Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pumpkin Bridge in Bynum - Part 1

We start at 1 PM with 170 pumpkins, and 8 neighbors. 

Some neighbors are really cool artists! Paperhand Puppet 
founder and comic artist Jan Burger. 

Some of us are just handy with a knife. 
A pumpkin I carved and gutted in 6 minutes.
We have lots of guts. We save most of the seeds 
for roasting and compost the rest.
Jan Burger and Dawn Porter in deep concentration.

Guts-r-us -- we need to find someone with pigs that might like this tasty treat! 
Miss Maggie checks on us! Good to see her!
Johnny Walken. An all around good guy 
and an awesome musician.

Pumpkin # 3 awaits my inspiration. 
You have to get your head out of the way. 
Your hand and the knife know what to do. 
Clyde Jones comes by for a visit. I ask him if he wants 
to do a pumpkin. He said,"I don't know how to carve."  
Then the highlight of the whole day happened. 

Jan being Jan (and very smart) walked up to Clyde with
 a post hole digger, a shovel and a hoe. "Want to help me 
get the guts out of this pumpkin?" Clyde 
couldn't resist the implements of destruction. 

The seeds were the size of my thumb. We 
regretted we did not have a Rio or Cosmo to put inside. 
We would photograph their cuteness, ad infinium.
Me - ever the worry wart - sent an email with this 
picture, "We need help." Dawn kept telling me to 
not worry. They'd all get done! 
I think this was Jack-o-lanterns #4 or 5 - carved 
and gutted in about 12 minutes.
I keep the bar low so to not intimidate 
potential newbie pumpkin artists.... 
Jamie Hager took a break from Haunted 
House making to carve for a bit. 
Carrie arrives with styling Miss Thing - look at 
that new hairdo! 
Hmmmm.. Clyde knows how to carve after all! 

The troops arrive!

A few more photos.... 

18 down. 150 something to go. 

And more neighbors!! <3
And more neighbors! 
And more neighbors arrive!
And friends!! 
And we scoop out more guts.... 
You should have heard the chatter at this table. 
Stephan Meyers is the chef at Small B&B Cafe, a musician, 
a folk artists and an extraordinary human. 
At 3 PM the school bus drops off the"Pumpkin Murders." 
Groupies on the school bus are waving to us and 
hollering out the windows "We love you pumpkin people."
 We wave back and hold partially-carved Jacks in the air!
A neighbor said, "I feel like such a rock star." 

Johnny Walken

Donovan Zimmerman. Paperhand Puppet founder #2, 
extraordinary artist and a great dad. 
I think this is my most favorite picture of the whole day.
A few more photos...

Ms. Waugh sashays in....  The party has arrived! :-)

Pretty soon there are pumpkins being murdered right and left and guts everywhere and phrases like "I need one of them there things!!" is being shouted across the valley... corn chips and salsa arrive to sustain us...
I carve and gut pumpkins #7 and 8 in 4 minutes each. Carving pumpkins is the only thing I am fast at. 
About 5:30, 160-something stunning looking Jack-o-lanterns are loaded into pickups. (The last few pumpkins are finished and walked to the bridge about 6pm.) Two trucks go to the Bynum Beach Road, and two trucks go to the Ruritan Club. Neighbors arrive with wheelbarrows and red wagons and roll the Jack-o-lanterns out on the bridge. This takes a little more than an hour. Rebekkah the Bridge Fairy puts candles in and then in a mad flurry at dusk anyone with a stick lighter or matches lights them. You can see the glimmer and flicker of small flames across the span. And as dark settles the bridge glows....

See Bynum's Pumpkin Bridge - Part 2 for pictures of the pumpkins on the bridge.

A video about Bynum and the pumpkins on WUNC's Our State Magazine:

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter