Last updated Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:38 PM . Best viewed at a monitor resolution of 1024x768 or better.

Petaluma KOA
October 26 - 28, 2007


This year marks our third Halloween bash with Rainbow RV and the second anniversary of our first outing with the group. The past two years the annual event was held at Olema Ranch Campground which changed hands at the end of last year’s bash and reopened this year as a membership-only campground, so we found a new home this year at the Petaluma KOA.

Three parts make up the fun of the annual get-together:


1. Campsite decorations
2. Pumpkin carving contest
3. Costumes


Jeff Meagher poses in front of our Bounder

As always, Pat started on the decorations for our campsite back in July up in our attic. The challenge is to come up with something spectacular that is easily broken down for transport to the campground. He’s won the campsite decorations two years in a row and vowed this year not to participate in the contest so someone else could win for a change. After all, he has spent the last 28 years at JCPenney in the display department and clearly has an unfair advantage over our fellow Rainbow RVers.

This year he built a casket from foam core and dressed a store-bought skeleton for resting inside it. He also created a small cemetery out of styrofoam and added motion to the tombstones. Two days before we left for Petaluma he slapped together a morbid welcome wreath with saucy skull which hung beside the Bounder’s entry door. Throw in some string lights for the Bounder’s interior and the effect was complete.

 


Thanks to Chuck Fetters for sending us the only known photo of Ralph Kramden. Though Ralph is not in his bus driver shirt or pants, he is wearing his Raccoon Lodge hat.

For the first time this year, and just a week before the event, he decided we would wear costumes, coming as Ralph and Alice Kramden of the classic Honeymooners TV show with Jackie Gleason. Pat hadn’t done drag in years, but looked fabulous as an aging Alice! For me he made a coonskin headband to go with my natural pony tail and I would explain it away as having just returned from the Raccoon Lodge.

One of the campsite decoration judges admitted to us privately that Pat would have won that contest handsdown had he not excluded himself from the judging. Turns out he won anyway for best costume as Alice Kramden!

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This just in from New Jersey: The Flaming Bag of Poo! Make sure you hit the Stomp button with your mouse.

Also, since we were too lazy to take many photos up at Petaluma, Scott Carroll of Rainbow RV sent us this link to his great photos of the event, two of which appear above.

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With the announcement of our annual Halloween Rainbow RV trip, I went into warp mode in mid-July trying to think of what to do for decorations. With my mind going every which way, The Cemetery came to me while shopping at Michaels’ craft store where I saw a small animated Halloween setup of a haunted house with grave stones rocking back and forth and coffins opening and closing. Up to our attic studio I flew and built the cemetery out of styrofoam packing, tissue paper, foam board, paint, and four battery operated motors. The coffin was built out of foam board, glue, old drapes, and a body with lights for the eyes. No coffin is a coffin without a dead bunch of flowers, so I made a wreath to lay on the closed casket lid. Two days before, I found a skull and made a welcome wreath for the front door. It looked plain so I painted the lips red, added a hat and false eye lashes, red stones in the eyes, and gold teeth with a cigarette and holder.

Off we went Friday morning at around ten on the LONG 50-mile trip to Petaluma (NOT!) where we arrived an hour later at eleven that morning. After parking in our assigned site, Lee and I set up camp, both fussing and getting things done. He put up the flag, chairs, fake lawn, tables, and the awning while I fought with the sewer line, electric, and water hookups.

I had stuff packed everywhere: the lids to the coffin, candle holders, and flowers were all in the Bounder’s bathtub. The candle pillars were wrapped on the bed. The coffin was flattened in one of the under-storage bins along with the corpse. The cemetery rode on the sofa. Within an hour all was set up. From that point on we had tons of people strolling by taking pictures of the creations and I told them all that the body in the casket was a dead Avon lady.

Friday potluck was fun; lots of food. Saturday, Lee and I just flaked out. I was out watching the gang carving the wonderful pumpkins while he took a nap. Then time for the second potluck and costumes. Have you ever tried to put on false eyelashes without glasses? Thank goodness there aren’t any close-ups of me as Alice Kramden. She was aging but that was ridiculous. Lee’s costume was easy: Ralph Kramden, the bus driver, wore a gray shirt, slacks, and a raccoon hat minus the tail for which Lee substituted his pony tail so he wouldn’t have to hide it. He told everyone he had just gotten home from the Raccoon Lodge. Everyone kept asking me how I walked around in 3” heals. Simple: been doing it for years!

All in all it was fun. Lots of costumes and tons more of food and friends. Next Trip: Hearst Castle in January.