633-Pound Pumpkin Earns Grower a Hallowed Win

From Times Wire Services

A Nova Scotia man, firmly denying a joking suggestion that he may have used steroids on his entry, won the International Pumpkin Assn. World Weigh-Off and $2,000 Monday with a 633 1/2-pound entry.

Through an international telephone conference call anchored on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, 56-year-old Keith Chapel exclaimed with pleasure at the results and said he did not think that his wife, Ruth, was “cruelly disappointed” at placing behind him.

“Hers was a squash,” Chapel noted with apparent diplomacy, pointing out that pumpkins are in their own class--"fruits with trailing vines.”

Chapel finished far ahead of Lanny Harbord of Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia, whose pumpkin weighed 603 1/2 pounds. A Canadian pumpkin also was third at 534 pounds. It was grown by Roderick Harvey of Newport, Nova Scotia.


Chapel, who said he is a schoolteacher when not growing pumpkins, roared with glee over an amplifier on the City Hall steps when a relayed question from a reporter inquired if he had used anabolic steroids to get the pumpkin to grow so big.

“Oh, no!” Chapel exclaimed. “Other Canadians used it all up.”

The question obviously was pegged to the drug scandals that haunted the Olympics at Seoul. Pumpkins grown in the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Japan were weighed by officials of the International Pumpkin Assn., and the results were announced on the telephone hookup.

The top American pumpkin was 392 pounds and was grown by Martin Cerna of Salinas, Calif.