Yes, that was Bob Stoops you saw on Karrah Youngblood’s porch.
And Barack Obama, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Patrick Swayze and many other celebrities, both living and dead - and all on the side of a pumpkin.
By day, Youngblood is a graphic designer for Saied Music Co., where she also teaches recreational music-making classes. But on evenings this time of year, Youngblood is an expert pumpkin carver.
“I’ve carved a pumpkin every year since I was a little kid,” said Youngblood, whose mom and step-dad always made sure the family had a pumpkin or two to carve every October.
Plus, her dad’s a wood carver, “so I guess the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.” She started out using stencils but, after college, started creating her own designs. Now, she carves between 20 and 30 pumpkins each October.
Perhaps no surprise, Halloween is a favorite time of year.
“It’s just fun all the way around,” she said. It’s a holiday that really takes you back to your childhood. I mean, who doesn’t love trick-or-treating?”
Last year, she entered her John Lennon pumpkin in TMZ’s annual contest, but it didn’t make the top 5. The first week of this October, she submitted a photo of her Pee-wee Herman one.
“Pee -wee just takes me back to my childhood when me and my sister used to watch ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ on Saturday mornings and eat cereal on the couch when we weren’t supposed to,” Youngblood said.
She was always the one who spilled the cereal, said her sister, Amie Gibson, a research scientist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey in Leonard.
“She’s very talented,” Gibson said. “I have trouble drawing a stick man, and she can do all this stuff. I’m kind of envious of her pumpkin adequacy.”
Several days ago, Youngblood found out her Pee-wee pumpkin was among those picked to be voted on.
“One of my friends just happened to be getting their celebrity smut news fix and gave me the good news,” said Youngblood, who made it to the top 5, where people could vote for their favorite. She posted it on Facebook and Twitter, where she mentioned “@peeweeherman” in a Tweet, hoping the celebrity would vote for the pumpkin.
“Instead, he re-Tweeted it to over a million followers,” said Youngblood, who later realized he had also posted it on his Facebook page.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “There was my carving, with 2,757 likes.”
One of the hundreds of comments came from a guy, who said he thought Pee-wee’s eyes followed him when he moved the picture, Youngblood said.
“I had strangers reposting the link to go vote - 390, in fact,” she said.
Obviously, it paid off, considering she tied for the top spot because of Pee-wee, whose look-alike gourd is in “pumpkin heaven.” For her grief, she received $250 and the promise of “great gifts from TMZ, which I haven’t received yet, so your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it’ll be a trucker hat that I can pimp out next year at the fair.”
Winning feels great, she said. “Shocking, but great.”
“That’s a lie,” she said immediately after. “I’m so excited, I can’t hardly stand it.”
To see more of Youngblood’s work, check out tulsaworld.com/pumpkinbrains.