OLD SCHOOL FRIDAYS - FRIGHT Song for Our Candidates

Okay, this weeks Old School Friday theme is "Fight Song For My Candidate". Since it's Halloween, I have decided to mess with that theme - just a bit, muhahahaha!

Frankly, I hate election years and I think most politicians are evil incarnate or at the very least, jackasses. By Super Tuesday I want to run for President myself just to highlight all the stupidity. By election day I'm so sick of all the lies, the back stabbing and the posturing I want to scream. Besides, all the debates mess with my favorite television shows!

So, with apologies to MsMarvelous and the other OSFers who have followed the rules - not something I am noted for - please accept my tongue-in-cheek post in the spirit it was intended - as poking a little Halloween fun at our political system, make your guesses which video refers to which candidate for President and Vice President, lol:

"Pledge allegiance" to the Black Widow - Alice Cooper:

Welcome to My Nightmare - Alice Cooper:

The Witch Doctor - Alvin and the Chipmonks:

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Halloween Song:

And For All You Retro Fans: Here's a little fun Halloween post with the entire broadcast of Orson Well's infamous War of the Worlds Broadcast on Halloween Night, 1938.


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THURSDAY THIRTEEN - My 13 Favorite Halloween Trick or Treat Candies

October 31st was a day I looked forward to all year when I was a kid. Why? Because I got to dress up as something or someone else in a fun costume (read about my favorite Halloween Costume ever here) and because I got a ton of free candy that lasted me for a whole month! I didn't have to dip into my allowance for a whole 4 or 5 weeks thanks to my greedy little Trick or Treat runs!

Back in the fifties Trick or Treating was an art! We knew exactly how to get the most amount of candy in the shortest possible time, we knew the "good" neighborhoods and houses (the ones who gave out full sized candy bars and home made treats), and we knew which houses to avoid - the ones that gave out fruit or boxes of raisins - boo to that!

Sometimes we would hit a house that gave us each a whole Halloween bag full of all kinds of different treats! This was a jackpot house and usually one of the houses that was totally decked out for the holiday with multiple Jack-O-Lanterns, spooky floating ghosts in their trees, dancing skeletons hanging from rafters and a costumed adult who was enjoying the Halloween as much as us kids.

Below is my list of my favorite Halloween Treats of all time. I hope it brings back some fond memories of All Hallow's Eve for you too:

Yes, in the "olden days" people actually made these up and gave them out as Halloween Treats on October 31st! I loved them as a kid and still do. There is a green apple lollipop coated in caramel out there now that's not such a bad substitute made by Charms.

This was one of my Mom's favorite things to make up for Halloween Trick or Treaters and I looked forward to them all year. She used Jolly Pop popcorn and Karo Corn Syrup to make them and there's nothing out there made commercially that compares to my Mom's popcorn balls! My first stop for a treat on October 31st was always my own home!

In those days a full size Hershey's Chocolate bar was 5 cents. That was a whole weeks allowance for me! So getting one in my Trick or Treat bag was a totally awesome haul!

I still love these and I can only find them at Halloween. They always come wrapped in orange and black wax paper. They're hell on my teeth but I'll gum them if I have to as I age.

I love Butterfingers when they're fresh. Crunchy, sweet and salty and full of peanut butter goodness. Yum! If they're stale and hard and don't melt in your mouth they suck though, lol.

I liked all the Necco wafers but all chocolate packages were my fave!

I'm very fond of licorice and this was the best licorice gum ever made - in fact, maybe the only licorice gum ever made, lol.

The old style ones! You know, where there were full sized almonds on the top? The new Mars Bars just don't cut it for me.

Tootsie Rolls are still one of my favorite "chocolate" flavored candies. I especially loved the long, skinny ones but the tiny bite sized ones were good too. The full sized bars always made me think of doggy poo and I had to break them apart to eat them - same candy but the psychological effect ruined the taste for me, lol.

Wax anything is fine by me. I used to love wax lips, whistles, and especially the sweet, liquid filled wax pop bottles. Do you remember those? They came in a six pack!

11. DOTS
Dots were always my favorite gummy style candy. These were around way before the days of the gummy candy of today which I have never cared for - it's too hard and chewy! Dots were soft and I loved getting them at the movies too. Nope, JuJuBes sucked, sorry!

