From 1995's On the Road with Charles Kuralt:
Pumpkins are mostly for kids. We forget about the delights of the jack-o'-lantern and Halloween as we grow older. This is about a couple of old-timers who never forgot.
Nick and Tony Venetucci have grown rich farming outside Colorado Springs. But they weren't always rich.TONY VENETUCCI: I come up the hard, rugged way, and I'm glad I did. I'm glad I have. It's made a man out of me.And not just a man, but a good and generous man; and anything you can say of Tony Venetucci goes also for his brother, Nick. But who are all these kids running through the Venetucci pumpkin patch? They are the schoolchildren Nick and Tony Venetucci invite out to the farm every fall to pick the pumpkin of their hearts' desire.
We watched Ladonna Bearden, six years old, dance across the furrow toward the one -- out of so many thousands -- that she had indentified from afar as the perfect pumpkin. We watched Andy Salazar, six years old, pumkinless among those who had already found their pumpkins, bump along, studying the ground until he, too, found bright orange fulfillment. We saw pumpkins rejected, not once, but twice; and pumpkins chosen, sometimes very big pumpkins chosen by very little kids.
Pumpkin fields have many lessons to teach the city kids fresh off the school bus, and one is that pride sometimes goeth before the fall. [Little girl trips and falls under weight of huge pumpkin.] Another is: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. [She struggles to pick it up again.]
We watched a certain amount of pumpkin envy. It seemed that with the discovery of a nice pumpkin comes the gnawing fear that your classmate has found a nicer pumpkin.CHILD: I got an even bigger one.We watched all this and then asked Tony Venetucci why he and Nick do it.TONY VENETUCCI: We love it. We love to have these youngsters. And a lot of these youngsters, what you see out here now, they'll never forget this all the rest of their lives. Well, look at the thrill they're getting out here. Look at them, they're going wild!There are thousands of schoolchildren around Colorado Springs. This year Nick Venetucci, who does the growing, grew thirty tons of pumpkins just to give away to them.KURALT: Well, there's certainly no shortage of kids out here.And so, this goes on from year to year, this harvest of joy in the fields of two old men who never let the joy of childhood escape them. And every year, the teachers line up the kids in the fields for photographs of the big day, which Tony Venetucci hopes they will always remember. Click! Some of them will keep this picture until they are old. Happy Halloween.
NICK VENETUCCI: No. And the population's growing. Kind of looks like I'm going to have to plant more pumpkins next year, don't it?
Tags: On the Road with Charles Kuralt