Trick or Treat – Queen and Doggy

By the time I was in Grade 4 I was already immersed in Egyptian art from my many hours spent at museums.

Egyptian musicians Dynasty 18th Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nice outfits, Dynasty 18

I also read a lot about ancient Egypt, and like most kids found the art and culture fascinating and beautiful. So when I was finally old enough to wear the Safran Egyptian Queen costume I was thrilled.

My mother had originally made this Halloween costume for my sister several years earlier.

The wig was made from strips of thick hair-like wool fabric and it sat very comfortably on the head. I liked it especially since the ladies of ancient Egypt also wore wigs that looked a lot like this one (to me anyway).

Betty Safran as an Egyptian queen

“Hail to thee oh Cleopatra my Queen” – that’s what the school janitor said to me as he bowed… and that’s when I discovered what it must feel like to be revered…too bad it only lasted one short moment.

I chose to wear a red cloak. We made it from a bed sheet that we dyed with Rit dye in the bathtub – a very exciting process for me.

Once it was dry and pressed, I had to stand still while my mother figured out how to sew and form the sheet into some kind of garment that I could walk in and keep secure around my neck.

I made the golden “beaded” collar under my mother’s direction – I stapled bits of paper onto a sparkly piece of fabric – a lame, but effective enough substitute for the real thing.

Getting the thick black eyeliner put on was difficult and uncomfortable but it made me feel glamorous and exotic.

And what a triumph when I went to school on Halloween and the janitor bowed down to me in the hall!

In 1970 my mother decided for me, that Grade 5 would be the last Halloween I would celebrate. I guess she had tired of the whole thing and she was ready to retire from costume making.

I still feel a touch of bitterness and disappointment about my last Halloween; me being only a mere child of 10 years. However, we are talking about my costume here in this post not my feelings – and I have to admit the costume was pretty cool.

I went as a Dapper Dog –

Dapper Dog costume083My mother spent some time creating the head-covering mask that made me look like a dog with nice floppy long ears. On top of this I wore a hat and for the rest of my costume I wore what looked like a suit. I seem to recall that I also had fuzzy mittens from the same fabric as the head gear.

As you can see in the photo I have a suitable 1970’s Flower Power necktie on too.

…So that was it for me for Halloween.

It was a good run while it lasted.

(next year I’ll have to dig up the rest of my childhood costumes to show you)

Steinlen black cat



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