This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Halloween ( #AtoZChallenge )


Halloween is that peculiar time when "this is me" is me trying to be someone or something else.  At least that used to be me...


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter


           When I was a kid I loved Halloween.  It was my third favorite holiday after Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Candy was the big draw, but dressing up was fun--often creative fun.  When I started working on the touring shows I was dressing up all the time as part of my job.  Dressing up and performing before audiences was like trick or treat come to real life.

           Some of you might recall that my blog Tossing It Out started in September of 2009 as a Halloween blog.  Since my job of 18 years managing a wholesale costume warehouse in the Los Angeles area had ended and no new job was appearing before me, I decided to take up blogging with the intent of writing about what I knew--the Halloween industry.  That direction soon changed as I became more interested in writing and chasing down eclecticism.

         When the recent blackface controversies arose I started thinking back to see if I could recall whether I had ever seen anyone I knew made up in blackface.  I couldn't recall ever seeing anyone other than on TV or movies in blackface.  I was positive that I had never done it.  Then I came across a photo from around 1993 which I have reproduced below.  Yes, this is me with my two youngest daughters all dressed up for Halloween. 

         I don't see any problem with my black and white themed costume and I certainly didn't have any racial intent in dressing this way. Actually I had a pair of white pants that I never wore so I decided to use them for Halloween.  At my workplace we sold the black shirts, white suspenders and ties, and the make-up so I combined them all for my study in black and white.

          But, yes, this is me...





       Pictured alongside me are my daughters (left to right) Emilee and Angelina.  Emilee is now a star real estate agent in NJ and Ange, also in NJ, is a mother of two children as well as an amazing pastry chef who turns out some spectacular cakes and other goodies that I love to eat even though I probably shouldn't.

       Do you see any problem with my costume as pictured?   Aren't my daughters adorable?    Did you like Halloween as a child and do you like it now?  If you had children did you ever dress up in costume to take them trick-or-treating?



     

40 comments:

  1. I don't see it a problem with it. You are half and half, not blackface.

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    1. L.Diane, I was thinking about contrasts rather than anything racial. I plead innocent.

      Lee

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  2. I think it's actually the opposite of controversial. I think it represents equality and diversity if we are looking at it from the perspective of race.

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    1. Ada, I like your thinking, but I'm biased.

      Lee

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  3. Probably more controversial - did your daughter know you were posting this picture of them or are they used to your Blogging after 10 years of surprise posts? They’re a wholesome and cute pair.

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    1. Genee, I didn't think they'd even see this post and then they comment on it on Facebook and in the previous comment. I'm happy they saw the post and I was pretty sure they wouldn't mind me doing it.

      Lee

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  4. I guess I wouldn't choose it under today's climate-- your daughters are adorable - very impressed with the pastry chef-- I am so not a baker- too exact and hard!

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    1. Lynn, from the standpoint of not eating more than I should and too much sugar, it might be good that I live to far to try many of Angie's goodies. She's really good at baking.

      Lee

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  5. A great H for the challenge Lee.
    I am missing out on all the fun not taking part but I knew how things are at present I wouldn't be able to keep up. Have a great challenge miss you all.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, glad you were able to take the time to visit today. I miss seeing your A to Z posts.

      Lee

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  6. I don't think it's controversial. It's not like you're in blackface or dressed like a golliwog. I like Halloween because I met my partner at a Halloween party so it's our anniversary.

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    1. OA, pretty cool that you met your partner at a Halloween party. My youngest brother was born on Halloween so we always had that point of significance.

      Lee

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  7. I absolutely love Halloween. As in, my boyfriend and I build a yard haunt for Halloween every year, and we get about 250 visitors. That is only counting the kids (we count by how many little bags of candy we give out). Counting the parents and other adults (who we always encourage to go through with their kids), we must have 400 come through our haunt yearly. Some of the kids go through 4 or 5 times, which is always flattering, especially when they politely admit that they've already been given candy (which most of them do, actually!). We are a bit of a neighborhood attraction, and it is great. It is also a lot of work, but whatever. We start building in late September and give ourselves a little over a month to get ready in--and it's still always a bit down to the wire.

    Anyway, yeah. I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday.

    And I don't have a problem with your costume, because it doesn't look to me as if you intended the black side of your face to look like a parody of a dark-skinned person. Just one side is the color black, and the other side the color white. Still, I don't know--someone might be upset about it.

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    1. Melanie, sounds like an impressive display. I'd like to go through it myself!

      Nobody was upset back when I did it. The following year I dressed in green coveralls painted my face green and wore a green wig. I was really green.

      Lee

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  8. Your daughters absolutely are adorable.

    Halloween may be closer to my top holiday because I really enjoy seeing how much the little kids love it. The costumes are so cute and handing out candy is fun for me...as long as they don't cut through the flower beds, because I am a geezer.

    Thanks, and best wishes!
    Cherdo
    Cherdo on the Flipside
    Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge

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    1. Cherdo, now my daughters are beautiful young women.

      I'm really a geezer at Halloween. I keep my lights off and block off the entrance to my porch. Bah, humbug!

      Lee

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  9. Yes they are, and no I don't. I think the whole thing is ridiculously overblown, and I wouldn't give two cents over it except it was another case of Dems eating their young.

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    1. CW, it's gotten so crazy. Sometimes we should just have fun and a good sense of humor.

      Lee

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  10. Honestly, I'm so weary of folks taking offense at every little thing. This pix is adorable!

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    1. Myra, I'm so afraid to speak my opinion anymore. I stay home a lot.

