The Pumpkin Story
Now I was saving this story up for at least a little while because I know that it is the single most amusing story of my dad. We all know he was voted the second craziest dad for the class of 1998 and this story is one of the reasons why he ranked so high up there. It is one of those stories that will live on forever, one that dad had to take all of the harassment about because he was just acting so damn crazy.
It was the summer and I was probably 14 years. I had decided to take over part of the sweet corn field to grow some pumpkins to make some extra money and because I wanted to grow the big stuff and take it to the Wayne County Fair. I cannot say I had any record breakers in the bunch, but they were really coming along because I had all of the fertilizer I needed from the farm.
Anyhow, it was one of those days where something had set dad off and I was completely unaware that the shit was about to hit the fan for me. I was just finishing up watering the pumpkins, which is something I did every day because that was the only way to keep them growing during the hot summer. I was walking back by the tool shed and dad was walking towards me. As soon as he saw me he asked what I was doing and I told him simply that I had just finished watering my pumpkins. I guess that was the wrong thing to be doing because he started yelling about how there is so much shit to be cleaning up around the farm and that I should be out in my fucking garden. I do not think I even responded to it.
The next thing I knew he hopped on the 550, which was the small tractor that we used to scrape the barnyard and driveways. He revved it up all the way, slammed it in reverse and got it out of the shop. Then jammed it in gear and took off. The shop is right beside my garden so it did not take long before I realized just what he was doing.
I did not know what to say or do, I stood there half upset and half dumbfounded as dad tore through the garden. He kept using the wheel brake and for those of you that don’t know what that does, it allows you to lock up one wheel so the other spins out and you can keep doing circles. I still have the image of the mud, vines, and pumpkins getting kicked up by the outside wheel and flying all over the place. He kept going around and around making sure he destroyed every last bit of pumpkins.
After the garden was in ruins he drove back by me and yelled “Now you don’t have to worry about your damn pumpkins anymore.” And then he parked the tractor. I am not sure where he went after that as I headed into the garden to assess the damage. It was almost a complete loss, only a few gourds survived the rampage that was Dad. Man I wish I had a picture of what it looked like after it was all over. But I do have a special picture of what happened when it was all over.
In the shot below, you can see where I was standing and the rounds that dad took to make sure that I would not be out in my garden for the rest of the season.
A few friends of the family and oil field buddies got wind of the story and knew that it was too good to let go. Steve Hagen (Hagen Well Service) and Jimmy Legg setup this little display at Sandy Supply. Anyone who worked in the oil field made a stop in at Sandy Supply at some point to buy parts, pipes, tools, or just to bullshit. The picture below was on display for several weeks right on the front counter where everyone would see it. As you can see it has all of us kids on the pumpkins and Shawn is crying. So even people that did not know Chuck Cutter personally heard about this story. I wonder how many people remember this display.
The harassment that Dad caught over the years about this story was unmatched. Anytime it would come up about him blowing up and going off this story was sure to come up. He could only go along with it and laugh because he knew he was completely wrong on this one. You will also be happy to know that this was not the end of my pumpkin growing career as I only took more of the garden over the next year and grow ever more pumpkins. I also did not just grow pumpkins and gourds, but also zucchini and sun flowers. I took 3rd on my pumpkin, 2nd on zucchini and I think 4th on the sunflower. The best part of all of it was that I ended up selling a bunch of the big pumpkins and made over $1200 that year. So I did alright.