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Last year I found out there was a major offering of pumpkins on the back roads here in the Hamptons--there were farm stands and little pumpkin patches that the local farmers were selling pumpkins from and these were the most beautiful, big orange pumpkins you will ever see.


One farmer, though, went to the extra effort of hiring someone who was well known for carving pumpkins; he would carve faces in them as they were sold to a child or adult---These pumpkins were the most wonderful works of art and I swore I would come back this year and have him carve my pumpkin for me!

Now, My heart was literally beating like crazy--how neat is this going to be? I will have a fabulous Pumpkin made especially for me--I can tell the pumpkin carver sort of how I want it to look and he will do his best!

So, there I went, heading past the pond and farm fields and over the bridge toward the crowds along the highway and I could care less about any traffic jams... 



His name was Frank and he had been doing the pumpkin carving at Hanks stand for over 10 years; every kid in the Hampton’s knew him—the better they knew Frank the better chance they would have of getting a truly unusual carving—he used his best judgment and he never disappointed!

As I drove down Head of Pond Road in Water Mill, I saw a sign: “HANKS” and an arrow that pointed out toward the highway. I always stay away from the highway all summer long because of the trafic.  So this September I decided that I would check out the pumpkins where Frank worked, right out there beside the busy highway---There were hundreds of cars slowly driving past the fields of pumpkins; there were even more parked alongside the road. You really don’t ever want to get caught in the Pumpkin traffic at this time of year, but I had a mission!


I felt the excitement of having Frank carve a pumpkin for me.

"Frank knows me now” I said to myself…I could just about feel the same excitement that a kid feels when it comes time to step up to the table in the field of pumpkins and hand the best pumpkin in the patch to Frank. “Here Frank; I hope you carve me a really good one this year!”


If you go to all of the pumpkin stands here in the Hamptons, you will find over 20 of them; none is as interesting and as much fun as Hank’s Pumpkin stand.

Hank has it down to a science: rides, castles, slides and as many pumpkins as you can imagine all lined up waiting for your selective search for the best pumpkin in the patch! He even hired Frank to be his Pumpkin Carver because of his reputation with the kids!

This year I went looking for Frank who had carved those most wonderful faces on the pumpkins—I can see him now, in my minds eye: He would quickly carve away and then hand the carved pumpkin to the patient little hands and the kids would scream with excitement as they all looked it over, raving at the detail and the way the carving made the pumpkin come to life!





I looked again down the long line of pumpkins, all the way to the front of the field…I was looking for the old blue metal bench that Hank would be standing behind---and there would be a long line of kids, waiting.

There were no kids. They must have been told to wait somewhere else!



So, now as I go to the very back of the pumpkin field and I looked toward the road I saw all the rows of picked pumpkins lined up, waiting to be selected.

I saw the blue bench at the end of the long pumpkin line....no kids!

And I could not find Frank.



I looked and looked again; I saw his work bench; no Frank!

I found out later from the man at the old bench that he was gone—Frank had not survived the cold hard winter....



It seems that Frank became ill over the winter and got pneumonia. His wife told the man at the Pumpkin Bench that He died in the early spring and had left nothing of his great talent of face carving---all the pumpkins that he had carved over the years were given to the children who came here just for him---the most beautiful carvings you could ever imagine! I did get a few photos of those faces---they were very quickly whisked away to the trunk of a nearby car and were never to be viewed again, at least by me! So my meager collection of photos is all that is left of this man’s craft!


I saw the carving table, where so many years of pumpkin carving took place….Empty, and sad….the most dreary feeling came over me. I would never have that feeling of looking into the Pumpkin face carved by Frank, specifically for me! 

What a shame---the lost art of pumpkin carving! I needed to leave then; I was a grown woman—it would not do for me to burst into tears.



I did see tears though; there were two little boys who had been standing near the table. They had just been told that Frank was not there anymore and they would not get their treasured pumpkins carved this year…


What a shame!


