Sunday, April 01, 2007

Am I out of my Gourd?

Indiana, land of cold winters, Hoosiers and possibly a surfeit of farm chemicals, tends to bring out behaviors in people that, in other places, may seem a little outlandish. But really, a three day meeting of the Indiana Gourd Society attended by gourd lovers from as far away as Mississippi and Texas, does give pause for reflection.
While the five dollar entry fee deterred us from witnessing the machinations of competitive gourds firsthand, we can only imagine what might have been happening in the convention hall crammed with excited gourdees. The frequently overheard public address system followed by rapturous applause or communal Ooohs and Aahs from the gourded attendees, certainly left lots to the imagination.
While we were assured that no actual gourds were ill-treated or otherwise harmed during the entire proceedings, it was recorded that gourds of the type shown here, were frequently seen with knots tied in them and a neatly knotted gourd could command a price of five dollars or more.
Be that as it may, the Indiana Gourd Society is just one Chapter of the American Gourd Society, a national body established to "promote interest in all activities related to gourds" whatever connotations that might invoke. It's rumored that there is even a special gourd handshake and gourdees who have "come out", such as the comfortably built pair shown here, could sometimes be seen wearing their gourds with pride.
At left are a pair of prize winning gourds fit to stir the steeliest heart although, just my opinion, I don't think the finish is entirely natural - what do you think?

1 comment:

Vicki and Don said...

Although I have never been to it, every year somewhere in So. California (a much more civiliazed area of the country) is a HUGE gourd festival! I do, however, know of a few that ritually attend this event! Some artists (i.e. tole painters) LOVE to paint on gourds and they come up with some of the most fantastic items!