(See photos of most of the pumpkin creations at the bottom of this blog entry).
I guess I’m too old to play the pouty-face. While the child-like, mock despair may still work on my dad, I know it doesn’t work on my boyfriend and now I know it doesn’t work with my boss.
I wanted to write a big, front page story about the Root Family and their ongoing adventures with mystery pumpkins.
Happy news is fun, and orange, happy news is even better.
If I’m in the minority in this sentiment, I’m sure I’m not totally alone.
Yet, if something happens four years in a row, it is no longer considered “news,” my bossman said.
Luckily, I have this column, this happy, sappy corner of the newspaper where decorated orange orbs have their moment of glory.
Here’s the scoop
Beginning Oct. 1, the Root Family, again, began receiving fully-adorned pumpkins on their fence posts. This has happened four years in a row.
Each year, I’ve asked family members if they know who the secret artist may be. Each time, they say no.
Last year, I began asking family members if they are lying.
Eric Root said he and his parents (Sherri and Marvin) have decided they don’t want to know who gives these fabulous gifts.
I did not ask them if they still believe in Santa.
If you’re clever, share the joy
The person who decorates the pumpkins, 12 so far this year, is talented.
This time, some nieces and a nephew visited Chico and the Root family asked the young girls to crayon a note to the pumpkin-crafter. The girls wrote some things they like, and traced their little hands, which is something little kids like to do.
The decorated fruit that arrived was astounding. Not only did s(he) use the children’s ideas, but she used the sketches of their hands in the designs.
One girl wanted a whale. A whale she got, with glass baubles assembled to make a blue whale. At the top of the pumpkin, more baubles were used to show the whale’s spout, in the exact same shape as the child’s hand.
The nephew likes John Deere tractors, and he got a pumpkin decorated with a tractor. Where steam rises above the engine’s exhaust pipe, the plumes are in the shape of the boy’s hands.
The second niece likes butterflies. You need to look closely, but you can see that the sketches of two hands are placed together to make the wings of the insect.
Then there’s the mustache mobile — with small, decorative pumpkins, each with a black mustache. The hairy decorations were for no known reason, and no one in the family traced their mustache onto paper.
So why is this story so important to tell? Because it’s good, clean, creative fun. Here we have someone doing something very nice for someone else.
Is this news? Well, probably not. But even if acts of kindness happen all the time, I think part of my job is to share it with readers.
To see all the 12 pumpkins in a row: