Harvest of Shame

 50 years ago this week the plight of the American migrant worker was exposed in the landmark CBS Reports documentary, Harvest of Shame, as reported by Edward R. Murrow and produced by my grandfather David Lowe. This program was my grandfather's first job as producer for CBS Reports and earned an Emmy and a Peabody. He went on to produce many influential and award winning episodes in the series.

CBS news has made the entire documentary available to watch on their website and through their YouTube channel (click here). It's a fascinating and poignant time capsule of the world then and sadly, as reported by CBS recently, still an issue in our country today (click here). Take the time to watch and read.

My Grandfather makes several appearances in Harvest of Shame conducting most of the interviews. This fact means a great deal to me, not because he was on TV, but because I never knew him. He passed away a few weeks before I was born. It allows me to hear his voice and get a sense of the person he was beyond family stories.

A Zombie a Month: November

After much musing on and sketching ideas for, I've decided not to just fix up the old jungle explorer cannibal dinner prop, but make it a complete do-over.

I thought about changing him to a chef or a pilgrim or a witch, but not every zombie has to be a unique personality. In this case I'm going to make the cauldron the character and change the zombie to a simpler fun detail just peeking out of the wretched brew.

My hope is this becomes a set piece complimenting the wall hanging witch crash prop and create a themed area for her in that part of the Halloween display. Maybe adding a table in there of some kind with her spell books, potions and an embarrassed looking black cat familiar spirit.

The challenge here will be taking the original cheap-o plastic party store cauldron and making it "real" looking. I want to add some custom made handles and a decent paint job so it seems like actual cast iron. The burning logs and embers underneath will get attention to detail as well.

Get Connected

October was indeed a busy month. Here's another prop I made in those weeks.

Here's what it was for.

Halloween 2010: Addams and Munsters Who?

Mother October Nature and her two boys... Dave-son and Dr. Ted-enstein.

And with her granddaughter... Capt. Dark Devin the notorious pirate.

Happy Birthday Mom!

A Zombie A Month

I just discovered, while sorting and packing up Halloween props, I have exactly 12 torso free skulls from past zombie creations that have fallen apart over the years. They've inspired a fun way to keep the Halloween prop making flame burning as a countdown to next October. I'm going to try and make a zombie a month. I figure it's a realistic goal, spending an hour or so working on once in awhile.

If I pull this off, plus the few still complete ones from this year, there would be 16 zombies lurking on the lawn in 2011. Fun to imagine. Also fun to imagine... completing just half the past ideas I've had not including zombies.

I thought with Thanksgiving soon upon us, a feasting theme would be apropos for November. My really old and beat up, jungle explorer cannibal victim will get fixed up and re-made as the first zombie. Might be fun to change him into a pilgrim as well. It's a look that would still work at Halloween. We'll see.

As he once was back in '06...

As he is today, in need of much repair...

One Week Ago Today.

A picture worth a thousand words and probably a thousand future therapy bills.

That's me as Jason and our friend's little son. It was a great Halloween this year. Every October always has at least one iconic photo to remember it by and this is defiantly 2010's. I'll be posting a few other stories and pictures from last Sunday this week.

The 2010 Halloween Themed Temporary Public Art Installation

I'm pretty content with this year's display. The few new props worked out great and I was able to improve on some past favorites. Sure, there's a long list of stuff I'd change, things I hoped to do and details I never had time to add... but if turned out exactly as I see it in my head, I wouldn't have any creative fuel for next October.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Halloween Prop Challenge: The Winner

Congratulations Lisa B. with the exploding bottle. Niece Devin decided it her favorite. Second place goes to the Festering Pumpkin Tonic by -M and third place is Bonewart by Apetoe.

Lisa B's exploding bottle prop will be featured in the Oct 31st dated Para Abnormal cartoon!

Halloween Prop Challenge: The Entries

For the fun of it awhile back I posted a prop making challenge based on a used soda bottle my niece Devin gave me to make something Halloween themed out of. I now present the three official entries to be judged by Devin.

Bonewart the Dragon: Submitted by Apetoes.
This is a huge and really impressive prop created using old bottles for some pieces in it's skeleton.

Exploding Bottle: Submitted by Lisa B.
Fun use of a bottle made as a prop for a prop in a larger themed display. The horse and carriage are scratch made as well.

Festering Pumpkin Tonic: Submitted by -M
This charming creation actually uses a bottle similar to the one posted in the challenge and was made specifically as an entry.

Thank you to all for entering. Good luck... an 8 year old can be a very harsh critic.

Promises, Promises

Just a short post to say sorry for dropping the ball and not posting what I hoped to on Halloween. I'll make good on today. It turned out to be a much crazier Sunday than I thought with little no time to spend on the computer.