My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. on a brisk Delaware November morning. Breakfast wasn’t available at the hotel yet. I got in my car and made my way down the road in the pitch black dark, trying to follow the directions I found online.

“Is this definitely the right way?” I thought to myself. I wasn’t sure, so I looped back around a tried again. Finally in the distance I saw some lights and a whole bunch of trucks. I had arrived at the 2011 Punkin Chunkin.

It was fascinating to meet the cast of characters who make the annual trip from different parts of the country to a Delaware cornfield to see who can chunk a punkin the farthest. In the beginning I wasn’t clear why they did it, but after speaking with participants and seeing the energy and resources they invest in their catapults and air powered cannons, I get it. It was exciting for me to experience a newer American tradition that’s special to so many people.

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