October’s here, so that means pumpkins. Front page of the Plain Dealer: Jerry Rose from Geauga County has grown a 1,344 1/2 pound pumpkin, winning the annual Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers competition. It measures 15 feet around, and weighs the same as a cow. As usually happens in these competitions, Rose won a ludicrous amount of money, and the pumpkin’s being shipped off to a Chicago hotel to be carved into a giganzo jack-o’-lantern. (Giant fruit can gain you fortune and fame: my dad’s buddy grew a giant, and sold it to a Six Flags in Fiesta, Texas for a patriotic pumpkin carving competition. He ended up getting all these fan letters from a 4th grade class in Mexico, prodding him for tips. He’s written an article on growing pumpkins in your very own garden.)
My interest? Growing up in Circleville, Ohio, home to the Greatest Free Show on Earth: The Circleville Pumpkin Show. Something that has to be seen to be believed, this year the festival hits on the 19th-22nd. The lady and I have been debating attendence–though my first inclination is to avoid it like the plague, the editor of Ohio Magazine told me he might be interested in a “Letter From…” piece for next October’s issue (these mags plan way far ahead.) So who knows? We might be in for a dispatch…in the meantime, check out the Miss Pumpkin Show contestants from my senior year in high school. Yowsa.