TheThe Halloween party for my fraternity was approaching during my freshman year of college. One of my best friends and I decided that we would go to the party dressed as a couple of the members of the administrative staff of the school. We selected this couple because of their distinct appearance. He was going to go as a rather large member of the administration and I planned to go as the man’s wife. At the time, she served as the Dean of Students. The lady had a fashion sense that appeared to be more appropriate for the 1950’s rather than the early 1980’s. He had a hard time coming up with a costume that captured the essence of the man and he backed out of the plan. I stuck with the original idea and recruited a couple of people to help me put together a costume that would be as authentic as possible.
This man and woman had a daughter that attended the school a few years before I started. She was friends with one of the girls that had agreed to assist me with my Halloween costume. My friend contacted the daughter who lived with her parents. She arranged to get one of her mother’s outfits for me to wear to the party. With her signature look, this would mean people would immediately know who I was trying to be. But we didn’t stop there. The girl that got me the outfit was also able to get me a pair of her mother’s old pointy framed glasses. The final part of the costume was my hair. While I didn’t have what anyone would consider to be long hair, I did have a thick head of wild, unmanageable hair just like most of the guys in the early 80’s. The two girls assisting me with my look knew that they could work on me and make my hair have an authentic 1950’s look with a little teasing and baby powder. This is exactly what they did. From the knees up, I was a relatively convincing Dean Exum. From the knees down, I was a college freshman in athletic socks and Converse sneakers. I was a big hit at the party. I know there were pictures taken but they quickly disappeared. I remember seeing them, but I don’t know who took them and I wasn’t involved in their disappearance.
After the party, the dress went into a brown paper bag and into the top of the closet of my dorm room to be forgotten until the following spring when I was packing to get ready to go home. This was during exam week and people were hard to contact. I didn’t know where to find the girl that had gotten the dress for me. What would I do with this dress? Would I keep it and wait until fall to try and get it back to the right people? Would I take it home and burn it to destroy the evidence? I finally decided on an action plan. It may not have been the best idea but it seemed to take care my problem immediately. I knew were the Exum’s lived very near campus. My car was packed with all of my belongings and I was headed home. On my way out of town, I drove by their house and dropped off the brown paper bag containing the dress on the doorstep. My problem was solved.
I didn’t think anything about this until the first week of fall semester my sophomore year. I received a note on my door that Dean Exum wanted to see me in her office the next day right after lunch. I knew that my cover was blown. I wondered what kind of punishment awaited me. When I arrived at her office, all she wanted to talk about was an opportunity for me to tutor other students. I could help them and make some spending money. Never a word about the dress. The dress. Yes, the dress. She was wearing the dress. She was standing right there in front of me wear my Halloween costume. Did she know? She had to know. She never said a word. It would be too much of a coincidence for her not to know. Did I say anything about it? Definitely not. Did I do any tutoring? As much as Dean Exum wanted me to do.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller