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[vox] Off-Topic: It is pumpkin carving time again
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[vox] Off-Topic: It is pumpkin carving time again


	As some of you may remember from the last couple of Halloweens
	I help a friend with his pumpkin patch. It is that time again.
	In fact this morning I already started helping and will continue
	latter tonight to get ready. We picked up about 100 pumpkins
	we will use for some of the special ones.

	Last year we carved 589 pumpkins over the 3 days (about 17 hours
	worth of work). We had all of them lit for Halloween and Nov.
	1st. You can get a very good idea of what it was like but going
	to the web site I maintain at http://hematite.com/craig. I have
	pictures from the past years up there. I have have pictures of
	a 'stain glass pumpkin'. That being a pumpkin with two stain
	glass windows inserts (done by a local stain glass artist). I
	also have pictures of a 1200 lb pumpkin.

	The web site http://hematite.com/craig has directions and the
	schedules of events. Please feel free to come down and help on
	Saturday. There will be NO carving on Sunday, but we will be
	lighting them Sunday and Monday.

	If you have never seen over 400 lit pumpkins all at onces, it
	is a sight to see.

	For those of you with kids, this is also good for them. Craig
	does have treat-or-treats which he gives out (full size candy
	bars). He figures he will have between 500 to 600
	trick-or-treaters who will stop by.

	To answer a couple of quick questions before they come up
	(even though they are on the FAQ page), NO Craig does no buy
	all of the pumpkins. He does buy some, but the rest is donated
	by Larry's Produce. As for this being put into the paper. No
	we don't want that. This is pure word of mouth. In the past we
	have not even had the directions up on the web page. And they
	will be removed from the page on Nov. 2nd. And last, this is
	FREE!!!. We charge nothing. If you want to help, that will be
	great. And that is how we have ended up with about 200 people
	helping to curve all of the pumpkins (not all at once but
	over the 17 hours which we carve).

	Let me give a quick little story which is kind of our favorite
	story about the pumpkin patch (and can also be found on the
	FAQ page).

	A woman who lives farther up the road from Craig's was taking
	care of her sisters book store in Benicia who was taking some
	time off. While at the store her daughter was reading some kids
	books. On the way home that evening as they were driving up the
	road the young girl shouts - "STOP! Backup! Stop! IT'S TRUE!!!
	The Pumpkins did come alive!."  Seems she was reading a story
	where once a year on Halloween the pumpkins do come alive.

	So if you would like to be part of the 200 people who come
	(some from LA, or even out of state) and carve the pumpkins,
	please do so. Those who help are his family, neighbors and
	friends and others who like to help this community event. If
	you only want to stop by and see for yourself the pumpkins come
	alive, feel free to do so. Please set this coming weekend aside
	and join us. If you come at night, bring your camera and a
	tripod (don't use flash as it will wash out the effect). Don't
	for get to bring the kids of all ages. This is a great
	community event. I should also mention, each year the local
	Fire Department does stop by. Not that we have problems. But
	they stop by so they also can see the pumpkins as well as give
	out candy to the kids.

	If you want to carve a pumpkin but don't know how, we can teach
	you the secrets we know. It is easy to learn. If you want to
	help 'gut' the pumpkins, we need your help so others can carve.
	If you like playing with fire, help us lite the pumpkins. It
	take about 90 minutes to do so (and yes we use real candles).

	I do have to ask you to please keep it out of the press. There
	is not enough parking for thousands of people. We don't really
	mind the newspaper showing up where the story ends up being an
	after the event type story  but we really don't want the media
	circus (TV cameras, reporters, live interviews and location
	being given out). Craig's home is on a small two lane road
	and already the parking is an issue. We don't want the neighbors
	who like the event to all of a sudden to hate the event.

	I have already mention Larry's Produce who donates most of
	the pumpkins. Let me say if you are looking for some fresh
	produce Larry's has it. And without Larry's help we would not
	have as large of a pumpkin patch as what we do.

	If you have any questions which are not answered on the web page
	please feel free to E-mail me off line and I will be happy to
	answer your questions.

	I hope to see you.

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