The Statue of Limitations Has Expired
The Great Pumpkin Caper
Every year on the third Wednesday of October, Circleville, Ohio, my hometown, goes haywire and
nutso but we all love it. We celebrate what is called the Pumpkin Show. It is the
largest celebration of its kind in the entire nation. The Pumpkin Show covers 8 city blocks and at
least several hundred thousand people visit it very year. To get a better idea of what the Pumpkin Show
is check out their website by clicking here.
Our celebration has parades, free shows, free exhibits and food galore from pumpkin pies to
pumpkin ice cream. There is something for everybody of all ages. My favorite
food has always been the french fries. These french fries or
greasy fries are still sold there today. As you chew on those greasy
rascals, the grease just rolls down your chin. Yummmmmmmmy. Give me some more fat and
cholesterol! I don't have the time to attend the Pumpkin Show much these days,
but when I do attend, I indulge in those fries which were very much part of my pleasant
memories of the Pumpkin Show.
Every day there are two parades except Saturday where there is only one, so many
businesses, schools, and churches enter their floats. What is a float in the Pumpkin Show without
pumpkins? This one particular year, the church I was attending with two of my best friends, was planning
to enter a float. The float committee solicited help from anyone in the parish who could
provide pumpkins. Of course my friend Ron said he knew of a farmer who raised pumpkins and would
provide them to the church. What he didn't tell them was he hadn't asked the farmer nor did he know
him. He just knew where the farm was located. Since the statue of limitations has expired, I can now
provide details of the Great Pumpkin Caper.
It was a dark moonless night as we cruised in Jim's 1950 black Chevy. This car wasn't
the best looking machine around but it always made it to where we were going. This amazing
dented and rusted auto had running boards to beat all, a classic piece of work if you ask
me. As we drove down an old dirt road near Stoutsville, Ron was having difficult remembering where
exactly the farm was located, but we finally discovered it on a whim.
As Ron and I climbed out of the car, Jim opened the trunk to load the borrowed
pumpkins. Ron and I hopped over the fence with our flashlights and started fetching our treasures.
As we picked the pumpkins we handed them over the fence to Jim who then placed them in the
trunk. When the trunk was about full, Jim said "that should be enough." As we were climbing back over
the fence to make our escape, a pickup pulled out of the driveway of the farm house and started
honking the horn and flashing the headlights. Ron and I raced to the car and Ron jumped
in and Jim took off with me holding on to the half-open car door. I managed to get one
foot on the running board, but I was still hobbling along side the car. I don't know how fast we were
going but my left Keds canvas shoe was blowing smoke, or may have been the dust from the dirt road. The
scary part of this was that the pickup was on our rear-end still honking and flashing its
headlights. I thought I was doomed. If I fell the truck would surely run over me.
A prayer was out of the question. I was stealing pumpkins for the church. For some reason I don't think
God would understand.
Jim was a huge muscular guy and played tackle on our high school football team. Today
I still haven't a clue how he did it, but he reached across Ron with his big burly arm and
grabbed one of my arms and yanked me into the car still maintaining control of the car. Wow! I'm in but the
teed off farmer is still on our butts. While traveling what seemed like a high rate of speed, Jim
made a 45 degree right turn. Even today, I don't know of anyone who could make that turn
without flipping the car. Of course the farmer missed the turn and continued going
straight. Were we safe? Did he get the license number? Time will surely tell.
All three of us worried all week about being arrested. Because of our deed we
thought for sure we would miss the Pumpkin Show. We even got together to discuss our stories to
insure they would match if the police should question us.
The week went by without any news about our adventure.
When Sunday arrived our chests were proudly expanded for our role in providing the much needed
pumpkins, but they soon deflated rapidly as we discovered that another parishioner had already provided
the pumpkins legally. Now what are we going to do with 22 pumpkins? Serves us right. Can you
imagine stealing anything for a church? What were we thinking about?