When you turn into your motel and see something like this in the parking space next to you, you have to wonder if maybe you made a bad turn somewhere.
The young folks (I hope they are folks, since they are in rooms around and above me) were headed to the 39th annual Halloween party sponsored by the city of Athens and Ohio University.
I had just come from covering my first OU football game since since 1970. It wasn’t the 57 degrees and sunny promised. It was in the 40s, cloudy and with a brisk wind. I warned the gal in the blue costume that her skin would match her clothes if she stayed out very long.
It’s a wild party
The Halloween (and many other block party events) have the reputation for degenerating into public displays of drunken debauchery, sometimes ending up with cars being overturned and fires being started.
I was looking forward to covering my first Athens riot since the university closed in 1970 two weeks after four students were gunned down by the National Guard at Kent State.
The only problem was that it was cold, I was tired and parking spaces were non-existent.
So, when one of the kids asked if I would take their photo with one of their cameras. I honored the request, then decided I’d rather have Halloween come to me instead of me chasing it.
Friend Carol and I spent Wednesday turning pages of Ohio University Posts as old and brittle as we are trying to piece to together the stories that go along with the pictures I took of the birth of the student rights movement at the university in Athens in 1969 and 1970.
Radio station WOUB is going to record our pearls of wisdom Thursday afternoon. I’ll hold my photos up to the microphone while Carol recites facts. I hope former Postie and now broadcast honcho Tom Hodson warns listeners that they are going to have to stare hard at their speakers to get the full benefit of the show.
After dinner, I confessed to her that I hadn’t shot anything to run on the blog. It was cold and rainy most of the day and colder and more rainy tonight. We drove around hoping I’d get inspired, but I quickly realized that I probably couldn’t get away with stopping my car in the middle of the street to shoot a picture like I could when I worked for the paper.
We stumbled around the hilly city streets trying to find a house she and an indeterminate number of her friends rented. Indeterminate because more people used it as a mailing address than actually lived there. Don’t ask. I didn’t.
We found it, but she wouldn’t knock on the front door.
1,396 pumpkins on the lawn, take one down, pass it around, 1,395 pumpkins on the lawn.
That’s the way it has been going since 1,396 pumpkins arrived at the Grace United Methodist Church’s Grace Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 6.I didn’t do an actual count, but I don’t think more than about three dozen were left.
Jim Englehart wheels a monster pumpkin out to the van for Riley, 8, and Delaney Daugherty, 5. This guy was at the top end of the $3 to $30 price range and was the last of the big boys left on Halloween afternoon.
Come from New Mexico
The pumpkins come from an Indian reservation in New Mexico and are raised for a wide variety of churches and charitable organizations. The growers set the price based on size and the organizations get a percentage of the sale money. They don’t have to pay for any that go unsold. Anything left over after Halloween are destined for an Illinois hog farm, I was told by Marilyn and Barb Kinsey. The Patch has been selling pumpkins for about a dozen years.
Pumpkin Patch photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.