In the 1960s, in Elkhorn, my home town, the downtown merchants used to sponsor a Halloween window painting contest. Schoolchildren could submit a design, and if chosen, got to paint the design on a store window with poster paints. Seems like I remember there being prizes, but maybe we just got our name in the Elkhorn Independent. I liked drawing and painting, and I had a competitive streak in me, so I entered several times. These pictures make me look very serious, but mostly I think I was self-conscious about my glasses and the space between my front teeth. This one must have been taken about 1961.
I enjoyed painting on the windows; I think this was the jewelry store. It was cold, though. I had on a hat and winter coat, and the corduroy pants my mother used to love to have me wear. No gloves, so my fingers would turn white.
He I am again, about 1963. I'm still keeping those teeth hidden, and am looking chilled. Or perhaps I was outgrowing the activity. Looking at these paintings now keeps me humble. It occurs to me that these contests were great motivation for me, a chance to create designs, and to get some recognition for my art. It was fun to see all the colorful pictures on store windows, and I have to think that it brought people downtown. I don't suppose it was very much fun for storekeepers to clean off the poster paint in November, but looking back, I'm glad they allowed us kids to decorate.