Anticipating the Fall

Jan Wright Vergon

As a prior resident of Morton—the Pumpkin Capital of the World, I naturally developed a love for anything pumpkin. My favorite decorations are brought out the first of September—ceramic pumpkins, silk floral decorations and giant clay pumpkins for the yard, followed by “real” pumpkins later in the cooler October weather. Also, about this time, I begin craving pumpkin food: pie, cookies, pancakes, ice cream, even chili!

I’ve heard that the practice of setting up lawn chairs along the Pumpkin Parade route is under fire, but yes, our family was part of that tradition. The children all walked in the parade at least once, entered the decorating contest and tried to grow the biggest pumpkin. Each year I smile and think about sitting in a lawn chair 21 years ago, my labor contractions in rhythm to the beat of the marching band. My daughter was born the next day.

We developed this issue in anticipation of the fall season. Fall is a special time of year, when we transition from the sweltering heat and humidity of the summer and pave the way for winter hibernation.

I always get the urge to redecorate in the fall, or at least rearrange the furniture. We became curious about coffee tables and decided to take a look at the tables of a few local celebrities. Then, without revealing the tables’ owners, we asked local psychotherapist Dr. Joy Miller for her insight into how a chosen style fits an owner’s personality, and her comments were remarkably accurate!

Volunteers play a crucial role in the community. We visited Corn Stock Theatre, a wonderful setting to take in a show, and spent some time with its dedicated corps of volunteers who make the theater run like clockwork. And we marveled at the sheer numbers of volunteers (2,000-plus!) who make the Pumpkin Festival the success it is year in and year out.

What could be more representative of the fall season than Oktoberfest? With a craving for authentic German food and drink, we visited several area establishments keeping traditional German culture alive and thriving in central Illinois, and we preview the Oktoberfest celebration to be held on the riverfront in September.

This issue wraps up our 24 Hours in Peoria project. A huge thank you to Dr. Elsburgh Clarke for donating his time and talents to showcase our river city.

We were busy again this summer attending events that support our community. We do our best to get your names correct, but if we make a mistake, please let us know. We hope you’ll forgive us…and maybe get a chuckle out of it. a&s