February 7, 2012
My Mother, the Reluctant Club Kid (1994)
Here I was at home on the farm, with a trunk full of costumes and wigs and accessories.
I'm not sure how I cajoled her into doing it, but my mom donned the bustle and skirt I created for a character named Betsy Ross Perot. Miss Perot filmed interviews during the 1993 presidential debate at my alma mater. She was a fun character to play, but a bit danger prone. During the Bill Clinton rally in Forest Park, I fell into a large hole, spraining my ankle. Fortunately, the bustle gave me a little bounce on impact.
The wig was a monster, composed of several spools of hair weave, innumerable braids, hair pins and clips - all piled atop several Santa Claus beards that I teased to near George Clinton levels.
Mom finished off her look with a little powder and lipstick (offset by a starlet mole) and some questionably "authentic" sunglasses from Liberty Island. The bodice was just a mess, held together with safety pins. To call it deconstructed would be a great kindness.
And down to the milk barn we went! We trudged through the fields and crept around my grannie's old farmhouse. What I remember most is my laughing as I advanced each shot in my 35 mm camera. She was such as ham, working our corncob runway!
I also remember her complaining about how stupid this was and how these photos would never see the light of day. She seized the negatives after I had them processed. Later that summer, I moved to St. Louis and lived there for 17 years.
I found these photos when I moved back to Kentucky after my mother died. They were tucked inside my baby book.
I'd forgotten all about them.
She, clearly, had not.
View the rest of the images at Flickr.
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