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That memory of a day spent as America's favorite purveyor of pancake syrup, combined with her love of black cats, led to Kvetko's decades-long pursuit of vintage Halloween memorabilia. She has one of the world's spookiest collections of faux macabre-themed stuff: black and orange crepe paper from the '40s, still in its original package; plastic and papier-mâché pumpkins; never-removed-from-their box 1950s tissue paper noisemakers; and a ton of super-flammable kids' costumes.
"It seems like all this stuff was designed to burst into flames," says Kvetko, who owns local vintage emporium Go-Kat-Go. "There was no such thing as flame retardants back then, and all of these little cardboard Halloween pumpkins were meant to have a candle stuck in them. That's why Halloween stuff is so hard to find — it got destroyed. It's amazing that more houses didn't burn down!"
Kvetko's fond of the pieces that depict demonic faces. "These were for kids," she points out, "but they'd never be sold to children today, in an era where some schools won't even celebrate Halloween. People would be looking at a devil costume and having a heart attack."
Among these scarier pieces, Kvetko loves her stack of old postcards with devils printed on them. "Those are the freakiest," she admits. "You would buy a postcard with Satan on it and, you know, send it to your aunt in Ohio. 'Oh, hi, we're getting ready to celebrate Halloween! How're you?'"
4314 N. 7th Ave., 623-842-0220, Go-kat-go.com