Saturday, June 18, 2011

Winkie Convention Countdown: 20 Days to Go

The Winkies have always (well, almost always) had a pretty spectacular costume contest. We often get about a dozen people in some great costumes, of characters you may never think of. Heck, more than once (including me last year), we've had characters you may have never heard of before. I didn't usually participate at first, unless my friend Karyl had an idea, just because I had no ideas and/or transportation was an issue. But in 1989, I had a thought that struck me out of the blue. I was working my way through college at a drug store that also had a pretty good variety store in the basement, and one June, the Halloween supplies came in. While inventorying it, I had a thought, and asked if I could buy a few of them. I ended up buying some gray make-up, a top hat, gray hairspray, and some gray clothes dye (okay, that last one wasn't part of the Halloween stuff, it was just something the store sold). My dad had a gray suit he could part with, and I used the dye on a white shirt, white socks, and white gloves. I already had a black umbrella and silver-and-gray tennis shoes. Put it all together, and I was Benny the statue of a public benefactor brought to life in The Giant Horse of Oz.

Since the Club was in one of its growth periods at the time, we had a huge turnout for that convention. Naturally, we also had a huge turnout for the costume contest. And since this was 1989, there were an awful lot of costumes in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the famous Judy Garland film version. I think we had about a dozen Dorothy's, including one gentleman who came in gingham shorts and ruby topsiders! The local press was there as well, and guess which group of Dorothys got all the attention? Those of us dressed as characters from the books kind of got shunted to the side a bit, but we had our day in the sun — literally! Since Asilomar is right on the Pacific coast (it even has its own beach), the convention is usually pretty cool and overcast all weekend. Not this year! For the first time since we'd been coming there, the sun decided to come out and warm things up considerably. This was not a good thing for the college kid covered from head to toe in gray! Thank goodness for the umbrella, which I could use as a parasol, but it still got pretty hot and uncomfortable in that get-up. And there were lots of requests to pose for pictures (which was easy for me; I was playing a statue, after all), mingling with the other characters, and the like. But yeah, as soon as I could get out of there, I headed back to my room and took a very thorough shower.

Two more surprises came from that contest. One was that I won! Seriously, I didn't go in to win, as my main goal is to have fun. But my fellow Winkies voted me best costumed adult. The other surprise is that I still found gray make-up in my ears taking my shower the next morning.

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