Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Two-Faced Halloween of 1968

            On Halloween, 1968, I was twelve years old—almost too old for trick-or-treating.  It was a Thursday night.  And this year I did a sneaky thing, something I’m not proud of now.  But it seemed cool at the time.

            Somehow, this year, I had access to two Halloween costumes.  Don’t ask me what the outfits were—but we can say with certainty that both involved masks.

            After darkness fell, I made the neighborhood trick-or-treat rounds and stocked up on candy.  Then I came home, changed into the other costume, and went out again, to the same houses.

             I remember this caper of shame for two reasons.  At one house the lady said, “Haven’t you already been here tonight?”  How did she know?  I was dressed completely different, including a mask over my face!   But when she said that, friends, I felt about this tall.  I wasn’t raised to be a cheater, but here I was—acting like one.

             Memory number two of this night:  When I wandered home, Mom and Dad were watching Raymond Burr in Ironside.  A vague ancillary memory recalls part of the episode taking place on what I recall as a surrealistic TV stage or play set, surrounded by darkness.

            And that’s how I was able to pin down the date for this memory!  “I, the People,” from Season Two of Ironside, is the only episode of that show’s run to air on a Halloween night.  The date was Thursday, October 31, 1968.

          And, as you can see from the first and following images, much of the show does indeed take place on a TV stage.  The story involves a populist, controversial talk-show host (played by Milton Berle) who receives death threats.

            So, you can see that my memory was pretty accurate!

 Happy Halloween memories!

  See you on Monday!


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