Camden Courier Post - October 27, 1980

Carved look-alike of Tug McGraw wins contest


More than 200 entries in Halloween competition


By Daniel Stern, Special to the Courier-Post


CHERRY HILL – Not only is Tug McGraw a champion relief pitcher, he now is a Great Pumpkin, too.


Yesterday a pumpkin version of the Philadelphia pitching star – complete with long hair, a baseball cap and the number 45 – won first prize in the carved division of the Courier-Post Great Pumpkin Contest.


The carved McGraw look-alike, mounted on a miniature tugboat, and a pair of owls, winners in the painted pumpkin category, fought off tough competition from 200 other entries, including Muppet characters Miss Piggy, Ernie, Bert, and Kermit the Frog, monsters resembling Frankenstein and Dracula, fairy tale figures such as Cinderella, as well as a Goodyear blimp pumpkin, a turkey pumpkin, a Humpty Dumpty, a half-dozen Phillie Phanatics and a pumpkin weighing 100 pounds.


The characters that gathered in the Courier-Post parking lot were judged on creativity and originality in two categories, painted and carved. A panel of three newspaper employees reviewed the entries while some 300 persons cheered the pumpkins on.


First-, second- and third-place winners in each category received prizes of $100, $75 and $50, respectively.


In the carved category, a pirate and a lumberjack were second and third behind Tug McGraw, while in the painted category, the owls, Frankenstein and a collage entitled, "It's Halloween" were the winners.


Cherry Hill resident Irene Burns said she spent 12 hours creating her Tug McGraw and had decided to enter the look-alike even before the Phillies won the World Series.


"I don't even know the guy," Burns said, adding that she plans to make the pumpkin her adopted son.


"He's my personality kid," she said.


Richard Kellum, a professional artist from Delair, said he also spent about 12 hours working on his pirate. The pumpkin, about six inches high, had all the trimmings – a scar-face, a red hat and an eye patch.


"I had an oil painting I did of a pirate and I thought it would be a good idea to do a pumpkin version of it," said Kellum.


Larry Faragall Jr., of Pennsauken, who was there with his wife, Judy, and 2-year-old son, Larry III, said he spent four hours Saturday working on his etched lumberjack.


"We're elated that we won," said Faragall. "Judy had the feeling we'd win if we entered."


Susan Williams and her boyfriend John Beatrice of Mantua, said it took them only an hour to paint their light brown owls with the big, black eyes.


The bright green Frankenstein with bolts in his "head" was a creation of the Kuhn family of Mount Holly. Brenda Kuhn estimated she spend three or four hours on the replica of Mary Shelley's monster.


Finally, Cindy Walls of Pine Hill said it only took her three hours to create her "It's Halloween" collage – an hour sketching and two hours painting. The pumpkin bore all the halloween horrors, including bats, haunted houses, ghosts and other creatures of the night.


While all the entrants exhibited plenty of creativity, one obviously required an extra bit of stamina. The Jones family of Camden said the easiest part was carving their 100-pound pumpkin; the hardest part was cleaning it out. And, said Dorothy Jones, she had to get her four children to carry it