Billy enjoyed monster and scary movies. He had ever since he had watched Frankenstein and Dracula at the Orpheum Theatre in Eldorado, Illinois when he was a wee child. Neva Jane drove him to the Theatre each Sunday afternoon…and he stayed until evening. He had no thoughts of school the next day or the television show, Lassie, that signaled to him that his weekend was almost over. Lassie came on Sunday evenings and once Billy had watched it…he knew that it would soon be bed time…and Monday would greet him the next morning. Billy did not care for school…much. He and his best friend, Chet, loved Halloween. Chet dressed up as the Lost In Space Robot…and he had the voice down perfectly of the mechanical star of the popular program. Billy’s cousin, Gene, had the most intricate of Universal Studios Monster Masks. They were made of latex and they covered your entire head…and were expensive and movie quality. As Billy Bump and his best pal, Chet, watched the original Frankenstein movie that headlined the Month of Monster Movies at the Orpheum…he could visualize he and Chet making friends with the much misunderstood Monster. Frankenstein was obviously looking for a friend. He had been brought back from the dead and he wanted to make the most of his second chance at life.
Chet and Billy B. had planned a Halloween party with Buddy and Jeff and Jane. It promised to be a special event. Chet would be the center of attention with his Lost In Space Robot costume and his robot arms akimbo and his robot voice. Billy B. would be coming as the Creature from the Black Lagoon and he would borrow cousin Gene’s Creature Head and Creature Hands to produce a frightening image of movie lore. Billy B.’s mom was going to make popcorn balls and Chets mom was supplying the hot dogs and buns. Directly after the party they were going trick or treating and they were determined to be the best costumed kids on the block.
Billy B. went to pick up his Creature from the Black Lagoon Head and Hands and his cousin Gene led him into the room that he kept his collection of Universal Studios Monster Masks. Billy was a bit scared of what he was seeing. It was just weird. Aligning the walls were the most realistic and hideous collection of lifelike masks that he had ever seen. It was like being in a Hammer Studio movie. There was the Wolfman snarling at him and the bandaged wrapped face of the Mummy. He looked behind him and staring into his eyes was a Ghoul with a toothy grin and one of the large and elaborate heads of the Mole Men. Billy’s cousin said, ‘Boo,’ and Billy B. ran out of the door and out of the front door and down the block. Although Billy enjoyed monster movies and scary stories…cousin Gene’s realistic masks were a bit too much for his young mind.
Once Billy B had asked his mother who the devil was…and she had answered that she was the devil. Billy responded with a shriek and tears and his mom said, ‘You silly Kid…I was just teasing you…’ Billy wondered if that was really the case… On another occasion he had been suddenly awoken and heard an audible voice tell him, ‘You are meaner…than the devil!’ He took it seriously and attempted to mend his ways. Nevertheless he loved a good fright and a monster movie and popcorn balls and watching Chet portray the Robot from Lost in Space.
I always enjoy reading about Billy’s outstanding adventures!