Pat Shingleton: "The Pumpkin and... the Buckeye Blizzard"
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 identifies “The Great Thanksgiving Snow Storm – the deepest in Ohio’s history. This event occurred from November 23rd through the 27th, in 1950. Statewide there ten inches of snow while the eastern half of the Buckeye state was buried under 30 inches. Temperatures were also of consequence when the mercury cratered to zero on Friday and a blizzard was also declared. The Ohio State-Michigan traditional contest found itself in Columbus, Ohio that year and similar to this weekend, the Big 10 Championship was on-the-line. Once the field tarp was scraped-off, another dumping of snow ensued. With a sold out crowd of 82,000, 50,503 loyal fans settled under the bleachers until kickoff. Toilets were frozen, frozen mouthpieces eliminated the brass-section of both Universities, players donned long underwear and after the game, Ohio’s coach, Wes Fesler resigned as the Buckeyes posted a 9 to 3 loss to the Wolverines. That same day, Woody Hayes became the head coach. 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…
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