Archived Story

Celebrating my birthday with 2,000 people

Published 11:11am Friday, October 25, 2013

This past Saturday was my birthday, and I spent it working. Well, sort of.

I took a trip down General Thomas Highway, eased through Newsoms because I saw a state trooper with someone pulled over, and then went down by some cotton fields until I ended up in Boykins for the PumpkinFest.

It was my first time in Boykins, so I am sure I looked like a drunk dog as I drove about trying to find parking. Luckily, the festival was right along the main downtown strip, so parking was my only location-related challenge. Eventually, I succeeded in squeezing my small Ford Focus into a spot and made my way to the festivities.

There, I found people from all over the region braving the weather, as had I with my camera. I had even forgotten my garbage bag to dump my camera in should the weather take a turn for the worse. I had an old plastic bag in my car that had been used for trash, but I was really hoping to get lucky and not have to use it. Partially because it had a hole or two.

And luck would be in my favor that day, as it was for the other 2,000 or so people who came out for the festivities that day. While the overcast remained, it never got too cool for me (I decided shorts would be a good choice), nor did the rain decide to soak out the party, or my camera for that matter.

I decided to not pull the typical newspaper person role and parachute in and out, instead, my girlfriend and I stuck around for some food and fun, and probably to take another picture or two – it’s hard to stop working when it’s fun.

We visited with some vendors, ate some festival food, failed at the cakewalk and got some pumpkin cookies for the road.

The only flaw in the whole thing was in my rearview mirror as I was driving away – a baby dressed in a pumpkin outfit. Why had I not seen that earlier?

Later on that day, I also watched a lot of college football, including the dreaded Ole Miss vs. Louisiana State game. I use the word dreaded because over the past few years we haven’t exactly lived up to our end of the rivalry, and they’ve always got a really good team. We got off to a great start, and as LSU started to come back in the second half, my thoughts were the same as last week when we let Texas A&M come back and beat us – this loss is going to be a heartbreaker.

Despite my Ole Miss fan cynicism, the end score read 27-24 Ole Miss, and it capped off a pretty good birthday.

Well, it wasn’t quite over yet. There was still cake to be had. My girlfriend made a banana pudding cake, and I knew Kate Archer at the office was going to make a pistachio cake for me, which I’d have on Monday.

Both cakes were really good; the only problem is that every time I open my refrigerator, I’ve got two cakes and approximately 43 tons worth of yummy delicious calories tempting me.

Oh well, here’s to 32 being as good as 31 was.

CAIN MADDEN is the managing editor of The Tidewater News. He can be reached at 562-3187 or by email at 

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