Custodian allows creativity to take him different places
In the days leading up to Halloween, Mark Boson gets out his tools and starts carving.
“I don’t know what it is,” the 43-year-old said when he starts etching the surface of a pumpkin. “I start carving and (go) wherever it takes me.”On Sunday afternoon, Mark was on this third face of the season.
Orange curls of pumpkin decorated the black plastic tarp as the Gothenburg Public Schools custodian and bus driver meticulously sculpted the eyes and a nose of a face on his front porch.
As a child, Mark grew up carving pumpkins the traditional way—cutting open the top of the fruit, scooping out pulp and carving through the orange shell.
He continued that tradition with his own daughters, Alex and Anna, and wife, Becky.
“The girls both like art and I wanted to do something with them,” Mark said. “It’s good family time.”
About two years ago, he noticed how people created interesting pumpkin faces and designs on television and the Internet.
“And I thought I’d try it,” he said.
Mark bought some clay-carving tools he thought would work after watching daughter, Alex, use them on clay.
He also bought a hobby knife set and went to work.
Unfortunately, he said his daughters are now too busy with school, work and their own lives to join him.
So he continues on his own.
Creations can take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the size of the pumpkin and the intricacy of the face.
The cooler the pumpkin is when Mark starts (but not too cold) the better, he said.
And when outside temperatures are too warm, he puts finished and unfinished creations in a refrigerator in the garage.
Both Mark and Becky said they love to see the reaction of little trick or treaters on Halloween as they climb the steps to the Boson home and see the works of art.
“They’re amazed,” Becky said.
She added that Halloween and pumpkin carving isn’t the only holiday that brings her husband joy.
“He loves decorating for Christmas and dyeing Easter eggs,” Becky said with a laugh.