Pat Shingleton: "Pumpkins and Football..."
It originated as a day to give thanks for the harvest and to recognize relationships between family, friends and new neighbors. A variety of traditions have been furthered from the first Thanksgiving, including the turkey and pumpkin pie. Long before the arrival of pilgrims, pumpkins were used as a food source, for medicinal purposes and even pounded, dried and woven into mats for trading. The pumpkin is a member of the cucurbit or gourd family and originated from the Greek word “pepon” or “large melon.” The original pumpkin pie was made by hollowing it out, filling it with milk, honey and spices then baking it in hot ashes. Pumpkins grow in numerous climates and the “Pumpkin Capitol of the World” is Morton, Illinois, home to Libby foods. Another Thanksgiving tradition is football and involves “The Great Thanksgiving Storm” – the deepest in Ohio’s history, that occurred from November 23rd through the 27th, in 1950. The state reported ten inches of snow while the eastern half was buried under 30 inches. On Friday, November 24th, temperatures plummeted to zero and the following day, blizzard conditions prevailed. The Ohio State-Michigan football game was scheduled in Columbus with the Big-Ten championship on the line. Once the tarp was removed - snow fell and with 82,000 tickets sold; 50,503 stayed below the bleachers until kickoff. Toilets were frozen, frozen mouthpieces stopped the band, players wore long underwear and after the game, Ohio’s coach, Wes Fesler, resigned after losing 9 to 3 and Woody Hayes was hired. Baton Rouge’s own – Mike Sause, along with his brothers Kit and Bill, were at the game with their dad, sitting next to Woody. Mike's left hand was frost-bitten and impacts his golf game to this day.