"El Suizo Gordo"

For Halloween 2011, we made lawn gnome costumes based on the characters in the animated movie "Gnomio and Juliet."

 "El Suizo Gordo"

Thanks to my involvement with the 1st NM Volunteer Infantry, several of whose members formed a subsidiary group called La Sociedad de la Entrada 1598, I became interested in the Spanish Colonial period. I spent a couple of years in repurposed Renaissance Faire peasant clothing before finally deciding to develop a Swiss Mercenary Pikeman impression.

Our main annual event is the Santa Fe Renaissance Faire, but we manage to have a couple other outings each year. With 2012 being the New Mexico statehood centennial, we were invited to the Statehood parade in Las Cruces.

 "Capt. Bachman"

Beginning in 1996 with the rededication of the 'Mormon Battalion' Monument located alongside Interstate 25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I developed an interest in the Mexican War period (1846-1848). Here I am in a uniform of the period; my talented better half made the jacket modifying one of the more common Civil War patterns. I found the pants in a surplus store and the rest of the gear was acquired from various 'suttlers.' I've since replaced this uniform with a more authentic wool frock coat and white canvas trousers.

Many thanks to Matthew Valdez who provided this copy of a photo he took at El Rancho de las Golondrinas' Civil War Weekend in 2009.

 KLINGON! (Stardate 2001.304)

For the last few years I have been spending Halloween as a Klingon warrior (BaQ'metH). In 2001, I finally got around to putting together a fairly accurate uniform including vest, chest armor, and gauntlets. In 2002 I did the metal trim on the chest armor and added a sash made from metalized snake skin, but there are still several additional details to be added including a decent belt buckle.

For 2003, I really didn't upgrade the costume except for adding a few trim pieces (including a 'pre-ban' buckle) given to me by new friend Mike Esch for helping with his Batmobile electrical gremlins. (Mike also loaned me the Bat'leth.) After wearing this stuff all day, I can see why Klingons are generally grumpy, but it's a lot of fun. I suppose someday I'll move on to something else!

See BaQ'metH threatening Star Fleet Captain Masciantoni with an ignoble death (Stardate 2002.304).

See BaQ'metH menacing ship's Counselor Rishma Khimji as Capt. Masciantoni looks on, amused - Does this pe'taQ take anything seriously? (Stardate 2003.304)

 "Mr. Gumby"

What does one do when one has grown tired of the effort needed to get made up in full Klingon ridges (not to mention the uncomfortable gear)? Why, go Gumby, of course! Mr. Gumby in his various incarnations is a long lived favorite of Monty Python fans. Sadly, to outsiders this get-up required detailed explanation, something not even the Pythons did.


Way back in 1971 I was going through my Dracula period. Dottie Ipson (my then-girlfriend) made this really fabulous cape complete with wire-fitted stiff collar.


More recently, I've enjoyed dressing up for Oktoberfest.

 In Merrie Olde England

Karen and my first married foray into the world of costuming were these outfits we made to wear to a Southern California Renaissance Faire in the late Seventies. We found a couple of Folkware brand patterns and each of us made our own costume (at the age of 18, I sat down in front of my mother's sewing machine and figured out how it worked).

 "12 O'Clock High"

I grew up on WWII movies and TV series such as Combat! and 12 O'Clock High. The B-17 "Picadilly Lilly" flown in the series by Gen. Frank Savage has for many years been on display at the Chino California airport.

Here I am during my (less portly) Air Force days posing in tan 'fifteen-oh-fives' and leather bomber jacket in front of this fine warbird.

 The Roarin' Twenties

Obviously, it's not too hard to dress up as a gangster (not gangsta'!). The dress Karen is wearing was formerly my Grandma's.

 "American Graffiti"

A surplus leather jacket and a greasy 'D.A.' hair style was what it took to impress the chicks during those Fabulous Fifties! We're obviously headed to a party, sometime during our days in Alaska.

 On the Cumbres & Toltec

I'm sure my kids thought I was pretty odd riding the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR in my engineer-striped overalls and matching cap. On this trip, we rode from Chama to Osier, had lunch, and rode back. At Osier I had the opportunity to climb up in the cab of 2-8-2 #484 for a photo op. The flip side of being this silly it that folks came up to the side of the locomotive and started asking me questions!


A few years earlier, I threw this together in a last minute effort to come up with something 'Halloweenie'. The pants are left over from my Renaissance Faire costume and the coat a cast-off bit of Eighties style. The stocking cap with integral hair was purchased at a Hallmark store for $20 (sort of a 'Grunge'-looking appliance) and hanging from the end is my Honewell contractor badge.

