Friday, February 8, 2019 – As God Is My Witness
Stop now if you think this is going to have a religious tint. I’m just paraphrasing Scarlett O for the introduction.
As God is my witness I have never done blackface. Even years ago we knew it was wrong. However, there was that one time when I applied black shoe polish to my face.
I was 12 and my Halloween costume was blue jeans, a horizontally striped black and white t-shirt, a black velvet beret, and bongo drums. Where in the confines of Magnolia, Texas I found bongo drums I do not recall. I applied a generous amount of black Kiwi Shoe Polish to create – ala resembles – a goatee set of facial hair. I am certain I created an interesting site since I was still wearing bronze looking, cat-eye glasses (with sequins.)
I recall being with another person who had on a similar costume – sans faux facial hair. It was probably Mollie H., but could have been Karen No Facebook. Here are some questions you should be asking yourselves.
• What in the world were you dressed as? We had to explain with every opening door. When the door opened one of us would say “You rang?” or “We are beatniks!” Then I would beat on the bongos a few times and one of us would say “Can you dig it? The other would say “We are cool cats.” Most people just looked at us in a mild state of confusion, but we still got candy. Then we’d leave with a “Thanks Daddy-O.”
• Bonus question for Colfax, Louisiana readers – Where did you get a black velvet beret? From one of Myrtle’s boxes. Remember those?
• How did two 12 year old girls in Magnolia, Texas even know what a beatnik was? You got me. Probably same place I borrowed the bongos.
• Your mothers let you go out like that? Yep. In fact one of them probably drove us Trick or Treating.
• What year was this? 1961 – The upside down year.
• Was this your last year to dress like a beatnik and go Trick or Treating? Yes. And after my first year in college I had moved to a full-fledged, tie-dyed, bell-bottom wearing hippie. Ya’ll should have seen that coming when I was 12. Groovy, huh? Peace out!