Shelby Daniels and Joe Cantrell falling in love in the corn maze.

Juniors have an a-MAZE-ing time in the pumpkin patch

Six o’clock Saturday, September 24, junior Joe Cantrell arrives to the River K Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze waiting for his date. Joe has no idea with whom he will be strategizing his way through the corn leaves and dusty hay, hoping for a way out of the maze–or perhaps leading into one. But he has told us he’s a willing blind dater, and so he waits at River K on an Indian Summer evening.

Soon, a black Kia pulls besides the other cars. It’s junior Shelby Daniels, who pops out, sees Joe, and exclaims, “I knew it was going to be you!”

Joe smiles.

The “blind-daters” hug, and start toward the pumpkin shaped arches to enter the pumpkin patch. They follow a path made from vines that lead the way to the entrance of the maze, a rich hay bale rectangle that will kick off their date. Tall stalks of corn surpass their heads by a few feet creating a green hallway to follow into the network of corners and turns.

Shelby points out a flower that was growing low among the alley of stalks. “That flower is poisonous. If you soak it in water and drink it, it can kill you,” she announces. Joe looks surprised by that fact and asks where she learned it. This and more conversations flow along as they wander  through the corn.  As the sunset goes down, the couple slowly get more and more lost. Time passes. They are enjoying themselves. Coming to a fork, both Joe and Shelby scratch their heads. Looking left and right Shelby asks Joe to choose a letter, and based on the letter it would correspond to a direction.  Twenty four minutes later, they found the exit. They are not hurrying to end this experience. Twice the couple decides to walk  the four acre maze, twice.

Then the pair sit down to a cheap Crimson Newsmag picnic of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and pudding. Joe and Shelby talk as they finish their snacks. They chat and laugh about teachers, family, adventure stories, personal interests. Their cheerful words, fill the warm evening air.

Once the sun falls behind the rolling hills, it is time to trick-or-treat. In the end, Joe capers around dressed up as a fairy princess with a pink feather boa, a multi colored crown with three heart shaped gems on his head, and too small purple fairy wings on his back. He is very attractive. Shelby instead wears glasses with the classic large pink nose, terribly shaped eyebrows and a small black mustache. Below the scraggly ‘stache two small, yellow, fake teeth were in place of her straight pearly whites. Each were given little candy bags full of candy corn, Kit Kats’, Tootsie Pops to fulfil the early Halloween cravings.


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