The year: about 1987. The place: an old house that Tom lived in Santa Cruz, California. The event: a costume Halloween party.
I was inside my front room, a few guests had already arrived, and I think I was hanging up someone's coat. It was dusk, and I happened to glance out the front window. What I saw caused me to momentarily question my sanity: there, through the wavy old glass (it was already at that time an almost 100-year-old house), I saw what looked like a giant version of one of my Limpet backpacks, with two legs and two arms, coming towards me down the walkway. My first thought was that it was some weird reflection of a backpack from inside my house, but I did a quick look around and saw there were no packs of any kind in the front room. I then looked out again to see the giant pack coming still closer to the front door. A brief shutter of terror passed over me: "oh man, I've been working too hard . . ." Then the giant backpack knocked on my front door. I opened it cautiously, wondering if I was about to meet my own personal poltergeist.
The voice of my friend Juanita, coming from within the giant backpack, reassured me: it was an elaborate costume she had fabricated for the party. Juanita had done an amazing job, creating a Limpet backpack about three times its original size, complete with a large-scale version of the iceskating boy logo.
Had she done this all for my benefit, I asked?
"No", she answered, "I would not say benefit ".
(With apologies to Harold of Harold and Maude, and many thanks still to Juanita.)
My brother Dan took these photos a day or two later, on the beach at Natural Bridges State Beach; we found them a few months ago searching through the archives for photographs and old catalogs to feature in our new Seattle Factory Showroom.
A Limpet backpack; this one is on display in our Seattle Factory Showroom.
Original sketches/renderings of the ice skating boy logo, based upon art from The American Boys Handy Book.