Saturday, September 25, 2010

Volunteer Pumpkin

My father was known around Memphis and some parts of Mississippi as the Pumpkin Man. He would plant pumpkins in the fields closest to the highway, road back then. Mother would paint wooden pumpkins to place in the field. School children, children from St. Jude, families, adults, and just folks would drive to the farm to purchase pumpkins. For the school children, Head Start, and St. Jude he would ride those who could on the flat bed attached to his faithful John Deere tractor for a ride through the fields. When he died, the local television station gave all of us, his children and my mother a video they had made of the Pumpkin man.
Every year since he has died, a volunteer pumpkin grows in our yard. The first year, I thought what is this strange plant. Even this year I was not sure. Ray and I cut it off the vine this morning. He put it on our mailbox. The man who built the house was a mason. Here is this year's volunteer pumpkin. On this clear day with a Harvest moon to come, I reflect on all the joy my father gave to me.
And I wonder about those volunteer pumpkins...
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