Mr. Lord of the Gourds Visits the Super Bowl of Pumpkin Weigh-offs

I love Boston.

If I could transport the Rocky Mountains to Massachusetts, I would move there tomorrow. Well, except that I cannot spell M-A-S-S-A-C-H-U- S-E-T-T-S without the help of spell-check.

Jamie and I just returned from Boston and everything about the area resonated with me: the ocean, the rocky crags, the explosion of trees, the locals who can’t say their Rs…all of it was so endearing and I wonder why it has taken me this long to visit.

My new obsession is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket or Cape Code. If you have a vacation home on any of those islands, I will gladly take it off your hands for a week this summer.

Because I am generous like that.

For those just tuning in, I gave Jamie a trip to the Topsfield Fair for Father’s Day. This community outside of Boston hosts the oldest agricultural fair in the country (190 years old) and if you need a description, just think the Super Bowl.

But with really big, orange balls.

I could make fun of them all but do you know what? I got a kick out of the whole event. These people have giant pumpkin growing down to a science and watching Jamie meet his Pumpkin Idols was akin to watching Hadley score her first goal in soccer.

Should it ever happen.

When we first walked into the arena, the weigh-off was already underway. Jamie has been in correspondence with many of the growers on, a forum where guys talk about [what else?] pumpkins and the women who love them. Or hate them. It depends on the day.

Jamie was looking for one man in particular and walked up to a group to seek him out. One guy turned around and recognition struck Jamie like a smashing pumpkin: it was his idol Joe Justras who holds the world record for his 1,689-pound pumpkin. Loving wife that I am, I insisted they pose for a picture together.

Though it saddens me this will probably replace the family portrait in our living room.

Jamie spent the rest of the morning watching the weigh-off and meeting various pumpkin growers. They come from all walks of life: farmers, dentists, manufacturing engineers, mortgage brokers, and even the Mafia. Yes, you heard correctly. One man who is allegedly “cut from the same cloth as the Sopranos” showed up with his pumpkin a half hour after the entry deadline.

Funny how they still let him compete.

I thought I had seen everything until I stumbled upon this couple:

They seemed legit but I have learned the biggest con artists are those you least expect. And finding scalpers at a giant pumpkin weigh-off is certainly not expected.

The world record will likely be bested next weekend by Steve Connolly, whom we met at Topsfield. Even though Jamie and I were casual observers, we were still deemed noteworthy and were interviewed for the local newspaper.

I expect The New York Times to contact us any day for the follow-up.


Tune in next time as we journey to Salem, the land of the witches, and find out how we relived one of When Harry Met Sally’s more memorable moments.

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