      Lee

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  11. Here down under Halloween hasn't been a thing,up until maybe 10 years ago you would never see Halloween stuff in shops. So I don't do Halloween

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    1. Jo-Anne, when I was in the Halloween business I had some customers from Australia who would fill empty suitcases with stuff they bought at our shop. I'm guessing they must have brought them filled with stuff from Australia to unload in America. They seemed like fun people.

      Lee

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  12. I see no issue at all, and yes, your daughters are soooo cute! I had this blow up on FB, when I (re)posted a photo of my son age 7 for Halloween. He wanted to be Geordi LaForge from Star Trek. I thought that was so cool, because LaVar Burton also did Reading Rainbow and my son loved that show. LaVar Burton was one of his heroes. I've posted the photo for years in LaVar's honor and because it was cute. Not anymore...:(

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    1. Lisa, this over-sensitivity that leads to offense seems to be resulting in history being forgotten and erased. I certainly don't see anything wrong with trying to dress up in honor of someone specific even if they are another race. That's partly what Halloween and other dress up times are about.

      Lee

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  13. I see no deeper meaning in your Halloween costume other than the contrasting colors. You could just as easily have chosen red and green if the pants and suspenders had been in Christmas colors...but today I'm sure someone would call you out for that as well. Oh, the times they are a changin'.

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    1. Patricia, in our modern time if somebody doesn't like what you're doing or just what you represent to them they will ostentatiously let it be known. In past more tactful times people were more polite and careful. Nobody said anything to me that Halloween because there was not much negative to say about my get-up.

      Lee

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  14. Cute kids. I can't get over how offended some people are by the strangest things. Black and white is black and white.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Janet, in our divided times there's always going to be something that will offend someone who is likely to get all bent out of shape about it.

      Lee

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  15. Ok, now I am going to date myself.

    In the 60s there was a tv show called Star Trek - starring William Shatner. It wasn't really popular at the time, but took on a huge following after the show was cancelled. One of their episodes was about 2 beings from another universe - one (supposedly the good guy) was chasing the other one (supposedly the bad guy) through space to bring him back home for some sort of punishment. They looked exactly the same - exactly! Half white face and half black face. Same body type, same costume, same hair. Twins it seemed. At the end of the episode Captain Kirk asked the good guy why he was chasing the bad guy. What exactly did the bad guy do? The good guy was unbelieving. He said - "don't you see it is obvious, just look at him." No one could tell what they were supposed to see. Finally the good guy said - "My face, look at my face. Right side is black and left side is white. That guy's face is Right side is white and black side is left." I feel like that show was ahead of its times in many ways. Many of their shows had lessons at the end like this one.

    No - I have no problem with your split face - AND I have no problem with the black face pictures that are in old books. I don't believe in judging people and cultures of the past on the same standards that we hold today as correct. It's like blaming an adult for wetting their pants when they were 5 years old - and blaming them forever!! It is a crazy world we live in.

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    1. Knitter, So true! This is what I say a lot when people bring up what our ancestors did. We can discuss what they did, but it's unfair to judge them when they can't defend their actions. Let God do the judging.

      Lee

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  16. Arlie - if you are curious - Google "star trek black and white alien" and pictures will come up - looks like your theme. :-)

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    1. I do remember this episode. Maybe I was thinking about this at the time I put my costume together--I can't quite recall. Very much the same though my theme was happier because it was just black and white with no message.

      Lee

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  17. More like Marcel Marceau than blackface.

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    1. Roland, I agree. I think this is more what I was thinking when I concocted this costume.

      Lee

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  18. I love your outfit and it immediately reminded me of a Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin which is, oddly enough, about racism. Anyway, I have no issue at all with your outfit, your girls are so pretty and you should be proud of them. I love Halloween and, even though I don't have kids, I dress up to hand out the candy

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    1. Birgit, I used to dress up to hand out candy, but now I'd rather just sit and not be bothered. We seem to get a lot of older kids too and that doesn't seem quite right.

      Lee

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  19. I absolutely adore Halloween! It's such a myth that only kids should celebrate it or get excited about it. If anything, it's often more fun for adults. My Vintage Halloween photo folder is full of awesome old postcards, advertisements, pinup girls in Halloween costumes (rather tame by modern standards of sexiness), and miscellaneous Halloween images.

    Your costume reminds me a bit of the old domino costume at masquerade balls, only half-and-half instead of all one color. So many people have forgotten, or never knew, about the importance of context and intent.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, from the perspective of Halloween sales more money is spent by adults for their own fun than on kids. Some people really go all out to try and win costume contests in bars and such.

      I know what you're talking about in regard to the domino costume. These days one has to examine the possible repercussions of any costume we consider wearing.

      Lee

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  20. Lee,

    If I listened to liberals then I'd be offended by your blackface. It's a good thing I do not listen to those dunderheads because frankly there's nothing wrong with it. Yes, your daughters are absolutely adorable Emilee's costume resembles Belle's ballgown from Beauty and the Beast. My oldest was Belle one year. :) When I was a kid, Halloween was tops on my list. Like you it was first the candy then the dress up. It seems I did dress up when our kids were small but I didn't out in my costume. That would've been fun. I wish I had done that now. :( Oh the things we regret!

    My Little Mermaid art sketch series feature H is for 'HAMMERHEAD' shark.

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    1. Cathy, I think the costume Emilee is wearing in this picture is most likely a Belle costume. It would have been a costume that I sold at my business since that's where all my kids' costumes came from.

      Lee

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Lee