H.o.p. Experiments with Playing Johnny Angel (3 photos)

H.o.p. as Johnny Angel, 2008, digital photo
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View On White

Halloween skull mask
H.o.p. in his skull mask
View On White

Halloween skull mask
H.o.p. in his skull mask
View On White

Yesterday, I posted a pic of a few of the paper flowers H.o.p made for Halloween. And how were they used?

This year H.o.p. went as a Ghost Rider Johnny Angel. We made large wings of cardboard, painted them white, slathered then in glue and then sacrificed a trash-bound feather pillow which had seen better days long ago for sake of them. It was the backs of the wings that were fully coated in feathers, but as I can’t show front and back in the above photo I went ahead and pasted in here a trifling few from the back for effect.

H.o.p. carried a pumpkin (for candy) and also a bouquet of around 60 paper flowers he’d made.

Feathers trailed, but not many. There will be a few scattered on doorsteps in the morning, reminding that we were there.

Marty played accordion. As H.o.p. ascended steps, the accordion wheezing, I serenaded (yes, I sang), “Johnny Angel, how I love you, how I tingle when you pass me by, every time you wave hello my heart begins to fly” and then cut straight to the chorus, “I’m in heaven, I am carried away, I dream of you and me, how happy we will be…” etc.

Then H.o.p. gave away at every household a paper flower (more if there were more people, and he also gave them to several other trick-or-treating kids) and eagerly soaked in the smiles.

The holiday drinking in the old neighborhood seemed to have begun a little earlier than usual at several houses (we always return to Decatur because it’s one of the better places to be on Halloween) and there were a few people who were bleary and a little confused. Someone even congratulated Marty and I on our costumes, though we weren’t wearing any. We were just wearing what we usually wear. She was serious, but then she looked on the verge of seeing double, if she wasn’t already. And she was very well dressed and well coiffed and I guess in her eyes we were…well…I don’t know what we were.

At one house we were such a hit that we were invited over for Thanksgiving. The invitation was repeated several times. Indeed, we were told to drop by whenever!

They were people who perform at Renaissance fairs.

Their appreciation of our effort was appreciated.

It was a little nerve wracking for me, going door to door as a troubadour, singing solo with my life-long professional musician husband. But it was my idea, for sake of backing up Johnny Angel H.o.p. in his costume, and I didn’t chicken out, not even when people turned off their own Halloween background music and asked for a repeat performance.

H.o.p. loved it. He loved giving out his paper flowers. He said it was the best Halloween ever. “They liked it! They really, really liked it!” he said as we climbed back into the car, his candy bucket full, the pacing of the giving out of the flowers having done so well that the paper bouquet was all gone and every household had received at least one flower. “Let’s go somewhere else and do it again!” he encouraged, reluctant for the performing to be over.

OK, so we may not have been the stuff of legend, but we had a good time.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

4 thoughts on “H.o.p. Experiments with Playing Johnny Angel (3 photos)”

  1. hey wow!! you didn’t come to MY house …and you know where I live …no paper flower, no acordian music,…no vocalist singing Jonny Angel…no nothing..only 5 trick or treaters…now I have to eat all that candy….phooey, heck, darn….by the way have you heard George Straight’s {sp?} song “Troubdour”…I absolutely love it….if I ever sing anything again, that is one I’m gonna do…I didn’t know until tonight there were women troubadours, but you made me think it possible….I loved your good time legend this night!!!

  2. Soooooorrry! We should have! Except I wouldn’t have been able to sing a note in front of you. Are you kidding? I’d have been so nervous, my voice would have dried up to a pitiable squeak and you’d not have been entertained because you’d just have felt sorry over it all. Nevertheless, we should have dropped by and given you one of H.o.p.’s flowers and a chance to ogle his wings.

    Marty’s been delinquent. He says he’s going to give you a call Tuesday…

    He tells me to mention to you Steve Earle’s “Hard Core Troubadour”, that it’s a favorite of his. You can hear it at Youtube.


    I prefer Steve Earle’s “The Revolution Starts Now”.


    And another great one…truly great…is his “Fort Worth Blues”.


    That’s a video where someone has only put in the first part of the song, which is too bad, as it’s the last part that gets you. Don’t know why they stopped short because it’s an interesting and promising little video.

  3. Your Halloween sounds SO great! I wish you’d come by our house. I’d have loved
    hearing the whole thing and getting a flower! Speaking of flowers, Ellen went to a party at her college as a flower garden last night. Haven’t talked to Roxanne yet so I don’t know about what she did.

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