This new venture began June 23, 2013, and it has been so much fun (a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun!). At age 69 and 72 most people are not starting a new venture, but we aren’t “most people.”
Owners Curtis and Kathy Rickart never dreamed they would own several closets full of costumes. If they wanted a costume, they visited Curt’s cousin, Dorothy Buderus, in Fort Collins. What fun it was to sift through the many costumes and pick one out.
Curt, who never browses thru the newspaper ads was the one who spotted the advertisement “Costume Business for Sale”. He recognized his cousin’s phone number in the ad. He told Kathy about it and she didn’t say much but the seed was planted. She thought about it for two full weeks and then finally confessed, “I can’t get it out of my head.” At the time our house was on the market and houses around were selling but no one was coming to see our home. We were debating on whether to keep it on the market or not. So Kathy said, “What do you think about us buying the costumes?” Curt said, “I’ll support you” and Kathy said, “No, you have to be with me as a full partner” and he gave it a nod. Of course, we thought the costumes would be sold already since it had been two weeks. But we called cousin Dorothy anyway. Like our house she had “no bites.” So we took the house off the market and Dorothy took the ad out of the paper.
Did we know what we were getting into? Probably not, but it seemed destiny was the hand that was being dealt and sometimes you just have to walk in when a door is opened. So with the help of Grandkids and their friends, the move began and what troopers they were. Load after load, after load of costumes, hats, wigs, masks, and a ton of accessories (may never sort through them all by the end of the year). They disassembled shelves, removed hat pegs and rolled out garment racks and they unloaded and the transformation of the “big” basement in our home began. We can’t thank the Grandkids and friends enough! It was like a puzzle, but all the pieces and parts seemed to just “fit perfectly” in a completely different basement layout. Again, it was like it was meant to be.
Of course, we knew the answer to the question we posed Dorothy on a written inventory, but we had to ask, “Do you have an inventory of the costumes?” As Dorothy pointed to her head, we said, “Figured so!” So Granddaughter Brittany and Kathy set up a spreadsheet and one by one an inventory was done (over several months).
The fun began the day, daughter, Kim, organized a photo shoot. In 3 hours she took over 300 pictures. Mother, Kathy and daughter, Kim, being the super organizers arranged for 14 volunteer models (all ages), 35 different scenes (all shot at our home) and some 80 costumes (picked out of the 1000 or more - remember the inventory is in Dorothy’s head) of which to take pictures. There were designated girls, boys, men’s, women’s dressing rooms to clothing racks with clothes identified for specific models to places in and outside our home for each shot. The evenings of preparation paid off – it went off like clockwork and ended with pizza for everyone! What a blast! We laughed and laughed and laughed! We held our tummies, we fell on the floor from laughing so hard. Smiles were everywhere. Thanks to everyone who volunteered! That was photo shoot number one! .
But when did the costumes all REALLY BEGIN?
Well, a fellow childhood friend of Kathy’s commented when she told him that she and her husband had bought a costume business, “It seems just natural from all the costumes that came out of that home,” (and he pointed to Kathy’s parents’ home where she was raised at Tigges Farm). Yup! Mom made costumes for the Labor Day parade and we rode our tricycles down Main Street.
Then we joined 4-H and there were Talent Shows (Kathy is 2nd from the left with sister, Gale, next to her - 1954), 4th of July Parades and Demonstration Contests (Kathy below in 1956 doing a demonstration). “Did you ever try to give a ‘Dummy’ artificial respiration? Never did get him to breath!”
Along with that were school plays at Bracewell Elementary School and Windsor High School.
Next it was off to college and the Colorado State University Aggie Haylofter Square Dance Exhibition Team costumes. That is where Kathy met Curt - the most handsome guy there and the best thing Kathy ever did was ask him to dance when he walked in the door. Fun and more team costumes until graduation from college in 1964 & 1965. Curt got his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Kathy got her degree in Vocational Home Economics. They married June 20, 1965 and began their careers. Curt taught business at Simla High School and then bookkeeper/reception for Elbert County Social Services. Kathy became a Colorado State University Extension Agent for Elbert County and finished her career with New Mexico State University in Albuquerque.
Then it was their own kids costumes. The two oldest, Rusty and Kim, are pictured in what they wore in the Windsor Labor Day parade. Of course, we had to keep up the tradition of being in the parade. This was about 1973.
Youngest, Garry, the clown of our family, cracked us up on a daily basis doing his own “costume” thing. “Oh what you can do with a wig and tennis balls.” I’d guess this crack-up picture was taken in 1979 and I’m sure he loves the fact it is on the website. He has three sons so they will be cracking up over this picture of their dad!
But for Curt costumes didn’t start that soon. His first costume was when we were asked to be chaperones at our now teenage kid’s high school Halloween Dance in Simla, Colorado. Living out on the Eastern Plains meant most of the time you had to make do – so with fabric on hand and new sheets (the blue) that never saw the bed and a sewing machine Raggedy Ann and Andy were created. Hats and socks were crocheted from yarn. You can even see the white border cording of the bed sheet as it became the cuffs for the end of Curt’s pants.
“In a world where YOU can be anything,
Now scroll back to the top of the page and you’ll see we are still Raggedy Ann and Andy strolling through life together – even if one of Andy’s socks is slipping down a bit. Who cares at this age? We just wanta’ have fun!
Costumes You Can Borrow