I have been inspired by Stu Mills of CBC Ottawa Radio One, who vowed to air a pumpkin story daily until Halloween and I credit him for ensuring all his stories were based in local lore. I decided to write and post my own little series of the Twelve Days of Pumpkin. He aired his last one today and this is my final piece… The First Day of Pumpkin –The Great Pumpkin.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown takes highest honours and the top spot for my pumpkin stories. It’s one of my favourite holiday movies, perhaps second only to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Based on the Peanuts comic strip by the late, great Charles Schultz, it first aired on CBS in 1966.
There are few movies I can admit to watching annually for (gulp) the 45 years it’s been shown on TV. OK, I can think of no other movies I’ve watched as often as It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, except perhaps A Charlie Brown Christmas. A 30-minute show with commercials was probably pushing the limits of my three year-old attention span back then and tests the limits of this 47-year old’s spare time to this day, so when they say it’s suitable for all ages – it takes the pumpkin cake! Some in our household may currently hold The Simpsons Halloween special in higher regard (who went so far as to parody It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with It’s a Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse), but I seriously question if Marg and Homer can hold a pumpkin-scented candle to Snoopy and Linus.
When Charlie Brown received a rock at every house he visited, I realized that there might be worse things in a five-year old’s life than having to wear a snowsuit over my Halloween costume.
I was inspired by Linus’s endearing but perhaps misguided devotion to the imminent arrival of The Great Pumpkin, and long held on to my assertion that The Bay City Rollers were the best band ever (also a misguided devotion).
Having grown up the daughter of WWII displaced persons, Snoopy’s heroic but unsuccessful battle with the Red Baron and Schroeder’s ensuing musical tribute allowed me to laugh, once a year, at the mocking of a terrible war.
I can thank Violet’s for inspiring me to host annual Halloween parties for my kids when they were younger.
Finally, I’m sure I’m not the first to silently (or not silently) think, “You go, girl!”, as Sally unleashed her disappointment after falling prey to another boy’s whimsical dreams and missing out on her own fun. I can only hope there is someone in my midst today worthy of being called a “blockhead”.
Whatever it was … it still is. Despite all these years, I still find some unfailing connection to this seasonal TV special. I’ve passed Snoopy-lovin’ on to my daughter (but really, how hard can that be?) as a result of his enduring presence in our lives.
Thanks to the magic that was – IS – Charles Munro Shultz’s, The Great Pumpkin is my last day of pumpkin!
As a post script, I would also like to add that I now know that I
a) Will be seeing the colour orange until Christmas; and,
b) Have greater respect for writers who maintain daily entries to their blogs. It’s a devotion I do not possess. It was not only a significant challenge to find enough stimulating pumpkin stories without resorting to the World Largest Pumpkin Pie, it was demanding to make time to write and post them daily. I am almost relieved to return to the previous commitment I made to myself of posting weekly. I know those who read my post about pumpkin décor are breathing a sigh of pumpkin-scented relief.
I wish you all a wonderful Halloween, and a great Pumpkin season!