A VIGIL FOR THE GREAT PUMPKIN
by Kirby Lindsay
The Great Pumpkin, awaited by many faithful followers in pumpkin patches across this great land, finally appeared, in October 2008, above Fremont, where he hovered over the neighborhood all month
Will Fremont, a long-touted bastion of free-thinking and festivity, be so blessed by the brilliant specter in 2009?
With bated breath, on Friday, October 2nd, at 7 p.m., faithful Fremonsters shall gather at a vigil at the base of the Fremont Rocket (35th & Evanston Avenue North). Eyes turned westward towards the site of the last sighting, the hopeful will pay homage in an urban, artistic setting (unlike that of the great believer, Linus) within a community particularly obedient to the sacred teachings of the Great Pumpkin.
For decades Fremont has shown uncommon reverence for Halloween, and the celebratory and generous spirit of this holiday.
The ancient history of their celebration now shrouded in mystery and lost to modern memory, local artists long carried on this tradition of our forbearers without knowing its proper meaning. They thought their annual haunt to be a birthday remembrance for The Troll, and so in the last decades they declared it ‘Trolloween’. They honored a woefully cursed creature, now doomed to spend eternity as a concrete effigy of himself, who actually stands in counter-point to the goodwill bestowed by the Great Pumpkin. Notice, in fact, that from his perch last year, the Pumpkin grinned directly into the great but frozen maw of the Troll.
Fremont, a community of true believers, obviously, also honors its young. By inviting those of short stature (who carry the most passionate beliefs and truest hearts) to stroll this community collecting treats, and being fanatical in maintaining this tradition only on the actual day of Halloween, Fremont may have earned the beneficent presence of the GP.
Recent expansions of these efforts to show proper reverence may have decided this locale to his favor. Fremont has added a costume extravaganza, where Fremonsters can find appropriate apparel in which to welcome the Great Pumpkin, at the start of the month. At months end, BOO, a costume party, will provide an opportunity for merriment and final tribute to the apparition of the Pumpkin, provided he shows.
If the Great Pumpkin does appear to those who await, they may owe this mighty miracle to Zombies.
Zombie herds have often swarmed the streets of Fremont in the past, seeking brains to devour but dining on tacos and Thai when desperate. This year however, as a kind of ‘rain dance’, Zombies came to Fremont last July, through summer heat and in such bewildering numbers that even the Great Pumpkin must be pleased. (In fact, an official counted and confirmed the number for the Guinness Book of World records, just before, unfortunately, succumbing to the unsavory undead.)
Fremonsters have reason to hope their vigil will be rewarded and the sympathetic specter will shadow his chosen, and protect them all from the more ghoulish and ghastly aspects of Halloween. As one true believer stated, “If we acknowledge the Great Pumpkin, it will come back. If we ignore it, it won’t.”
- "As The Great Pumpkin Gets Lit"
- by Kirby Lindsay, Sept 28, 2009
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.