I’ll lay it straight out to you. Had I never ever had to wear glasses on my face, I would not be a Chicken Whisperer. No! Never! I would have easily chosen to be the Lone Ranger. But, as you know, the Lone Ranger never wore glasses. Contacts maybe under his black face mask. But no freaking mamby pamby glasses. Tonto didn’t wear glasses. Dick Tracy didn’t wear glasses. Neither did Porky Pig. So since Chicken handling was already on my resume I chose Chicken Whispering instead.
So one early evening Donnie my new best friend from Wisconsin and me got to thinking since its Halloween we must think of a scary costume to go trick-r-treating in. I mentioned to Donnie that the year before my older brothers took a cork, lit a match to it, and rubbed the burnt end all over his face. Creating a beard looking five-o-clock shadow. So we came to the conclusion we could look like a hobo or tramp. You know the guys who come around here after riding in a box car down at the tracks. Those guys look very much like hobos and tramps. Dark beard and ragged clothes. So we too can burn a cork, rub it on our face, and get some long sleeved shirt out of our dad’s closet. A long sleeve white shirt could do. We can roll up the sleeves and let the tails hang out over our Sears jeans with knee patches to give that frumpy Hobo look. So we burned a cork on our mom’s gas stove and rubbed the black end all over our faces. “That’s the blackest beard I’ve seen ever. Then we had two black Halloween masks, put them on, and off we went trick-R-treating. Our faces were totally covered by black beard and black masks. Just like the Lone Ranger. Well maybe the Lone Ranger if he had a black beard.
So we came to our first house to scare them out of candy. We screamed TRICK R TREAT and rang the doorbell in case they didn’t hear our scary Halloween chant. So after chanting, and ringing the doorbell twice, then came a man to the door, looked at the both of us and said…Hmm, twin Al Jolsons. Right? Can you kids sing Mammie how I love ya?
Remember, this was 1953 and me and Donnie didn’t know who Al Jolson was. “Who?”