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June 4, 2017 / thackersam


Caption: We are a ways off from Halloween, but recently the Statue of Liberty (see picture) mentioned that she didn’t have any pictures of Vicki (The Chrysler Building). Scouring through my old photos, I came upon this one. I believe it was 1982.

Each Halloween, Vicki’s older brother rented a hall for a costume party for his many friends and their many friends. We decided to go that year, and settled on dressing as a chain gang, though no further planning had been made. We were all pretty broke, so buying costumes was out of the question, and we looked to Vicki, the creative one, to figure it out. Then she came to me with an odd suggestion. How bout if we go as famous buildings in New York City. Having no clue how she would pull this off, I said okay and called dibs on The Empire State Building.

One evening, I was summoned to Vicki’s parent’s house in Muttontown. It was a large, old-fashioned saltbox house, with lots of rooms of no great size. Except the kitchen. They had THE BEST kitchen ever! Vicki’s dad had folded up the long dining room table that left little room for anything else, as a work station for me and Liberty as Vicki worked in the living room across the front hallway. She had found two refrigerator boxes and broke them down, and with books of pictures of The Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, she meticulously drew outlines of the windows on the cardboard. She had finished one, that was splayed out on the dining room floor, and had started on the other when I arrived. It was my and Liberty’s job to color in the windows.

Clever Vicki had also found yards of an ugly green fabric that probably no one wanted, but was perfect for Liberty’s dress, and Mr. D., who was really into it, fashioned the torch so it lit up. I remember him popping into the room to show us, so pleased with himself. You have to understand that this kind of behavior in a parent was foreign to me, even though I’d spent nearly every holiday and then some in their home since high school.

But I’ll stay focused, regardless of the fact that it was getting hard for Liberty and I to remain so that night as we were drunk from the fumes of the thick, black magic markers, and had gone all giggly. In the end though, we had the costumes and they were great. Liberty was able to wear her costume to the hall, but Vicki and mine, now reassembled, were lying in the back of Vicki’s Volvo wagon, which has a few of its own stories to tell. When we got there, her brother suggested we go downstairs to the Ladies Room to put on our costumes, which in hindsight made no sense, as getting back up the stairs wearing ankle-length refrigerator cartons, could only be accomplished using small sidesteps. I grumbled at the ridiculousness (ah, to be young and stupid) as I slowly ascended the stairs when I heard someone say “Need a hand?” I looked up to the first landing, which I’d yet to reach, to see a guy dressed as an alien with numerous arms, and of course hands. “Not funny,” I fumed. It was funny, but I was not feeling it at that particular moment.

It was a fun party and we had a great time. Our competition for best group was stiff, as last year’s winners who had come as a sixpack of beer (I saw the pictures, and they looked great), came as Smurfs, and we expected them to win again. But we won, fair and square, despite Vicki’s relationship to the party organizer and that his wife represented Broadway as part of our group. I remember there being quite a few cute guys there that night, which may be why I’m the only one not looking at the camera.


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