The den - Halloween 1966

This was obviously taken during a Halloween party. Mom invited her co-worker's kids over for hot dogs, potato chips and trick or treating. This was the year she made my "Batman" costume (the subject of the next photo), and I suspect her generosity in throwing this Halloween party (we never had one before or after) had a lot to do with showing off her creative endeavor. She spent long hours at the sewing machine on it, and, selfish as I was, I figured her primary fun was tormenting me for fittings.

Notice the "Batman" gloves worn by the girl. These were the honest-to-goodness gloves worn by Adam West, purchased by Mom and Dad during a public TV station telethon for a measly $40. I still have 'em, and show them to my astonished and disbelieving co-workers occasionally. But I digress.

Pictured here is our den in all its glory! My parents have always had an eclectic sense of style (blame it on self-indulgence and yard sales), which is perhaps reflected in this photograph. You can see a brass spittoon sitting on the hearth, and a teak wood Buddha on the cabinet. A horse collar (painted antique white by Dad) hangs on the fireplace. Notice that he got around to painting only half of the harness work that hangs on the other wall.

In 1966 Dad also hadn't gotten around to painting the den walls with what must have been the Official Clark Color: Avocado. (Other favorite colors were turquoise and gold. If we'd had a coat of arms it would been rendered in avocado, harvest gold, and perhaps turquoise). I think originally avocado must have been a color that was found only in California, and finding it suitable Dad painted everything with it. You can see that in an early configuration our ship's hatch table (described later in detail) is painted antique avocado with white enamel trim.

The ship's hatch coffee table was a popular item with the real and ersatz nautical set, and we had one before they became popular. I think we got ours from an old drunken ex-sailor named Trader Luke, who had a nautical store in San Pedro. I vaguely remember him, wheezing and squinting at me with his one good eye. His wife drank, too.

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