Still the best caramel corn out there and still comes with a prize!


Don't hand out fruit! Don't give kids a penny or a nickel (yes, some people did that - although a nickel in those days was acceptable!) Don't give out pamphlets telling kids that Halloween is evil and don't turn off the lights, lock the door and ignore the knock or doorbell! If you do any of these things then you deserve to be peeling off soggy toilet paper on November 1st!


ONLY TWO MORE DAYS TO HALLOWEEN and my RETRO HALLOWEEN PAJAMA PARTY RADIO SHOW - Join the fun on Friday, October 31st at 4 pm (pacific), 6 pm (central) or 7 pm (eastern)!
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Candy Corn Photo courtesy of Willc2

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RETRO HALLOWEEN COMMERCIALS MONDAY - Elvira, Frankenberry and Count Chocula

Do you remember Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and her horror show Elvira's Movie Macabre? I loved this bee-hived, valley girl speaking black vamp(ire)! She was so camp and over the top and she was sexy! Actress Cassandra Peterson took that character and made a career of her.

And what about General Mills' special Halloween cereals, Frankenberry and Count Chocula? Born in the early seventies, these were really good sugary cereals with spook appeal. I've often wondered why Boo Berry never got equal billing, lol. Here's a great article on these retro pop culture icon foods by Pete Glover.

Enjoy my little advertising trip down Trick or Treat Town from the past:

ONLY 4 MORE DAYS TO HALLOWEEN and my RETRO HALLOWEEN PAJAMA PARTY RADIO SHOW - Call in (347-326-9293) to join the fun on Friday, October 31st at 4 pm (pacific), 6 pm (central) or 7 pm (eastern)!

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CAPTAIN KANGAROO - The Ultimate Classic Kiddie Show

I am in the process of writing and illustrating a comic book style graphic novel on growing up as a baby boomer and this week I was writing about growing up as part of the television generation.

We baby boomers were the first generation to be really influenced by this new medium. We watched cartoons and western serials on Saturday mornings and ran home from school to watch the now classic kiddie shows like Howdy Doody and Soupy Sales. Our older siblings were dancing to the tunes on American Bandstand while we were laughing at the antics of White Fang, Black Tooth, Clarabell, Flub-a-dub and Dilly Dally.

I had my favorites that I watched on a regular basis, including Howdy, Soupy, Mighty Mouse, and others, but my favorite by far was Captain Kangaroo. I loved that show and was particularly fond of Mr. Moose, Mr. Green Jeans and Bunny Rabbit. The Treasure House (later renamed The Captain's Place) served as a wonderful fantasy world where animals talked, there was always a carrot in the Captain's giant pockets for Bunny Rabbit (who was always tricking the Captain into handing them over), there was a Magic Drawing Board, and Mr. Moose's knock knock jokes always brought down a rain of ping pong balls on the Captain's Head!

The original Captain Kangaroo show ran from 1955 to 1984 on CBS, starting out in black and white (my era) and turning to color in 1968. The first four years - my viewing years - the show was live. For the first three months Captain Kangaroo aired only on weekday mornings, after that it aired on Saturday mornings as well. Hugh Brannum was Mr. Green Jeans, Cosmo Allegretti was the voice/actor of Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose, Dancing Bear, Grandfather Clock and of course, Bob Keeshan was Captain Kangaroo.

Some fun trivia about Captain Kangaroo:
Those giant pockets on Captain Kangaroo's suit were the basis for his name - Kangaroo!
Bob Keeshan (The Captain) was the original Clarabelle the Clown on Howdy Doody!
The first show premiered October 3, 1955 - the same day as The Mickey Mouse Club!

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YOU'VE GOT PHONE! - Before computers, cell phones and e-mail?

IN THE SEVENTIES IT WASN'T "You've Got Mail" it was "You've Got Phone"!

Does anyone else remember the Phone Mate? Do you remember the days when having your own telephone answering machine was considered High Technology? This was in the Stone Age, back in the seventies and we were just beginning to hear about "computers". There was no such thing as cell phones (at least for the masses), laptops, PDAs, iPods, Bluetooth or any of today's cool mod cons we take for granted.

