WRITTEN ON only the first official day of our Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, I probably have no credibility in making any judgments on this 46th annual event, but I will anyway. First, Wednesday night's weigh-in had to have had more pumpkin entries in the giant pumpkin category. There had to have been many more people jamming downtown to watch the giants arrive and be weighed. There had to be more excitement and anticipation as the entries seemed to get bigger and bigger as they rolled in. And the Most was the biggest giant pumpkin ever entered in the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival. It was grown by Bill Neptune of New Concord and weighed 1,503 pounds. He received the championship trophy, $1,503 cash prize and the local grower's championship trophy. Local grower is anyone in the Festival's original six-county area.

THAT NEPTUNE name combined with New Concord reminded me of Somerton native, Dr. John Neptune who was a 1937 Somerton High School grad and a 1940 graduate of Muskingum College in New Concord and later professor at his alma mater. In 2004, he endowed the Ruth Dorsey Neptune Distinguished Professorship in Fine Arts there. In 2006, he established the Dr. John Neptune endowment for Scientific Equipment. The new Ruth and John Neptune Art Center on Muskingum's campus was named for this distinguished couple for their accomplishments and generosity.

BILL NEPTUNE, this year's champion grower from New Concord knew of Dr. John Neptune and knew they were related somehow, but couldn't make a definite relationship. He knows he's related to many Neptunes in the area, but missed the recent Neptune reunion. He also knew he had relatives here. The best he and some Barnesville Neptunes knew was that they're all just "kissin' cousins" from Somerset Township many years ago.

Jeanealities is written by Jean Palmer Davies, lifetime associate of the Barnesville Enterprise. She may be reached at