Food Stories

Documentary shorts — unscripted — featuring farmers, artisans, and others

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Halloween Fun: Shooting Pumpkins at an Old School Bus (video)

Perhaps it’s a fitting way to honor an old school bus.

Inside an Old Bluebird Midwest School Bus—circa 1968

A 1968 Bluebird Midwest, a 50 seat occupancy bus manufactured in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, sits out across an open field of red peppers precisely 377 feet from a pointed cannon. And what’s being fired at the bus—pumpkins—loaded by young children, and their parents who themselves may never be too old for enjoying such fun.

For about 7 years during most of October, farmer Don Wachlin, of Schlichting Century Farm in Sherwood, Oregon, draws scores of kids who delight in firing their grapefruit size pumpkins at the old bus. As you will see in the video, it’s not so easy to hit the stationary target, but for those who are lucky enough (or from their own perspective—skilled enough) to knock out a window, the prize is $5.

While filming inside the bus, some of the pumpkins landed solidly on the metal roof but delivered no real discernible damage. Despite its advanced years, this bus attests to the quality of a bygone era of manufacturing predating the use of plastics and vinyl.

Rest in peace old bus, and joy!

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