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Pumpkin Carnival

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Riverside resident Adam Fazackerley admires one of the White family pumpkins in Waynewood on Oct. 31.

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Miles and Andrew Fazackerly pause to wonder what Obama, McCain and the White House have to do with Halloween.

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Rick and Lynne White’s pumpkin show was a howlin’ success.

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Mount Vernon residents Rick and Lynne White with the pumpkin portrait of another White House.

Waynewood residents Rick and Lynne White have carved out a unique niche in neighborhood Halloween celebrations. At their home on Emerald Drive last Friday, the White family set out thirty-nine pumpkins that they had transformed into gourd art.

Assisted by their two children, Austin, 13, and Alexa, 11, the Whites use special pumpkin saws to carve intricate designs on the pumpkin wall. Their artwork clearly outpaces the usual triangle eyes and gap-toothed smile, especially the shading they achieve by removing only parts of the outer skin.

This year’s highlights included a Sponge Bob pumpkin, candle-lit dioramas with carved figures arranged inside, and striking pumpkin portraits of Obama and McCain. "One parent said Halloween was not the night to choose sides in the election," Rick said later, "so he just told his kids to go for the candy."

"We have been carving for fifteen years," Lynne. "It’s a family activity that we adopted from my brother. My mom and dad came down from Pittsburgh to help us this year because we had so many pumpkins.

The Whites have collected carving patterns for years, and gather some through online pumpkin groups. In addition to the standard wolf faces and ghoulish creatures, they also do Air Jordan and Homer Simpson.

"We try to recycle the pulp," said Rick, an outreach manager at EPA. "The seeds are great snacks, either roasted with salt, or with sugar and cinnamon."

<b>By Michael K. Bohn </b>