|Messenger photo by Stephanie Nesler|
|Sam Patterson and his faithful wiener dog pal, Oscar Mayer, share the joy of fall with all who stop to visit his pumpkin stand on Hill Road in Pickerington. Patterson has sold his pumpkins for more than 20 years.|
When the calendar nears October and the leaves begin to change hue, you will find one Pickerington resident busily reading his pumpkins for sale.
Sam Patterson has been harvesting his seven acres of pumpkins and selling them from his home, located on Hill Road across from Pickerington Central High School, for 20 years.
He, along with his faithful wiener dog Oscar Mayer, are well known in the Pickerington community and come autumn people watch for when Patterson fills his front yard with hundreds of delightful orange pumpkins waiting to be made into jack o’ lanterns, decorations, and pies.
Patterson loves fall and his zest for life has made his pumpkins a special tradition for many local families.
Patterson happily recalls a young girl who stopped by to purchase a pumpkin when she was two- or three-years-old.
"She picked the biggest pumpkin I had," said Patterson. "She continued that tradition each fall until she graduated high school. Another lady stops by every year, not to buy pumpkins, but to see Oscar! People love that dog. He’s my shadow."
Patterson moved to Pickerington in 1961 and retired from the city of Pickerington as the city’s superintendent of streets and maintenance in 1995.
"Everyone knows me," said Patterson.
He speculated that 85 to 90 percent of his business is repeat customers. Patterson said he enjoys talking with people and takes great pride in providing a service to the community at a fair price.
"I just love seeing the joy in the faces of children as look at all the pumpkins, said Patterson. "That’s why I do this year after year."
When asked about the most popular pumpkin without hesitation Patterson pointed at a small pumpkin he called the "classroom pumpkin."
"Teachers and churches buy these by the dozens for their parties. I’ve planted enough to ensure that I won’t run out this year," said Patterson.
Patterson sells pumpkins of all sizes, shapes, and colors. This year he is saving his biggest pumpkins, which range from 200 to 400 pounds, for the Fairfield County Fair in October.
People love pumpkins, according to Patterson.
"There’s never any danger of having leftover pumpkins," said Patterson. "They are all gone by Halloween."