Childhood memories include the joy of pie suppers as a way to raise money for the rural schoolhouse.
The one-room school was the setting for the pie supper. To me it was a strange and wonderful place, hinting of mysteries unknown. Anyway, the pie supper was a money-raising activity.
The ladies took great care in baking their favorite or prize pies. Then they fairly outdid themselves in wrapping and decorating them in gaily hued crepe paper. The kind of pie (apple, cherry, butterscotch, banana cream, you name it) was written on a slip of paper and placed on the outside of the wrapping. The name of the PIE-MAKER on its slip of paper was carefully concealed INSIDE the wrapping. That was part of the fun!
The unmarried girls had the opportunity to show what good cooks they were and who's to know whether or not a favorite swain was let into the secret that "her" pie was the one with the red and yellow paper roses! And all being fair in love, if the same information was slipped to more than one Lochinvar so that the two would bid against each other, that was even more fun, as well as more money for the good cause.
The married women also had a little variety added to their lives because after the pies had been auctioned off, the purchaser peeked inside to see whose pie he had bought. The maker of the pie already knew, of course, and was ready with plates and napkins, knives and forks, and the two sat together and ate the pie. I always wanted my mother to dress up her pie in fancy paper, but she always wrapped it neatly in gray or brown wrapping paper, and Daddy always bought it. Where was their sense of romance, thought I, foolish child that I was!
My Daddy was the auctioneer and I was always so proud of him. Everybody liked him and he was much sought after for those occasions.
The joys of the pie supper were remembered even unto my high school days and I wrote a poem about it, for which I received the grade of "A."
I went to a pie supper the other night
When the rim of the golden moon hung low
And I found the answer to this maiden's prayer
In the fourth seat in the row.
The scene was in a schoolhouse
Far out from the town
Ah! his hair is dark and curly
And his eyes are soft and brown.
The auctioneer held up my pie -
"Ah, boys, you bought too soon;
This here pie's a masterpiece!"
I gazed at the golden moon.
My Romeo sprang from his seat;
"Two bit! Two bits!" he said.
Oh, I will remember that
Until I am cold and dead.
After the selling was over
He close beside me sat.
We cut the pie and ate it
And talked of this and that.
My heart was growing fonder
But I no longer tarried,
When with a sinking heart
I learned that he was married!
Marcia Baker Pogue
(Reprinted with permission from The Ohio Southland.)
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.
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