I think it’s unfair for you (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) to expect me to have buckets of witticisms that I slather on the screen each week with a trowel. What is a trowel? And anyway I’ve just been informed computers don’t work that way. Now don’t YOU feel silly. — Tarah

tarah d'elia

tarah d’elia

Please bear with me while I write seriously for a moment. I started out with a completely different idea for the theme of “framed” but sometimes life presents us with interesting twists, and we just have to go with the flow. These photos were taken at the Pumpkin Festival in Keene, NH, a tradition that has been part of my hometown’s cultural life for over twenty years. It was never really my thing, but it’s my mom’s favorite “holiday” — this year she carved fifty pumpkins (with some help) to bring down to the festival. If you have been reading the news or social media over the past 24 hours or so, you probably already know that students at Keene State College threw huge parties, clashed with police, and rioted into the night during this year’s Pumpkin Festival (#pumpkinfest is a trending topic on Twitter as of this writing).

Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Keene is my hometown and Keene State College is my alma mater. I find the events of yesterday and last night deeply disturbing. The actions of a bunch of drunk idiots took away something that my mom loved, and something that was a vital source of fundraising for our local non-profits. It’s very likely that there won’t be another Pumpkin Festival for a long time. And, now when I tell people that I graduated from Keene State, they’ll probably just snicker. The pride I felt after all of those years I spent toiling away, trying to finish my degree while raising two kids, now feels more like shame; the actions of a bunch of drunk idiots devalued something that I worked very hard to earn.

So, with a heavy heart, I give you some photos based on the theme of “framed” from what is likely Keene’s very last Pumpkin Festival. Even though I was never a huge fan of the crowds, or the spectacle, or even the pumpkins, I’m so glad I was able to go one last time and capture what really was a lovely event. — Kelli

[Update: Tarah tells me not to despair, and that there will be more pumpkin fests in the future; I hope she’s right! Also, #pumpkinspiceriots on Twitter — perfect.]