The first sign of fall for me this year came when I was driving north on Apopka Vineland Road and I spotted this pumpkin brigade. I was heading out to another sketching location but when I got to the next corner I had to turn around. The 18 wheeler was parked in the grass behind Saint Luke's Methodist Church. I walked around for a bit and peaked inside the truck to see the hundreds of pumpkins both large and small. I noticed bags of granular ant killer scattered here and there. I considered leaning against a tree but there was a huge fire ant mound at it's base with granules sprinkled on top. Pallets were arranged in neat rows and the line of adults and children stretched from the back of the truck to the pallets. I chose to lean against a chain link fence that surrounded an electrical power generator.
Halfway into the sketch a man and woman approached me and asked what I was doing. Before I explained, the woman said, "We provide a safe zone for the children." Wow! She thought I might be a sexual predator, a stalker, a menace! She checked my half finished sketch with little interest, then turned toward the truck and said, "So you find this inspiring?" I countered back with, "Yes, of course how often do you get to see a pumpkin brigade?" I gave her my card and told her to check out the blog. Then she said, "Are you a member of Saint Luke's?" "No" I replied, "though I have sketched quite a few churches in town." I doubt I will be going to a service at St. Luke's anytime soon since the first member I met seemed less than welcoming, perhaps a touch paranoid. Regardless I am happy I stopped and didn't let this rare moment go unsketched. I am left wondering what moral lesson can be learned from carving pumpkins.