Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wicked Manors

When I was a kid ‘Halloween’ was a big deal. We would plan our route for days in advance. It seemed like thousands of kids were moving up and down the streets of Tinley Park in their costumes that night. From earlier years we knew who gave out the best treats and who deserved the worst of tricks. Tricks consisted mostly of eggs to the front of a house. Now kids are more jaded and a trick might be the hacking of your I-Phone and the kidnapping of your first born.

Nothing was finer than going home with a bulging sack stuffed with sugar and chocolate. When some well meaning mother dropped an apple into your sack, that was a good reason for a trick. Back then we never even considered that it might have a razor blade in it. No we just thought, ‘Damn what a bitch, soap her windows’, ‘really, who gives an apple?’. Sometimes they even ended up as weapons, fruity missles flying through the air towards an unwary Superman or Snow White.

In the 1950’s Tinley Park had a big costume party and bonfire for Halloween in Memorial Park next to Burt Fulton School. I think my brother Dave even won a prize one year for best costume as a puppet show. Here in the town of Wilton Manors we have a similar party. The only difference is that our town isn’t made up of ‘World War Two’ veterans and their children. No, we have diversity. Diversity meaning forty percent gay and sixty percent everything else.

Some of the costumes worn here Halloween night were mighty scary, mostly because they consisted of as little clothing as possible on middle aged men. I’m not sure if I consider a pair of speedos and a cape truly a costume. I quit dressing up for Halloween about twenty years ago, it’s more fun just to wander around and take photos. So, enough said, here are some photos of last night in Wilton Manors. Mark is the one with the red hook nose.


  1. I think Halloween is great fun and enjoy it every year. I think its nice to still be a kid when you can. Key West has an event every year around this time. They call it Fantasy Fest. A cross between Halloween and Mardi Gras. You would not take the kids. I heard Ft Lauderdale wants to become an alternative to Fantasy Fest and have all those tourist dollars spent there instead. I suppose that would make good business sense. Its sad to think Wilton Manors put this event together mainly to increase the bottom line. Oh thats right, Halloween is about disguises. Disguise the event to look like it is about bringing together people. Bring the kids.

  2. Alan, you need to apply to work for one of the local rags down there as a writer, photographer, or both. Didn't you and Mike use to write one of Chicago's first gay rags?

  3. Nice pics Alan. And I mean really nice pics. All of them. Didn't you dress up? Did you really write for a magazine? I could draw the covers for you.

  4. First of all I don't care that Wilton Manors is looking out for the businesses on Wilton Drive. When I first moved here eighteen years ago this town was languishing. almost Anything to boost this town is fine by me. The reason I bought here is because the property was slightly cheaper than just across the river in Fort Lauderdale. Now it's the opposite thanks to some of the business leaders on the Drive and some of our more forward thinking politicians.
    Secondly, no I have never written for any publication. In fact when I read the first few posts I did back in August I cringe. They weren't very good. I hadn't figured out the spell check or that I should proof read before publishing.

  5. Looks like a good time was had by everyone at Wicked Manors. It does look like a cross between Halloween and Mardi Gras. Great coverage of the party Alan.

  6. Maybe that was your friend Mike from Homa, Louisiana that wrote or published a Chicago rag back in the 70's