Do Young Children Need A Ticket To Illinois Football Games Halloween – Busting Pumpkins

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Halloween – Busting Pumpkins

As Halloween approaches, I think back to the late October evenings of my youth in Clinton, Illinois in the early 70’s. Football season, homecoming, and the Apple and Pork Festival, wrapped around harvest time and ending with Halloween, were always a favorite time of year.

The groups of kids I “ran with” were good people because everyone respected their parents and dads and respected them in return. One was Halloween, when we were haunted by the mischievous nature of young teenagers.

Pumpkin carving was a family event as a child. Two large spoons, a large knife, a small knife and old newspapers covered the table, preparing to begin “Operation Pumpkin”. Peeling off the top of the pumpkin, revealing the pungent, pungent smelling “goo” always brought a look of disgust on my face. After the cavity was cleaned, the face was carved, the candle was lit and yes, we named the new family member before we set him up on our front porch.

Most of our pumpkins make it through Halloween without incident, however, on two or maybe three occasions, our pumpkin has fallen victim to unknown killers by smashing into the street in front of our house. I would later learn that my friends also suffered their own losses. It was both a sad and depressing time for all.

After many Halloweens, my friends and I decided we were going to kill a pumpkin. Wearing painted faces and dark clothing, we went in search of the perfect orange specimen in our small town. There wasn’t a single pumpkin among the five of us that didn’t belong to someone near or dear to us! Every glowing pumpkin we decide to release will have a look of disappointment on its face. Yard to yard, bush to bush, our search continued. Running from barking dogs, sliding in dog poop, sweaty, dirty, tired and smelling like barnyard animals we found ourselves a perfect orange ball of “goo”.

The “sign” was from a retired English teacher we all had in grade school. The pumpkin was huge, I mean, 1/3 the size of a Volkswagen! As we approached the “beast,” we immediately noticed that the only thing between the retired English teacher and the pumpkin was the all-glass storm door. Sitting in her rocking chair, with her back to the door, we went in for the kill.

It took three of us to pick the “oversized zucchini”. Taking small, clumsy, small steps we grunted quietly and grinned as we accompanied “King Kong” from door to sidewalk. Not wanting to get caught, we wasted no time and immediately tried to crack the pumpkin. I said, “We tried”. The giant pumpkin won’t burst! He bounced! We tried four times, laughing at each failure. A man who tried to kick only succeeded in injuring his leg. We are done! Quickly, we hoisted the “stubborn fruit” back to its original spot on the English teacher’s front porch and left.

On the way home, I wondered if it was by accident or the result of years of wisdom, that our retired English teacher chose a non-split pumpkin. I’m pretty sure it was the latter. As I neared my house, I was greeted by a cracked pumpkin in the middle of the road. I couldn’t help but think, “What kind of shock would Busting Pumpkins be”!

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