I had a request from my dear friend The Heretic, Michael, to hear more about my first husband and I have just the story for Halloween.
I have a picture somewhere packed of Victor and I as the happy man and wife but couldn’t find it but I did find this picture of my brother John who partied with us that Halloween.
John died in a plane crash in Nanaimo Harbour, I mentioned him when I wrote the post of when Victor’s brother drowned, and the most tender moment I can ever recall was watching him pack Victor into the house when he was over come with grief.
John was my foster brother and had come to live with my family when I was only about 4 so he was as much my brother as if he was blood. He was nine years older than me and the best big brother any girl could hope for. We had always been close and stayed in touch. He was living on Vancouver Island and was a pipe fitter heading off to work up the coast of BC on January 27, 1992. It was a really blustery day and he had called his wife before they took off to say he loved her and he didn’t like the look of the weather. The plane took off, one engine stalled, a wing dipped, it slammed into the water, exploded on impact and sank killing everyone on board except two guys who were able to kick a door open before it crashed. Everyone else including my brother drowned. They all had their seat belts off and were scrambling to get out but it happened too fast, they were all found in the cabin of the plane.
Some day I will do a tribute to John, he led quite the life and was quite a man but for now I will tell you about our Halloween capers.
Victor and I were newly married, I was about 25, I think I have mentioned before that Victor and I loved to dance; and back then living in Chilliwack there was always a dance some where, in a community hall or someone’s barn. Groups of us would get together and reserve a couple of tables, there could be a couple dozen friends all partying together, we took our own food; it was always a great time. This time my mom and dad were coming along, my girlfriend Terry who was single and knew John from highschool, John, who was recently separated from his first wife, Victor and I plus a dozen or so friends.
Victor had been in the basement of the house we were renting and found a wedding dress in a box of old clothes. He decided he was going as a bride. I wish I could have found the picture because Victor was priceless. He wore a pair of Adidas shorts under the long white sleeveless wedding dress from the 60’s, he didn’t wear a shirt and this man had tattoos on his chest, back and both arms, the dress didn’t do up all the way so he had a shawl, he had a mustache, and short hair, a nose that had been broken several times, he wore a pair of my knee high nylons and my high heeled sandals. (I have size 10-11 feet and they fit him, but he sure walked funny). I did his makeup but you can only do so much with a mustache and a broken nose.
I went as the groom, wearing an old suit from the second hand store, a pair of Victor’s shoes and one of his shirts, he drew some whiskers and side burns on my face with mascara and I had a top hat. The only problem was I had hair that went ½ way down my back and it just was not going to fit inside that hat. Victor said he would do my hair he went and bought Brilcream, but a whole tube of it didn’t do the trick so he said he had an idea, not to worry. He found a jar of Vasoline and glued my hair to my head, it worked great.
So off we went to meet the others at a friends house for before-party -drinks and picture taking. My dad at 6’5” went as Grizzly Adams (for you young folks it was a TV show about a mountain man) and wore a black bear skin that had been a rug for years cut into a rugged vest (when he put it on he scared our cocker spaniel so bad it started to shake and peed, he ran to comfort the dog but still had the vest on and the poor thing had a seizure!) He made knee high moccasin things for his feet, had a wide brim cowboy type hat and a leather sheath for his hunting knife. My mom had a deer hide dress made by a native woman with the beading and moccasins to match, Terry went as Little Bo Peep, and we had a Pope and with him his wife dressed as a sexy nun with a t-shirt printed with “Nun for the Pope.”
We partied like there was no tomorrow. My brother was dancing with Victor and packing him around the hall with Victor kicking and screaming like Lois Lane being packed by King Kong. I was scaring all the women when I went in the ladies bathroom, some women actually screamed and ran out thinking either they were in the wrong bathroom or I was. Victor’s white wedding dress took on a green tinge from John’s body paint and I started to wonder if the landlord would believe it was damp in the basement and the dress went moldy.
As usual we were the last dogs to die and Victor and I staggered in at about 2 am and crashed. He had plans to do something the next day and was gone before I got up, I had plans to meet my mom and a bunch of other ladies for a nice Sunday brunch in Chilliwack’s finest restaurant. I climbed in the shower in the morning and much to my horror when I got out my hair was still stuck to my head. I tried washing it again with dish soap, nothing, Mr Clean, nope, nothing touched that Vasoline! I finally threw a hat on and went to brunch. Everyone was saying how nice I looked in my hat until I pulled it off and wailed, “I’ve tried everything and it won’t wash out”
Their mouths all dropped open and they gasped, “What did you put in it?”
“Not ME, VICTOR!! He used vasoline!! A whole tube of Brilcreem and a whole jar of vasoline!! And it won’t come out!! I’m going to kill him!!! “
Some people were able to stifle their laugher others weren’t as tactful, between fits of giggling they all reassured me there must be something that will get it out and everyone started giving their expert opinion. I went to my mom’s after brunch and she called her hairdresser to see what she suggested; she didn’t have any idea what to use and suggested the same things we had thought of. Her only suggestion was to come to the shop Monday morning and she would cut it out. Cut it out!!!! Victor had rubbed it in so well it was right to the roots!! They would have to shave my head!! I was in tears now. I called Victor and said he had to come home immediately and do something about my hair.
By this time we had tried, several types of dish soap, laundry soap, Mr Clean, Fantastic, Vim, vinegar, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, and stuff they use to strip colour out of your hair and nothing had worked. Victor went out to the shop and got some paint thinner and Turpentine, they worked a little bit but there was still big clumps of goo gluing my hair together. My head was over the sink and my scalp was starting to get raw when Victor told me “Don’t move, I’ll be right back.”
He comes back, “Close your eyes and don’t smoke.”
“What are you doing?!!!”
“Using gasoline, hold still”
And he dumped it on my head and started working it in…….it worked, all the clumps of gooey mess washed away; it stung like crazy but it was out.
“Is my hair coming out in clumps?”
He started to laugh. I was angry but so relieved I couldn’t help but laugh and for weeks I had the softest hair I had ever had. I don’t suggest trying this for dry damaged hair though the hairdresser couldn’t believe my hair didn’t fall out.