Sunday, November 9, 2008


Another story from my Journalism class. This time I had to work with another classmates. He did some interviews, and I wove the story together. Then we collaborated on the lead and ending. This was a "fun feature" story about something happening in the area of our community.

As is the case every October, people notice more and more faces staring at them with weird expressions. Fortunately gangs and graffiti are not the issue.

The Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins has become so popular, that it is not uncommon to see three to six carved pumpkins sitting on the doorsteps of houses and apartments. Interestingly, college student housing seems to match the amount of doorstep squash as other families.

It’s evident that carving pumpkins is not just for children. College students find it a great social activity. It’s an opportunity and excuse to get together with friends in a wholesome setting. Most of the young adult crowds love the creative experience of getting down and dirty with their pumpkins.

“I carved the most amazing pumpkins this Halloween—all in one week,” said Jessica M--, who has three carved pumpkins to her name this season. “I think I might just like all the guts! The first was a cool sun with sunglasses, the second was abstract—and the third was a puppy dog.”

Home evenings, dates and neighborhood gatherings are all popular situations for pumpkin carving activities. It’s become a tradition. Such is the case with Lance and Rebecca G-- of Highland, Utah. They started an annual pumpkin carving contest about seven years ago with the intent of encouraging their college age nieces and nephews to date. The Garretts provide dinner, pumpkins, carving tools and small prizes for their efforts.
“For the kids, this was a cheap date,” Lance G-- said. “There is always a grand prize winner and a loser, but the real winners are those who had a good social experience with their dates.”

The G--’s further explained that it gives the couples an opportunity to engage in some “small talk” and learn about their date’s sense of humor and creativity. Pumpkins turned out with impressive artwork and even pyrotechnics. Another benefit is that cousins are able to introduce their dates to the family, with two contests resulting in wedding engagements.

“Pumpkins are so unique—who thought to carve a pumpkin and put a face on it,” Hallie S-- said. “Someone obviously connected a pumpkin with a head, then thought, ‘Hmm…let’s poke some holes in it to make eyes, nose and a mouth’.”

Those pumpkin heads and spooky signs may be unique, but they have become classic in the neighborhood Halloween atmosphere.

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