Plump pumpkins grow as big as mighty melons.

The Janesville Gazette Tuesday, October 27, 1987
By John Halverson Gazette Staff

Lela and Maurice Mortimer with giant watermelons

Lela and Maurice Mortimer with giant watermelons

It's the season for The Great Pumpkin.

It's the season for big watermelons.

Yes, it's the season for big fruits.

Every year about now, newspapers across the nation are besieged with calls from people who have enormous plants just waiting to have their pictures taken.

It's a harbinger of fall and a flashback to the days when newspapers cared more about the size of things than their importance.

The Janesville Gazette got besieged by two such calls in the past few weeks-one from a watermelon watcher the other from a pumpkin picker.

The watermelon watcher, Maurice Mortimer of County F. is the proud grower of two larger-than-life specimens.

"There must be watermelons bigger, but I haven't seen any." he said, his foot leaning against a gourd-filled wheelbarrow.

The watermelons weighed in at 45 pounds each and until recently were residing in a wheelbarrow next to the to the gourd-filled one.

They measured 22 inches ling. The largest one had a circumference of 34 inches.

So, what do you do with two 45-pound watermelons besides stare at them?

One of them has already gone the route of the other plant life raised by Mortimer and his wife Lela. Like the squash, tomatoes and potatoes they grow, one of Mortimer's watermelons has been eaten.

The other one remains just for the looking.

At the moment at least it's better as food for thought than just plain food.

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