Metal of Honor

He gave up his dreams of playing baseball so he could be a farmer. At that time, he had no idea pumpkins would make him famous.

But a bronze statue was dedicated in honor of local legend Nick Venetucci on Saturday.

For more than 50 years, he would let children come to his farm to pick out Halloween pumpkins for free.

Mr. Venetucci died nearly two months ago. But his wife, Bambi, believes he's smiling down today from heaven.

"The pumpkin fields are empty now. No longer do we hear laughter of children. However, Nick can hear 'Well done, well done, my good and faithful servant'."

The project has been in the works for two years. It cost $130 thousand.

Venetucci's work will live on next to the statue. The small area will eventually become a pumpkin patch.