Friday, October 31, 2008

Dorothy's 1913 Masquerade

The Seminaria, vol. X (June, 1914), yearbook of the prestigious Buffalo Seminary, includes a story on the annual "Hallowe'en Masquerade" of the previous October 31. Included in the photo layout is one "canny Scothm[a]n," a.k.a. Dorothy R. Martin (in upper left). The following excerpt from the text describes the array of disguises donned at Dorothy's alma mater that year:

And the costumes - the very soul of the masquerade - why, they spelled wit and imagination, beauty and absurdity, just as in the days gone by. They delighted and convulsed, just as they will in the days to come. There were beggars and blind men gaily chatting with elegant couriers and jesters, all faithfully protected and attended by more than one gallant middy and impudent little clown. Gentlefolk of two and three generations ago were present in magnificent attire to wonder at the pranks of Miss Twentieth Century. There were nurses, to heal; and Gold Dust Twins, to cleanse; there were convicts , to avoid; and a messenger boy, to abuse. There were Teddy Bears, to growl; and a wondrous giraffe to over-top them; there was a bride to glitter, and a groom to be congratulated. There were ravens to bill and coo right in the faces of canny Scotchmen...

An evocative account of the days before Halloween costumes were overrun by mass media icons. Please consider rewarding anyone coming to your door tonight in a homemade costume with an extra piece of candy!

Happy Halloween!

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