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The Statue of Limitations Has Expired

The Great Pumpkin Caper

The Pumpkin Show

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?


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The Great Pumpkin Caper
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