Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallowe'en!

Forget those tiny bite-size excuses for a chocolate bar kids get on Hallowe'en these days......apparently, back in the 50's, moms were handing out full size Baby Ruths and Butter Fingers! Dang! I knew I was born in the wrong era. Not to mention the wrong country... we never had Baby Ruths or Butter Fingers up here in Canada - we just saw the commercials beamed up from nearby Buffalo, New York during our Saturday morning cartoons. Zagnuts, Almond Joys, Hundred Grand bars; how we Canadian kids coveted them, all so near yet so impossibly far away...

The other cool thing about Hallowe'en in the 50's: no expensive and uncreative licensed character costumes. All you needed was to cut a hole in one of mom's best bedsheets and to jam a hollowed-out pumpkin on your head and you were good to go. Sure, the smell in there must have been pretty funky but that's a small price to pay for full size chocolate bars (and a helluva lot better than wearing your old red sleeper with the ridiculous rabbit ears).

You'll find all of this year's (and all of last year's) Hallowe'en illustrations at full size in my Retro Hallowe'en Flickr set.


  1. Man, that kid in the bunny suit prolly had problems later in life.
    Reminds me of Ralphie from the movie"Christmas Story".
    Great week Leif!


  2. You know, I don't recall getting those full-size candy bars, and I was a little kid back then...I must have lived in the wrong neighborhood. :)

    I second that——great week, wonderful illustrations and memories!

  3. Hey, thanks for your comments Jeff and Chrissie - I'm glad you enjoyed the illustrations! :-)

  4. Anonymous4:48 PM

    What you lacked in Butter Finger you more than made up for in Coffee Crisp.

  5. Its true, anonymous, before Nestle and Hershey bought up all the Canadian candy companies, we did have a fine selection of chocolate bars - but it was one of those "grass is greener" things, you know?

    I can still remember, around age eleven, one local variety store began carrying Charleston Chew bars. really, they are crappy bars - cheap "choco-coating" over weird marshmallow filling - but we ate 'em up 'cause they were AMERICAN! ;-)

  6. cclements6:18 PM

    I've been downloading your Flickr stuff for about six months now and have to say, YOU RULE (and so does your clipart file). Pardon me while I go sign up for some daily inspiration, but thank you and keep it up. (I just found your blog/website today)

  7. Thanks cclements - and don't hesitate to request a topic you'd like to see more of - I enjoy fulfilling requests, if I can. :-)

  8. Leif - I've just been carousing around your blogsite which is a result of searching for Einsel works. I grew up in Westport, knew some of the artists/illustrators, and now at home in Duxbury, MA, I type this beneath a framed print of the "Save Cockenoe Now" illustration that Walter Einsel did back when I was a kid (I have inherited this little gem).

    Anyway, just felt like commenting and will look through more of your work and your reviews. I am keen on the period of illustrations you have showcased. I'm excited to have stumbled upon your blog.

    Best wishes,


  9. I'm very glad to hear that, John and thanks for commenting! :-)