 *Note: This is a work of fiction but based upon an actual Pumpkin Farm called "HANKS" here in the Hamptons.  The character called Frank is from my childhood--someone who lived in a little town in Michigan, where I grew up. I found out the last time I went home to visit my brother that this pumpkin carver had died and I had a very sad feeling that I had never gone to him to have him carve me a pumpkin; now I never would be able to.

In childhood we have so very few things that stimulate our imaginations as much as those characters who did things for us....this one is indelibile in my mind and I love sharing it with all of you!










- See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4207729/a-pumpkin-carved-by-hank-#17112146


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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Your work of fiction is superb as I could feel your excitement!

Oct 01, 2013 12:29 PM #1
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

What a wonderful lost art of pumpkin carving.  So glad you go some photos and you will always have the memories! ;)

Oct 01, 2013 01:39 PM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Paula, I love these works of fiction!  There is a magical pumpkin patch is rural Maryland that I think I have to visit this Halloween season.

Oct 01, 2013 01:40 PM #3
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Paula, Thanks for solving the photo thing. These are wonderful. Thanks for sharing this special story.
Oct 01, 2013 03:07 PM #4
Robert Fowler - 55CommunityGuide.com
President of Retirement Media Inc. - Braselton, GA
55+, Active Adult and Retirement Communities

Great photos of the pumpkin, getting us in to the Halloween season.  Skills built us over a lifetime just vanish.  Something sad about that, but we enjoyed them in the present and have our memories.

Oct 01, 2013 10:25 PM #5
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Margaret: Thank you--I was hoping it didn't lose it's impact, especially with all the trouble I had getting photos uploaded! We do have a number of pumpkin carvers out here in the Hamtpons but I have never had one do one for me---there is sort of thrill I get when I see someone carving a pumpkin. Being one of six kids and growing up in the country, I have always carved pumpkins at this time of year...so there is a bit of nostalgia involved here, knowing that it is now a thing of the past.

Joan: ...and that is exactly where the story comes from---memories of those fall days in the pumpkin patch, searching and searching for the perfect one for me--in the perfect color too!

Patricia: Thanks for reading it and although it is fiction there is a whole lot of it that brings back to me those golden days as a child, one of many. I look at those days often now as symbolic of something greater and it has to do with our imagination and how we are taught to use it. If I did not have those things such as pumpkin picking time in my youth, my adult years would be much less interesting! I hope you agree---I know you well enough to know that you know of what I speak!


Oct 01, 2013 10:52 PM #6
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

William: Thank you for hanging in there! It was quite a ride for me to finally get the time to sit down, focus on the icons, get the pictures uploaded and then transfered to the page---what a journey! I am not totally tech ignorant but this was an uncommonly complicated way to try to write a post! I think the tutorial that Bob is putting together is going to be great--I still will need help because I can see there are layers of things about the system that will make blogging here more interesting...My concern is: For all those new to blogging, will it come together for them from the creative standpoint or will the techy part of blogging be the barometer of who joins AR to tell their stories, both real estate and otherwise? Let's hope it will not be too daunting to the more artistic sort! :)

Robert: Thank you for getting the point! Isn't it interesting that at the time that I submit a post where the photos are such an integral part of the story that the system becomes monstrously impossible to navigate for me?? Wonder what the message is there for me?...nothing is easy, I guess?

Oct 01, 2013 11:05 PM #7
Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

That was a great story. You had me going right up to the end. I was about to cry about the two little boys!

Oct 02, 2013 10:15 AM #8
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Thom: I am so glad you liked the story..it was something that I felt that people can relate to---this time of year has a great deal of nostalgia for me and I always had such a great time in the Fall during my childhood. There was a pumpkin carver in the little town where I grew up in michigan and there was always a following of little kids who wanted him to carve the faces for them...he was so good at it and when I went home to visit my brother the last time, one of the things he told me was that this man had passed away. His name was not Hank but hearing of his death had a similar feeling to me as in this story: "Oh darn, I never had him carve a face for me on my pumpkins!" 

Oct 03, 2013 03:09 AM #9
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!
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