Rattling Around in Their Bones: Yet Another Halloween Spooktacular

This Halloween is especially scary. If anyone shows up at your door the trick they might offer you is a POTENTIALLY DEADLY VIRUS. I’m sure I’m wrong, but the Halloween decorations I spotted, many in SW Portland depicted scenes of skeleton’s run amok leading me to wonder if we will soon all become skeletons ourselves. The creativity poured into these scenes of mayhem had me feeling even more uneasy. I long for next Halloween when fact and fiction may not be quite so intertwined which could bring back the sense of normalcy we’ve lacked in 2020.

Grim and Grime

Doom unalone.

In West Portland Park, a figure of doom carried multiple blades. Even a skeleton could be seen leaping away. Yet this black clad, modern day, grim reaper, looking dude made an effort to protect the world from his respiratory droplets. How bloody kind of him!

Save somebody’s soul.

This well dressed, half skeleton was spotted at the feet of that modern day grim reaper. Looking like a lost Joy Division album cover, this image needs to be sent to the graphics department so they can gloss it up and dial in the right amount of black and white. Oh and could a seance with Martin Hannett be arranged so we can get his approval.

This scene is frightful. The pain on the skeleton’s face is amazing when you consider it’s only bones. It’s difficult enough to make those expressions with muscles and when one is just a bag of bones nothing is supposed to hurt. Right?

Heading Out

Which direction? I’m headless.

A headless horseman in Grant Park attempts to get away on a wooden horse. At first, second and third glance it’s hard to believe there isn’t a living person underneath that denim.

No time to unmask!

This scene spotted in Grant Park presented an inventive way to get a message across. It’s especially scary when you have to consider that some people will not be wearing a mask this Halloween. Oh, and that nice couple sitting on a bench—they’re HEADLESS!

Inflation is Scary

Blow it up!

Inflatables air on the ho hum side most of the time but this decoration, spotted in the Grant Park neighborhood, is frightful. The bony, gnarled hands and the jagged smile made it irresistible.

Half Buried/Half Alive?

Buried, half alive.

I always fall for this. It’s even worse to have to deal with this in my own neighborhood of West Portland Park. This guy isn’t buried alive. He’s parts, stuck in the ground. Yet when I took his picture, he wiggled his toes and his hands reached for me. He begged me to dig him out. I told him I didn’t have a shovel.

Gellin’ and Skellin’ (In the Trees)

Merman in bones.

I spotted skeleton’s everywhere and the thought of them leaping about at Halloween time gives me the shivers. Living or swimming in trees seems scarier. This display, seen in the Alberta Arts district, gets bonus points for using the bones of a Merman. They are as challenging to spot on dry land as they are in the trees.

Roof top ghoul baby! Holy Heck!

A ghoul baby and a skeletal nun from West Portland Park walk into a bar… No, but I swear I didn’t know what I was looking at when I wrote the above caption. This display freaked me out so bad that I couldn’t get close. The only thing creepier than a ghoul baby crawling around on a roof might me a ghoul baby slipping and falling onto the driveway.

Hovering Aspirations

Swinging party.

I’m not sure this was what Bob was singing about with the line, “they’re selling postcards of the hanging” but these ghosts hanging about in West Portland Park created a bleak scene that is no less mystifying. There is no way to actually hang a ghost.

Treed!

Skeleton dogs love bones.

In Lake Oswego the skeleton dogs are as fierce as the real thing chasing their obsession for bones straight up trees. This lifelike diorama is proof that dogs don’t give up easily–even when they aren’t technically alive.

Lazing in the Blazing

Be wary.

The bright sun takes all the fear and mystery out of Halloween displays like this one in West Portland Park. The skeleton in the back appears to be offering a neighborly wave. At least, the blood red sign lettering made me feel like I should beware.

Boo who?

I’m reminded that skeletons are just plain weird. They don’t know how to sit in comfortable positions but sticks, stones and plastic bones scattered in the dirt sends shivers up my intact spine.

PUMP IT UP!

Pumpkin poetry is a genre!

