NO MORE PUMPKINS: After four hectic weekends, 40,000 visitors and 40,000 pumpkins sold, the Faulkner Farms Pumpkin Patch near Santa Paula will fall quiet today as fields are cleared the day before Halloween. . . . "We won't have many left," ranch co-owner Linda Ayers said. "We've had a big year." . . . Unsold pumpkins will go to feed cattle and pigs. "They're real nutritious," Ayers said.
'TIS THE SEASON?: Even before ghosts and goblins make their rounds, Christmas displays have pushed onto merchants' shelves. . . . "A lot of people ask for Christmas items this early, so the seasons kind of overlap," said Lisa Terrell, service manager at the Target store in Ventura. "Last year we had Christmas merchandise out in September, so we've actually waited a month." . . . At least one-third of her store's annual sales come between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, she said.
GOOSEBUMPS: Author R. L. Stine's scary Goosebumps series is the latest craze in children's books, with 83 million copies in print (B1). . . . On a recent day, 13 of the 33 pupils in Kim Gray's Simi Valley classroom of fourth- and fifth-graders had brought Goosebumps titles for half an hour of free reading. . . . Jimmy Lagarde, 10, said he likes Stine's mixture of the macabre and silliness: "I get them as soon as they come out," Jimmy said. "I have all 37."
OUT OF RUSSIA: Seeking a global perspective, a Russian educator will land at the exclusive Ojai Valley School today as part of a program to train entrepreneurs from the former Soviet Union in capitalism. . . . Sergei Moudretsov, 42, headmaster at a private, 500-student high school, will learn the tricks of American school management from his counterparts at the Ojai Valley institution. . . . "But he's mostly interested in the humanities program--writing, world languages, history and the great works, a worldly perspective," school spokesman John Williamson said.