I got my Phone Mate in the early seventies. It was a big black and fake wood plastic box with reel to reel recording for both the outgoing and incoming messages. You recorded your first outgoing message with great excitement - something cutesy and totally annoying or something totally boring like "Leave your message at the tone". Being a total freakazoid I had to do "cutesy" - though I can't remember that exact first message. Your caller was allowed up to a minute for their message - if they had more to say, tough luck!

This was my first foray into anything High Tech and I was totally jazzed at the freedom my new answering machine was going to give me! I showed it off to all my friends. I laughed at some of the first phone messages I received - people were so taken by surprise they sputtered for most of the message or just hung up!

It's been a long time since that first phone message machine, I have a smart phone, 3 computers, MP3 players - you name it, if it has buttons and computer chips I have one! But sometimes I look back at the days before technology followed me around like a puppy and think that maybe simpler is better.

Oh crap, I've got phone again, can't people just leave me alone for five minutes????

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RETRO COMMERCIALS MONDAY - The Rolling Stones do Snap, Krackle and Pop - I kid you not!

My back has gone out again and I woke up with my own personal Snap, Krackle and Pop this morning. It made me think of all those Rice Krispies commercials I used to watch when I was a kid. What used to be my breakfast cereal is now my morning music as my creaking bones complain at any untoward abuse, lol.

In America we were only entertained by Snap, Krackle and Pop, but in Britain in 1964 the teenagers were given the treat of being sold breakfast cereal by none other than The Rolling Stones! Here is Mick, Keith, Bill and Charlie rockin' out with some serious snap, krackle and pop:


Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good to Eat - A HALLOWEEN BUNNY TALE

My favorite Halloween costume from the good old days of Trick or Treating!

Halloween was my favorite holiday as a kid. I don't remember my very first Halloween Trick or Treating excursion but I do remember some great moments from those years and some of my favorite costumes. Thanks to my mother, who was a whiz with her post World War II Singer Sewing Machine, I wore some great costumes over the years on the 31st of October.

I don't know how Mom managed to find the time to design and sew my costumes, she was a working mother of three with a full time job during all the years of my Trick or Treat era. The few years she didn't work outside the home she took care of other people's children in our home, leaving her very little time to herself. It's amazing to me now that I ever had custom Halloween costumes, but I did and they were really wonderful works of art and a testament to Mom's abilities as a seamstress and costume designer!

The one that stands out most in my mind was my turquoise corduroy bunny costume. It was a full body suit, somewhat like pajamas with feet except it had a "hood" complete with wire lined bunny ears. No floppy ears for me, my bunny ears could stand straight up or even have a cocky little tilt at the tip! The hood wrapped around my head and the forehead area even had a little point in the middle.

The whole bunny suit was lined with a light pink satin, including the inside of the ears, and Mom accented the sleeves, the ankles and the front zipper with a darker pink ribbon. I seem to remember this ribbon being grosgrain, but I know it wasn't a zig-zag style ribbon because Mom didn't like zig-zag ribbons! She said they were "tacky", lol. The hood also had a pink drawstring to tighten it around my face - which had been appropriately painted up with a little bunny nose and whiskers!

The most astonishing part of this whole outfit was the matching costume my mother made for my doll! This costume was an exact replica of mine, right down to the pink drawstring for the hood - except Mom reversed the color palette. I had one of those Betsy Wetsies or a Tiny Tears - I can't remember which - though it did wet a diaper when you gave it a baby bottle filled with water. I dragged that doll around for several years, even after Butthead drove his bike over her face and she was scarred with a tire track across her cheeks! Next to Lambie (my stuffed toy lamb), this doll was my favorite toy and my mother lovingly gave it a costume to match.

This costume and the matching doll outfit were both marvels of beautiful and elegant workmanship. They were created by a devoted mother who spent many late nights of additional work at a sewing machine after an already full day of working at a job. I was too young at the time to understand the effort my mother expended to create those Halloween bunny suits but I loved them both dearly. I grew out of my costume by the next year but decades later I still have that doll and it's still dressed in it's own miniature bunny suit.

Halloween for me will always be a fun holiday of dress up, free candy and Trick or Treating. But more importantly it is and always will be a reminder and a testament to my mother's love of sewing and of me.