In the Grant Park neighborhood even the poetry posts celebrate the season. The pumpkin picture is not as scary as the poem “Theme in Yellow” by Carl Sandburg. Not that the poem is scary, I’ve just developed a poetry phobia at this point in my life. As a matter of fact, the poem is about pumpkins that have terrible teeth which probably haunts your average dentist.

Cruise Your Illusion II: Stuck On Studebaker

Symbols tell their story.

Recap from Cruise Your Illusion 1: Sure it’s unconventional to take a perfectly good car and paint it or better yet, glue junk to it, but art cars aren’t conventional. As the car commercial would whisper in a deep voice: art cars break monotony. As for people glueing objects to their cars, I’m fascinated with the obvious. How do the plastic figurines and other decorations stay stuck? I delved into this when I talked to the owner of a car called “The Trophy Wife” and I saw the actual glue used for the Space Taxi but I’m still mystified. If stuff goes flying it goes flying. Hopefully it won’t put out an eye, cause a traffic accident or ruin the artistic merits of the vehicle.

After years of capturing images of art cars it’s time to unleash them. I’m always hoping for information on the origins of these arty automobiles. My recollections are often about where I first glimpsed the vehicle. The results of my thoughts is an online art car rally something like what happens when vintage cars gather at the Portland International Raceway but they’re just gathering here in cyberspace.

Double Deck Me

Glass to last.

This double bubble decker vehicle is more art car as a reflection of art in architecture. It has a sculptural feel and it may have been produced using less glue, but it is an art car. I was also curious, when it showed up in the Kenton neighborhood, how the second roof functioned. It looks to be more of an extended sun roof.

Bearly there.

On a random walk that led us deep into a more rustic section of the Arnold Creek neighborhood, I spotted a pick up truck on a gravel road with a teddy bears roped to the grill. I was excited enough about that phenomenon. Then after getting closer, I realized it wasn’t just a bear toting pick up, it was an art car and the proper art application technique had been executed at a high level. That’s a fancy way of saying it had a bunch of toys glued to the hood. There’s joy in these objects. It’s about recognizing plastic characters, pondering the arrangements that creates dramatic scenes and witnessing these interactions frozen in time. It’s not a random as it appears. There has to be planning in the design or none of it would make sense.

Eye witness.
Who wants to know?
Monster truck on truck.

Slick and Arty

All dressed up.

On my way to cover a move by bike story in the Concordia neighborhood, I took a quick look and a few photos on a rainy fall day. The rain didn’t dampen my spirits so much but it threw a wet blanket on the camera phone’s ability to focus. This car proved a classic in the art car genre with paint and bigger sized toys and even dinosaurs. Sure, it always has me imaging a scenario similar to one I could imagine where toys get blown out of Santa’s sleigh. These are great toys whether they’re on the car or airborne about the highway. I know there’s some strong epoxies out there and I guess I have to put my faith in that for the sake of all art cars.

Heads above the rest.
The muffin mobile?

Space Taxi

Space is the place.

At this moment, we’re investigating the whereabouts of the Space Taxi. This summer there was a report that the car was down for the count, thereby taking the art with it. There will be a full report as soon as we can make one up, I mean research one. There’s a slim chance that the space taxi might still make the drive down your street or be seen at the Fred Meyer’s parking lot.

Trophy Wife

A wife in park. (photo by Marci)

I couldn’t let it go with out posting a couple more pictures of my favorite area art cars like the Space Taxi, above, and the Trophy Wife. It’s really the best use of all the trophies in the world that people eventually out grow. **And yeah, making fun of Trophy Wives is also hilarious although the joke might be over their heads visually and languagely.

Swan song.

*****

**Mrs. Yuckmow, I feel justified in using the word “and” at the beginning of that last sentence. I’m not being lazy, I just think from a comedic stand point I had to inject a bit of slackness into my paragraph. I know, you’re looking beyond that at my use of that non word, languagely. Hardly a proper adverb. You might even frown upon the use of adverbs. Sometimes the invention of a word needs to happen.