Ninja Turtle memories


Launching has taken a bit of my attention, and I have loved every minute of it, but my original goal was to be a regular blogger like the rest of the gang that has assembled itself here. I’m off to a slow start, but pledge to do better.

This won’t be typical either, at least I think it won’t, as I hope to give you a little to chew on when I write. However, the seasonal nature of this post can’t wait for me to be more profound, or if it does wait it will have to be for another whole year. Actually, the urgency of the hour gives me a deadline. Thirty years in publishing could make you codependent on a thing like that.

Anyway, we were never terribly “into” Halloween, still aren’t, but Jill Prouty’s blog has me all nostalgic.

Do you remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? I assume they’re out of fashion, although for all I know they are still around or are having some sort of renaissance.


"Heroes in a half-shell, Turtle Power"

One year my sister-in-law knocked herself out to make Ninja Turtle costumes for my sons. No better costumes  were worn by any boys anywhere else in America that year. She’s a talented lady, as you can see.

My oldest was well-suited as the serious elder brother, Leonardo, while the youngest, appropriately, was the party-dude, Michaelangelo.  Scary how in character they were.

I’m guessing this was about 18 years ago. 1991? My God. I can barely remember being that person.

A vague recollection of where I think I was when the package was delivered, where we lived at that time, is about all I have to go on. It’s hard to miss the irony here. I’ve catalogued all sorts of peoples’ stories, but my own is packed haphazardly in boxes and envelopes in the basement. My mother actually owns this polaroid, which she scanned and emailed to me a couple of years ago.

Names are withheld to protect two guys who still think one of the best things about Mom remarrying was that they no longer had the same last name as the very public newspaper lady. So Leonardo was about 6 years old. I think. And Michaelangelo had to be about 2. He looks older, or taller, but that may be because he is standing on a three or four-inch ledge in front of this fireplace.

I’d like to think it would be easier to tell their ages if the costume heads were removed.

Another year there was a really sweet pumpkin costume, sewn lovingly by the neighborhood seamstress, the mother of a grammar school friend of mine. The pumpkin was worn by an only child the year before he became a big brother. I remember having to teach him how to knock on a door and say “trick or treat.”

It’s funny how we mark time, especially when it hasn’t (yet) been documented well. I can “see” the time of day in this photo, the late fall afternoon, dappled light on the front porch, dinner on my mother’s kitchen table.

Jill, my friend, hold tight the sweetness of these days, and kiss those sweaty heads when the costumes are removed. Some day, in a very quiet house on the eve of Halloween, the jelly fish photo may make you cry.


Wikipedia, and “Leonardo,” helped me remember a few Ninja Turtle details. Up for a tune that will take you back in time?




  1. Sherri Smith Brown says

    Very nice, Joyce. This year I put away a witch’s costume, but took a moment to look at Minnie Mouse and Madeline hanging in the back of the closet. Time goes by a little too quickly.

  2. auntsharon67 says

    I can’t agree more with Joyce. Jill- hold tight to the sweaty, tired, cranky, sugared up little monsters. In no time at all you will be trying to figure out how they grew up so fast. My two “punkin’ heads’ are off with friends tonight. Too old to hang out with their dear old mom on Halloween. My daughter laughed when I said “Dang it! I was hoping your grades would be bad this week so you would have to hang out with me this weekend” Almost 17 years old, she is a hoot. And I doubt she realizes it, but this is about the 13th time she has dressed up as a cat of some sort for Halloween.
    The college aged son dressed up and trick-or-treated at his dorm. He says you are never too old for free candy. I guess you can’t argue with that kind of logic.
    So here I sit, suffering from empty nest sydrome- and my nest isn’t even empty yet. Savor the time with the babies. You won’t be in this place for very long.

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