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Costumes, candy and coiffeurs

Barbara Diamond

Halloween is one of the busiest times of the year at Tippecanoe’s,

a vintage clothing store.

“We get customers right up to closing,” said Chazz Wergeles,

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co-owner with Barbie Hawk of the store. “Sometimes we are here until

8 or 9 p.m. It can get frantic.”

Wergeles hires extra staff for Halloween customers who come in

right up to party time.

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“The girls get them dressed from head to toe,” Wergeles said.

“They choose wigs, dresses, jewelry and accessories, even cigarette

holders.”

Everything is for sale. No rentals.

“We make it cheaper to buy than to rent,” Wergeles said. “The most

expensive dress in the store right now is $28.”

A showstopper of silver paillettes, sort of oversized sequins,

sold recently for $22.50.

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Tippecanoe’s began displaying outfits suitable for Halloween the

first week in September.

“It gets earlier and earlier every year,” said Wergeles, who plans

to dress up this year as a hard-working vintage store owner.

Wergeles and Hawk have owned the store at 648 South Coast Highway

since 1995, worked there since 1982 and shopped there since it opened

in 1976. They will begin shopping for Halloween 2003 on Nov. 1.

Ron Baron, owner of five Candy Baron Stores, including the one at

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231 Forest Ave., also will not be in costume on Halloween.

“I am English,” he said. “We are reserved.”

However, his wife and daughter will be costume to hand out candy

to the children of Laguna.

“It costs us more than we make, but its only once a year,” said

Baron, who came to this country 11 years ago.

He opened a store that year in Monterey, then the store in Laguna.

“I just signed a new five year lease,” Baron said. “You can’t say

that for many stores in Laguna.”

Baron said his candy is a little too pricey for some folks to pass

out by the handfuls.

“But I just had a customer come in and spend $70,” he said. “I

don’t know if it was for Halloween. We get people from out of town

who say their kids want to come here before they go to Disneyland.”

Candies popular with children included Nerds, Gummie Rats and Sour

Sprays.

He suggests wrapped candies for parents’ peace of mind.

Halloween is a fun time for Charles Thompson, owner of Charles’

Wigs at 1816 South Coast Highway.

“I once dressed up a rock star with a pink, spiked wig clear down

to my butt, black tights and a white shirt with puffy long sleeves,”

Thompson said.

But his real fun comes from selling, styling and renting wigs for

Halloween.

“Customers get ideas from the mannequins in the store and they

know I am creative,” said Thompson, who portrayed Jesus in the Last

Supper at the Pageant of the Masters for 30 years.

About 30 wigs are displayed at any one time in the store, from

natural colors to sherbet shades.

“This year, pink, blue, orange and violet wigs are popular,” he

said. “But recently someone wanted to be the “New Cher” with blond

hair.

Some years there is a trend: everyone decides to be Marilyn

Munroe, for instance. If an insufficient number of suitable wigs are

in stock, Thompson will order them. It usually takes two days at the

most to get delivery.

“I will take orders right up to Oct. 30,” Thompson said.

The next day he plans to spend with grandchildren.

Trick or Treat

* DOING BUSINESS is a feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. Contributions are welcomed. Write to Barbara Diamond, P.O. Box

248, Laguna Beach, 92652, hand-deliver to 384 Forest Ave., Suite 22;

call 494-4321 or fax 494-8979.


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