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Hants’ Faces Friday — Chip Peterson


Published on August 11, 2017

Chip Peterson tinkers in his garage when he's not working or renovating his home. He enjoys repurposing old wood and creating useful products.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

MOUNT DENSON, N.S. — Every October, Chip Peterson slips a carved pumpkin on his head and, much to the thrill of the crowd, competes in the Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta.

When he's not Pumpkinhead, as he is often called, he's a talented craftsman who works full-time at Heritage Memorials in Windsor. He's currently renovating his 150-year-old Mount Denson home and enjoys reclaiming old, discarded wood to create useful new products.

“The very first race they had, I don't think there was very many people in that race — four or five at the most. My father was down from out west. He was home for it. My brothers were all there. We stopped and picked up pumpkins along the way. He thought 'I'm going to carve one and stick it on my head' so then he made enough of them for all of us. I said 'look at that pumpkinhead' and somebody heard it and it just kind of went from there. It's not really that big of a deal. It's more embarrassing than anything. But that's what I do every year now. I've kind of stuck with it.”

 

“I hurt my back so I missed three or four years. But I've been in it 15 times. I think that's more than anybody. I did win last year, which was the first time. So I've lost more than anybody — I've lost more pumpkin races than probably anybody in the world in fact!”

“I'm not into the craft thing. I don't like anything to do with it. So then I started making these (trays), something you could actually use. It's all out of old wood. It's probably two to three hours to make a tray, but that's not counting getting the wood... It starts out with old boards — anything. The rougher and older it is, I like it; the nail holes — the whole damn thing.”

Faces Friday is our weekly online feature highlighting members of our community: their strength, challenges and humanity. Meet more of your neighbours in our Faces Friday collection.