GREENE, R.I. — In his years of growing giant pumpkins, Woody Lancaster has developed a tell, like a poker player who reveals his hand without knowing it. When he sees another giant pumpkin, he will, reflexively, make a small, dismissive gesture with his hand if he thinks he’s got it beat. It is known as the “Lancaster Wave.”
Lancaster has had much to wave at this year. He’s got an absolute monster growing in his backyard in Topsfield. But when he visited Ron Wallace’s pumpkin patch in Rhode Island last month and got a look at “The Freak II” and “The Pleasure Dome,” he made no such gesture. Instead, Lancaster drank enough Johnnie Walker Blue to need a ride home.