10/26/2014 08:56 pm ET Updated Dec 26, 2014

Cooler Afternoons Means It's Pumpkin Cutting Time

If Daddy could turn something rather ordinary into a spectacle, he tended to do it.

At Halloween, what do you normally do? Get a couple of pumpkins, carve them up, stick in a candle and call it Jack.

Not Daddy.

Daddy would organize the entire neighborhood into a Pumpkin Cutting Party... premise being, all children bring a pumpkin, carved it, prizes awarded for the best, worst, smallest... well you get the idea, everybody got a prize. He even brought mounds of redbug-infested Spanish Moss from my grandmother's house for "hair," which would eventually burst into flame.

On our street ALONE there were over 60 children, and when you spread it out over a few blocks you can imagine the turnout. The invitations went out everywhere... Moms all over would start making cupcakes, cookies and other treats two weeks in advance and freeze them... men would bring over their wheelbarrows to haul away the remains of the day; pumpkin innards were just everywhere... and there was always a Coca-Cola fountain machine set up, with unlimited refills, so you would have anywhere approaching 200 kids as sugared-up as they possibly could be... Eventually the intersection at Partridge and Gladlane was closed with police barriers... no car traffic... with cars parked for blocks.

The real fun started the next spring, when those THOUSANDS of pumpkin seeds would begin to sprout. You had to mow twice a day just to keep them at bay.

Daddy had such a wonderful way of making the simplest things magic... as those hundreds of kids will remember... I am sure some reading this now were a part of it.

Maybe that's part of making life more than it is sometimes... just take it right over the top, just like Daddy did... in this picture wearing his pumpkin cutting outfit... in yellow-orange of course... he really was the biggest kid of all.