In 2003 my all-time favorite graphic design team, the Charles Spencer Anderson design co., created the phenomenal marketing materials (as well as some products) for Target's Halloween campaign. This was the crossover of the century for me— CSA versus Halloween! To make matters better, they used vintage Ben Cooper masks as source material, and enlarged them to be taller than I was as a trick or treater! In fact, I wore the identical Frankenstein mask in 1981.
In 2007 I wrote this blog post about the campaign,
where I shared some photos that I took back when photography was forbidden
in stores, and when I was still using film. I also lamented my failed
attempt to acquire the masks after the season. (Customer service claimed
they were to be donated to a local school after use.)
internet heard my wish, and over the past twelve years I've received a
continual trickle of emails about the masks. They came in three
categories: those asking me to assess the value of their masks (my lone
blog post made me the leading authority on the internet), those offering
to sell me their masks (these were the most common), and even a few emails from kind people offering to
just give me the masks. I perked up at the latter, but soon
discovered that shipping five foot faces can cost hundreds of dollars. A personal pick-up option was offered once, but they were located more than a day's
drive away, again amounting to a major chunk of money and time.
a year ago I received another generous free offer from a woman named
Kat. Kat actually worked on the Target marketing team and helped make
the campaign a reality! Her set of masks were a job perk, and she'd been
using them as Halloween decorations for years. But the time to "pay
them forward" had come, and my writing convinced her that I'd provide
them with a good home.
I could immediately tell that Kat lives her
life with vigorous heart and soul. She initially gave me a list of rules to
agree to, should I accept the gift. The first rule was that I too must pass
them on freely when my time with them is over.
loved her approach, but I explained the issues I'd encountered before.
Kat persisted. Every couple months she told me about another possible
shipping method she was researching. Whenever one thing didn't pan out
she would move on to the next. This went on for nearly a year.
Eventually she offered to drive someplace near me to make a hand off, even though places near me are far from her.
In July my family took a three hour jaunt to Kansas City to meet Kat. She ended up driving about eight hours (one way) to meet us there in order to give us some free ginormous masks!!
Kat invited a good friend of hers to go along on her road trip, and she made
the perfect suggestion to meet at the Nelson-Atkins museum of art. We met, and she's exactly the kind of person who would make a sixteen hour round trip to give someone giant masks. For the record, I was bestowed with the princess, the fireman, and yes, Frankenstein's monster.
We talked for about an hour before the museum kicked us out at closing time. We have many shared passions and our careers overlap. Before we parted Kat offered to give me her ongoing advice and perspective in relation to my role as a creative, and an educator, and that's even more valuable than giant costumes. Thanks Kat for being the best possible type of human being! Happy Halloween!