Monday, October 30, 2006
When Harry met Bertha
I've always enjoyed Halloween. A time for fantasy and creative silliness. A time for everyone to confront and release the demons within! When I worked in New York doing movie make up, we always had commissions from New Yorkers to help with costumes. My speciality was fake tattoos and scars. My friend, Chuck could do dental casting and created the most perfect fangs for those wannabee vampires. I also know a few different fake blood recipes and we always made it cherry or orange flavored.
At our old house here in France, we started to grow pumpkins. One year, we ordered Atlantic Giant seeds from a company in New York State that specialized in giant vegetables. We had quite few big ones that year but one was special, it grew and grew and I even built a shelter for it so it wouldn't ripen and split before it had finished growing....eventually, it seemed to stop growing...people heard about it and came from all over to look at it. The Sud-Ouest photographed it and did 2 different articles about it. Finally we decided to let our friend Eric in Terrasson show it in the square in front of his florist shop....We named it Bertha. It weighed in at almost 500 pounds and took 6 men and a horse trailer to move it.
Right before it left to become a celebrity in Terrasson, our friends, Brian and Melinda came over with their son Harry Styx. This is a picture of Harry and Bertha.
The next year, we had seeds from some of the other Atlantic Giants we grew and I decided to try my hand at carving. Note: The Atlantic Giant pumpkins are not eating pumpkins, they are pretty bland. This was my first attempt and went on display in front of the Epicerie in Badefols d'Ans, where we live now. Everyone seemed to think they knew the guy who was my model. I named him "Dave".
Now it's become a tradition of sorts. I have good friends who have a horticultural business selling flowers and plants....palm trees, bamboos, camelias, bananas as well as chysanthemums and geraniums and I have been refining my carving technique and they display the pumkin up in town as publicity with a sign for their business.
Here is this years pumpkin, I call him Arnie! Happy Halloween!