Halloween itself was also somewhat different from what it is today. No one had invented Trick or Treat, but we did go up and down the street to call on friends and neighbors. We always wore masks and usually costumes (at least when we were young). Favorite costumes were the easiest ones -- tramps, old women, ghosts, or cowboys. (We all had our own cowboy outfits. Mine consisted of sheepskin chaps, a plaid wool shirt, a leather vest, and of course a white ten gallon hat.) Clowns, Mexicans, and Chinamen also prowled the streets, having probably purchased their costumes at Penny Walker's, the favorite toy store in town, located on the north side of Court Street halfway between Chenango and Carroll Streets.
I once had a purchased costume, too. It was an Uncle Sam outfit complete with red and white striped pants, blue jacket, hat with stars and last but not least a flowing grey beard that fastened under the chin on an elastic strap that reached around behind the head and was mostly hidden by the hat. It must have been the first for a Halloween party at school where for many years it was well remembered and often requested when any sort of patriotic program was to be given. After I had outgrown it, Mother kept it for years in the attic wrapped in tissue paper in a Marean-Lauder suit box so she would know exactly where it was when it was needed. Finally, succumbing to an urge to clean out the attic, she gave the costume, box and all, to the school and turned the responsibility for its care over to the educators.
This picture was taken in the
driveway at Leroy Street. Enterprising photographers would travel
around Binghamton with their ponies so that children could have
their pictures taken on them. This is one of two photos Dad had
taken. We also have one of Mom at about the same age.
About his dog Don, Dad wrote:
I well remember one morning when I arose early and found a new but partially mutilated ice coupon book below the mail slot that served to get mail into our living room. The ice man had put the book there thinking it would be safe inside. He had not reckoned with our dog, Don, then just a puppy, and Don had had a good chew.
When I found the book, I did not immediately recognize it for what it was, but decided that the little pieces of stiff paper would make good circus tickets if I ever decided to put on a circus; and I proceeded to finish the job Don had begun, and tore all the tickets apart.
When Mother arrived on the scene a little later, had I known the expression, I would certainly have said, "All Hell broke loose." Consternation ran rampant and the tears were almost equal to an overflowing of a basin under the ice box. Mother was sure she had spent good money and would have nothing to show for it. Only after she had explained the situation to the ice company and been reassured that they would replace the damaged book did she calm down and resume her usually calm tone of voice in speaking to either the dog or me.
Click here for more stories about Don!
Picture taken in empty
lot at66 Lathrop Ave.
Billy Morgan, Hank,
and Friend in
driveway at Leroy Street.
Class of 1938