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Continuing theme parties—For those who go down the shore and give parties–I know plenty of you must, ha, the Abington Party Book by Ethel Owen has a gala set up for you.  The beginning of the invitation suggested goes like this:

In the days of our childhood gone by

For the sea and sand we did cry;

We were captives and slaves

To the sound of the waves

As we built our sand castles high.

She suggests a game of  ’fishing’ Buy things from ‘your favorite store.’  Wrap and tie a ribbon around the favor in a loop. Tie strings on a pole with hooks at the end, and fish for your favor. Write clever things on the outside of the wrapping. She explains:

“a package could contain a card of safety pins and on the outside be written, ‘A friend in need’  Or a “miniature baseball bat might bear the legend ‘to bat all the troubles out of your life’”

I think we get the idea.

The Sand Pile activity is goofy–everyone is handed  a pail of moist sand in which they are to produce a work of art–a sand picture. The winner is bestowed a fist of  lollipops.

This one is rather odd–the men are given a ream of crepe paper, given a female guest’s name, and expected to come up with a crepe paper dress for his female within 15 minutes. The women parade around the room, and all vote on which dress is the best, then the winners,  both the lady and man who made the outfit, are crowned as king and queen of  ’The Pageant.’ Obviously this game refers to the then Miss America contest held in Atlantic City. At least it isn’t a bathing suit contest. Crepe paper for those might morph the party in to “The Orgy Party” or  ”The Porn Show Party.”

The menu suggestions–Salt of the Earth (Potato Salad) Salt of the Sea (Saltines and Cheese) Snappy Pair (Olives and Ginger Snaps)

Here’s an extravaganza of a party–Circus Days, complete with buying false faces (clowns, wild beasts) which the guests are required to wear and parade around having written down who is behind what face upon little bits of paper, whomever guesses the most correctly, wins a teddy bear. Eeks!

Ok, I had hopes for this party theme, but the rest of the games are lame at best–trying to keep balloons up in the air, until the only one whose balloon is still airborne after some time, wins, and typical– a game of charades–20s style–pantomiming–an example– “how did you act when you gave your first public speech?” Uh, whaaaat??

Some of the themes are truly bizarre. A”Box Party”? I can’t ascertain what that is supposed to mean, but they suggest real wooden boxes as seats–draped with silks. The “Caravan Party” pretends the guests travel throughout the world complete with Buddha cutouts, tents for a bazaar, and all are expected to wear a costume from some country–once again made out of crepe. If I didn’t know better, I’d believe this book is a cleverly disguised ad campaign for Dennison Paper Products, the big crepe producer of the time.

My goodness, these people took their parties seriously! The next one is called, The Hotel Party! And the hostess is required to make her home look as much like a hotel as possible, by arranging her living room furniture to represent the lobby, a room is used for ‘the office’ where each partygoer signs the register as if at a real hotel. There’s a sunroom, and a banquet room, where the guest buy their food with coupons of some sort.

There are too many themes to relate here–but I will scrutinize a few in my next and last article about this book, that I think have real ideas for cool parties. In the mean time, try to picture what a ‘Business Party” “Sign Party” “Rainbow Party,” Melody Party, ” and Carefree Party” may consist of. If you can figure those out, you deserve to win a copy of this book!

Diane Plumley

Diane Plumley

Diane Plumley

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