Censoring a 1952 Halloween Painting on a Barbershop Window in Easton, Maryland

I was reminded of how my 3rd grade teacher in Easton, Maryland, suggested my team of Halloween window painters change the sign on a wagon in a Halloween parade from “Vote for Ike” to “Vote” by a painting on a window on East Crystal Lake Avenue.

Here is that story from 2013:

Censorship.

Tribune reporter Bob McCoppin has written a couple of articles (the latest is here) about high school kids painting a Caribou Coffee window for Homecoming.

Apparently, business window decoration is a tradition for Glenbrook North High School students.

One business, Caribou Coffee, washed the “rainbow colors and male, female and transgender symbol” put up by the Gay-Straight Alliance off the window.

The coffee shop apologized.

That brought back memories of a similar tradition for Easton, Maryland, Grade School students when I was ten.

Must have been fifth grade for me in 1952.

And it was a Presidential election year.

Adlai Stevenson vs. Dwight David Eisenhower.

My group painted a haunted house on a hill with a winding road down which Halloween Parade entries were coming.

We had a wagon with a sign on it.

At my suggestion, it read,

Vote
for
Ike

A couple of days later, our teacher, Miss Ornett (sp?) suggested we change it to

Vote

We did.

In retrospect, I can just hear the Democratic Party politicians who held local offices complaining to the school’s principal. (At that time, the Talbot County Board ran the schools; there was not a separate school board.)

By then, my father, who had been elected unopposed to be President of the Easton Town Council (the legislative leader in a Mayor-Council form of government) had become what may have been the first Democratic Party officeholder to switch his registration from Democrat to Republican.  (Way before President Ronald Reagan’s time.)

The barber shop was on north side of Goldsbourough Street near the courthouse. My barber shop was across the street from the Tidewater Inn on South Harrison.


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