Happy Halloween, Mama, I love you and miss you.

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RETRO COMMERCIALS MONDAY - Halloween Ads and Commercials of the Past

We're coming up on Halloween - one of my favorite holidays - and I decided it might be fun to post some retro Halloween commercials for you. This one is a commercial for Halloween Costumes from Woolworth's from the 1970s.

Even Halloween costumes can be retro! Look at how they've featured Wonder Woman, The Hulk and Star Wars Costumes - all of those being the subject matter of television shows or movies at the time. You'll also get a kick out of the prices back then!

Do you remember going into the dime store and staring at the stacks of boxes holding these inexpensive costumes? Then how about wearing them? If you lived where it was cold your mother either made you wear a jacket over the costume, ruining the whole concept of dressing up, or you had layers of sweaters on underneath, turning your superhero into a fat blob! If you lived where it was still warm those costumes and masks didn't breath and you were running around Trick or Treating drenched in sweat! Oh, the joys of begging for free candy once a year!

Often Halloween masks were those of political figures of the day - I can't tell you how many Richard Nixons showed up at my door during the Watergate era! I'm wondering just how many Obamas, Hillarys and McCains will be Trick or Treating at my door this year?

Listen closely for the reference to Space Pops near the end. Wonder whatever happened to those?

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I REMEMBER WHEN - Hippie Parties Back in the Sixties

Flower Power, Peace Signs and Hanging Beads Don't Mean Sixites Party!

I found this 60s Hippy Party video on YouTube and was cracking up at what today's generation thinks our parties might have looked like.

Guys, you made a valient effort to create the mood, you even got those beaded room dividers up all over the place. The Peace sign was pasted all over the walls along with large daisy like flower outlines and some poster reproductions were strategically placed. You got some long haired wigs, some headbands and hung some beads around your neck, but. . . .

The posters were a little offbase for a sixties hippie crash pad. You had one of James Dean who was killed in 1955, I saw one with Ann Margaret's 1964 movie Kitten With A Whip (not hippie!), and a Beach Party poster with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon - these two people who were almost anti-hippie! What you would really have seen on our walls were posters from the rock concerts of the Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and always a poster that said "War Is Not Healthy For Children and Other Living Things".

At least you got the year of the real Woodstock right, 1969. Thank God I didn't see any of those posters from those silly, ersatz Woodstock concerts of recent years.

Your guests got a little confused in the clothing department too. I saw a couple of guys that looked more like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever than Abby Hoffman at a Viet Nam war protest rally. Take note, paisley, tie die and some olive drab (army jackets) were fashion musts in the sixties. I'll give you all points for wearing beads - I just wish they'd been real love beads and not souvenirs from a Mardi Gras parade!

The saddest part was that your music was not only not the sixties of Donovan or The Grateful Dead but it wasn't even American Rock or Pop at all. Now, how can you have a sixties party without our iconic music? I really wanted to hear "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small, but the ones that mother gives you don't do anything at all. Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall" or maybe just one "Truckin"!

You had those hanging beads everywhere - not just in the doors or windows but all over the room. Trust me, if we'd had those beads hanging from every rafter during one of our parties we would have gotten tangled up in them and started the "love in" a bit too early! I do thank you for reminding me about those hanging beads - they were really popular in the late sixties and seventies and for some reason I had forgotten about them. Yes, I had some. What self respecting Hippie didn't?

Any interior designer will tell you that lighting is important to mood and I didn't see that sixties glow here. I saw a couple of flashes that might have been an attempt at strobe lights, but, kids, if you really want to throw a real sixties party you need the right lighting. We didn't even have twinkle lights in the sixties and where, in the name of Bob Dylan, are the black lights and the lava lamps???

I know most of you weren't even a twinkle in your (probably hippie) parents eyes in the sixties, so I forgive you for turning the parties of my youth into a cliche. But the next time you guys want to have an authentic sixties hippie party, take some pointers from someone who was there. You might even want to invite one of us for true authenticity - after all we really knew how to party back in the day! Peace out, man and don't bogart that fun!

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RETRO COMMERCIALS MONDAY - Washing Dishes to Soften Your Hands?

