Dance off in a costume of your own creation
By Tim Murray
Growing up on a farm in Virginia in the 1970s, I had to be driven 10 miles into town to have the Halloween experience of suburban lore. In my buddy John Grove’s tidy neighborhood near the University of Virginia, a small pack of us small boys dressed as Speed Racer, Jimmy Connors, or Jughead roamed from house to house in the dark, our sneakered feet kicking up the rain-soaked leaves. Aside from a reminder to watch out for cars, the parents stayed home to greet little goblins, setting us 8-year-olds loose to gather as much candy as our pillowcases could hold. We didn’t get into trouble, mostly. The naughtiest I got was encouraging my friends to help me rip a George Wallace sticker off the bumper of a Dodge Dart. My parents were political and I knew that Wallace was “prejudiced.”
It wasn’t until a Castro Halloween celebration many years later that I had the adult Halloween experience of urban lore. The Castro was a melee in the nineties as Eureka Valley stretched to accommodate a hundred thousand or more revelers, many of whom had been over-served. One night I went to a party near the Castro at which we played a Halloween version of the White Elephant game. Each of us had to wear the costume in the brown paper bag we ended up holding. Inside mine was a sleeveless, sequined powder-blue gown, pumps, and a diamond tiara. What the heck, I thought, and walked down into the mass of humanity on unsteady heels. It was mind-bending to be wearing something Marilyn Monroe might have been photographed in while standing to pee at the urinal at The Midnight Sun.
Where had our parents and my friend picked up the costumes in those brown-paper bags? Goodwill, of course.
What do you want to be this year?
Goodwill has always been the go-to source for one-of-a-kind dress-up. Our stores do a big business as Bay Area folks use their creative juices to out-zombie their neighbors and upstage their friends with Goodwill-purchased garb. We’re highlighting the full line-up with our Happy Bike-oween campaign, a bit of inspired silliness to celebrate the season and our love of two-wheeled transport. Be sure to check out our “Boo-tique” at our flagship San Francisco store too for the largest selection, and check out some costume ideas here.
Putting together a unique costume at Goodwill is not only more environmentally responsible than purchasing that shrink-wrapped Snooki or Dark Knight costume at a big box store. Your purchases from Goodwill help fund our job training and placement programs that open doorways to jobs for those most in need, right here in your community. That’s at Halloween and all year long.
This year, I’ll be shopping Goodwill for something special to clothe our two-year old son, who’ll be trick-or-treating on a blocked off street near our home in the Castro. And once the big night is over, we’ll put his costume through a wash and dry cycle and bring it back to Goodwill for some other little tot to enjoy on Halloween next year.