For the last 19 years, starting in 1995 when they did their first 5 pumpkins, the Vella family of 354 Sussex has had a Glen Park tradition of carving pumpkins for 4 days before Halloween and putting out 40-60 pumpkins in front of the house on Halloween night.
It started out as a father-daughter bonding experience (Charlie & his now 4thyear UCSF medical student daughter Maya) and has become an annual tradition with lots of local Glen Park neighbors coming by to view each year’s carved pumpkin production.
While the Vella’s don’t claim any “particular artistic ability” in Charlie’s words, “we have gotten to be pretty good pumpkin carvers over the years.”
The pumpkins are amazing. Well worth walking up the hill to see.
Here’s a Chron story from a few years back:
In a cozy family kitchen in San Francisco, a man with a sharp blade is on a mission. The man is Charlie Vella. The mission: to bring ancient history to the common Cucurbita pepo.
Vella, whose day job is director of neuropsychology services at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, is about to carve a handsome 1-foot-tall pumpkin into the likeness of an Egyptian pharaoh.
He is embarking on an annual tradition that started eight years ago, when he and his younger daughter, Maya, now a sophomore at UC Davis, became attracted to the art of pumpkin carving.
Read more here.