, such a plain little scare couldn’t make it on its own; it was bundled as a come-along when you bought other stuff! The ad above was from the September, 1970 Boys Life.
Here’s a color ad.
Don’t feel bad, Skeleton Hands! You’re worth everything to my memory!
PS they looked like this when I wore them to church on Sunday, October 30th. Everybody admired them.