Do you remember the days before dishwashers? Women had their hands in soapy liquid 3 times a day washing up the family dinnerware, glasses, cutlery, and messy pots and pans. Their hands would dry out from being dunked in harsh soap and water all the time.

Then the dishwashing liquid sellers got wise and started to claim their product made the skin soft and young! The thing that kills me about this commercial is I'm trying to figure out if this woman dunked her face in the Ivory to keep herself looking as "young, like her daughter"?

Growing up in the fifties we did the dishes by hand. Dishwashers were unheard of in my neighborhood. My sister, Patty, and I did the dishes together, she washed and I dried. Butthead, my brother, never had to do the dishes - he took out the trash. I would rather have taken out the trash but that was a "boy's job." Ah, the good old days of sexual stereotyping.

My mother even gave me instructions for what gets washed first!
Mom, "Terri, you wash the glasses first, then the silverware, then the plates and then, and only then, the pots and pans!"
Me, "Why, Mama?"
Mom, "Because you want the dishes you eat from to be clean and when you do those first the dishwater isn't dirty and greasy from the pots and pans."
Me, "Then why don't you just wash all the dishes under the faucet with the clean water?"
Mom, "Because that would be a waste of water!"
Me, "Oh. Then, couldn't we just buy new dishes every meal?"
Mom, "Don't be silly!"
All I can say is thank God for ModCons!

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OLD SCHOOL FRIDAYS - Baby Making?? What? No Way!

This weeks Old School Friday theme is "Baby Making" - I kid you not! Oh No, Girl! I ain't going down that road! I never encourage baby making because I think there are too many babies being born unwanted.

So I shall post a romantic song instead from my youth - which might have resulted in a baby if my Mama had not drummed some morals and the fear of God into me the minute I hit puberty!!!

This Guy's In Love With You
by the Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. My boyfriend, Randy, gave me this album on prom night - this was "our song"

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participantsIf you want to join in on the fun, click here.


THURSDAY THIRTEEN - My 13 Favorite Shows on TV (Currently!)

Since my post this week is about television (again), I got wise and decided to post it on my television blog - THE BOOB TUBE BLOG!

Sorry for the redirect but this post was more TV than Retro this week! Just click my TT icon above or read the full post of my Favorite Fall TV Shows here.


WEDNESDAY - I REMEMBER WHEN: School Days, Crayolas and Prang Watercolors!

The Start of School for me always meant new crayons, new pencils and paper, a new box of crayons and a new set of Prang paints!

When I was a kid school always started in September, the first full week after Labor Day. The Labor Day weekend was one of picnics to celebrate the end of summer and mad, last minute rushes to the dime store to pick up a forgotten supply for the first day of school.

I always got a few new dresses, a new pair of shoes and new underwear. For my grade school supplies I usually got a new lunch box, a box of pencils, a couple of erasers and a stack of Big Chief tablets (in later years Pee Chee Folders and lined notepaper), a new wooden ruler (somehow I always managed to snap these into pieces every year!), a bottle of Elmer's Glue and my beloved boxes of Crayolas and Prang watercolors.

Armed thus with my armaments of education I marched off to the battle of my first day of school in a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I was happy to see friends I had not seen for the three months of summer vacation, but I was always anxious about who my new teacher(s) would be and if they would like me. Several times in my life we moved during the summer and my anxiety levels ramped up at the fear of making new friends as well as adjusting to a new school.

But no matter what school I was attending, I always had my "best friends" - my art supplies - with me. The best times in school for me were the "art" classes - an hour or so of construction paper, that tasty school glue, little scissors with round tips, pipe cleaners, crayons, clays, tempera paints, macaroni and paper doilies. I loved each and every holiday time at school because it meant a little extra time was given over to craft projects for the holiday coming up.

For me the memories of Fall and my early school days are always entwined with my love of art and my always present childhood friends of crayons, paints and coloring!

And speaking of Fall - HALLOWEEN IS COMING - ARE YOU GETTING READY FOR THE SEASON OF SPOOKS? Need some fun Halloween clothing or decor for the home? Then get the Trick or Eat Monster on fun coasters, snack bowls, aprons, cups and apparel at my online shop - TRICK OR EAT available at the PopArtDiva Boutique's Halloween Department!