 "Cucina all'Aperto"

My work as the Program Chair for the Rio Grande District Boy Scouts gives me the chance to get out in front of everyone and have some fun. Our 2002 Spring Camporee had a cooking theme and being the Camporee Leader, I felt it necessary to 'set the tone' with a suitable get-up. Here, I'm slaving over a hot Dutch Oven.

 "De Ol' Folks at Home"

Just to prove that 'dress up' is rampant in my family, here we all are (including our first son-in-law) in 19th century garb posing for the Daguerreotype man. It's important to note that each person's costume is assembled from things we had around the house (or costume bits and pieces we had made for other occasions). Nothing is rented!

 "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!"

You probably have something that you would count as your favorite Christmas/Birthday Present - this is mine. A few years ago, the three youngest kids got together to re-create a classic 3-Stooges photo. I laughed my you-know-what off!

The original photo upon which this is based has the redoubtable Curly (AKA Jerome 'Babe' Horowitz) seated on the bench with Moe (Moses Horowitz - portrayed by Nicole) tweaking his ears and Larry (Lawrence Fine - stylized by Gabrielle) taking out his frustration on Moe's ears. Since Dietrich wouldn't submit to a buzz cut, he doubled as Shemp (Samuel Horowitz). Nicole and Gabrielle, both photo hobbyists, collaborated on shooting, developing, and printing the photograph.

You've probably seen the Stooges necktie with those three Knuckleheads decked out in Santa Claus hats - I always wear that one to church on the appropriate Sunday so I can tell other folks, "I brought my three Jewish friends to church for Christmas." Were I Hindu, I might consider myself the reincarnated Curly (who died just a few months before my birth).

 Same 3 Kids, Much Earlier

Here are the same three kids many years earlier, dressed up for Halloween. Dietrich is the Tin Man and Nicole the Wicked Witch of the West (or is it East?). Gabi Longstocking has obviously ended up in the wrong story - she's got pieces of coat hanger in her braids to give that fly away effect.

 "No More Trains!"

Karen is normally reserved and pleasant, but the lure of the footlights affects even her at times. With me dressed as a train engineer and the kids off-camera goading her into it, she emotes with the best of them.

Here, I am receiving a severe scolding for my total immersion in the all-too-consuming hobby of model railroading - I'm obviously into it over my head since I've been caught in this outfit outside the house and even wore it to the mall! (To be fair, during the incident in question I was participating in a mall train show.)

 "Transylvania 6-5000"

Like most teen-aged males, Dietrich doesn't do much advanced planning. As Halloween approaches, he remains singularly unimpressed with the idea of 'dressing up' for the event. But then as dusk draws near, the transformation begins.

In true Cheneyesque fashion (Lon Cheney Jr., not V.P. Dick Chaney), the Zombie appears! I suspect that the prospect of frightening the occasional trick-or-treater is the motivation for this costume. Fortunately, the 'halloween box' can always be counted on to provide an accessory or two and a splash of make-up.

 "Medusa Lives!"

On the other hand, females of the species have plans that are often well thought out in advance. Monique designed and stitched this amazing Medusa costume complete with spiraling snake headpiece and had it finished in plenty of time for Halloween 2000. The material is a snake skin print fabric.

Being the eldest daughter, Monique is probably the most accomplished seamstress of the bunch. Each of the girls learned sewing courtesy of Mom and all show some interest in making their own clothing. As one might imagine, each has her own sewing machine. Youngest daughter Gabrielle received hers when she graduated from Culinary School!

 "Flapper Girl"

Middle child Nicole is the premiere extrovert in this family of extroverts. Here, in a somewhat reoccuring theme, she is dolled up as a Roaring Twenties flapper girl for Halloween 2000. Her most memorable flapper appearance was at Highland High School's homecoming when she and a friend sang "Why Don't You Do Right?"

Like her sisters (and Dad), Nicole started high school as a 'band geek'. But after a couple of years, she felt that her true calling was in the Drama Department. (Thinking back, Nicole's life was often 'high drama'; her younger sister still complains about always having to play the prince in Nicole's medieval make-believes.)

Not so well seen in this photo is Monique's daughter Ceili, also dressed up for Halloween.

 "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo!"

Karen, a Marie Antoinette wig, Gabi's old prom dress, and a fiew props make a convincing Fairy Grandmother.

 "Dia de los Muertos"

Ceili depicting a traditional New Mexican 'Day of the Dead' spectre.

 "T-man Scissorhands"

T-man's mom is glad he doesn't really have scissorhands; he already tears the house up enough without them!

 "Which Witch is Which?"

Ceili, her little sister, and their cousin runnin' with the pointy hat crowd.