Giant corn, unharmed, rejoins tomato

June 27, 1994|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,Ocean City Bureau of The Sun

OCEAN CITY -- Dean Hastings says it was a clear case of "shuck and run."

Mr. Hastings, whose 11-foot corn balloon was stolen June 3 from his produce market outside Ocean City, found the deflated balloon in a cardboard box behind his property last night.

"It wasn't like it was gift wrapped," he joked.

"We were closing down. We saw the package sitting over on the side of the road, behind the market on Gray's Corner Road. It was along the ditch -- I think they just set it there for us to see."

Mr. Hastings said he was delighted to have the corn back before local corn comes into season, and he's planning a celebration on Thursday.

"The Queen Is Home" is what Mr. Hastings is planning to call the event celebrating the return of the giant balloon, valued at more than $1,000.

The theft has been under investigation by state police, but no information was available on the case last night.

Mr. Hastings had ordered a new balloon to replace the stolen one but said he will cancel that order.

"Now that we've got it back, I guess we can use the old one -- unless the police throw us a curve and want it for evidence," he said, adding that he thinks the loss of the giant vegetable probably hurt business at his Hastings Market on Route 589 a little bit.

"It hasn't been there for almost a month, and it was one of our main attractions," he said.

Thursday's celebration will include free corn samples and other free vegetables to celebrate "The Queen" coming home and rejoining the 11-foot tomato balloon that was not stolen. It's also a thank-you to customers, he said.

"All these people have helped us through the years, and we want to give something back," he said.

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