I found this among my old collection of business cards. It’s about 40 years old and belonged to Margaret (Sparky) Sparkman, the famous National Gourd Lady of trade shows and festivals. She sold artistically designed gourds decorated as animals, figurines, or soup ladles.

Sparky saw a character in every plant she grew. She was so original with her unique craft and had a wonderful sense of humor. Jay Leno had her on his show. Watch a video here:



Margaret Sparkman made something out of nothing and did it into her 90’s. She laughed and loved life and transferred that spirit into her art. I still have a gourd and so do thousands of others.

I interviewed her so many times but radio listeners only got half the product. You needed to see her outfit. Her hat was a gourd and so were her earrings. Her dress and shoes would make a fashion designer blink. She screamed ‘gourds’ from head to toe.

Every day was Halloween for Margaret Sparkman. Thank you ‘Sparky’ for all your creativity and energy. Your legacy is still alive.

HAT (made of gourds, of course!)

Photo from ‘Sparky the National Gourd Lady’ Facebook Page


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