Pie Week Evokes Memories From Listeners

Morning Edition listeners this week on Twitter shared memories of making pies. We'll hear from a couple of them as our series comes to a close. And, we'll wrap up the series with a musical ode to pie.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

On to some lighter fare, it's been fun, but this is it: the end of Pie Week here on MORNING EDITION.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Aw. Go on, go on, go on.

WERTHEIMER: Along with a lot of cravings, the series has evoked thoughtful memories from listeners around the country.

INSKEEP: Harry Chamberlain sent a tweet from Fort Stewart, Georgia. He wrote: After grandma died, grandpa took over making and selling apple pies at Farmer's Market. He's 81. We called Harry in Georgia and also reached his grandfather Hal in Cambridge, Ohio.

HAL CHAMBERLAIN: So 1962, we bought an apple orchard. My dear sweet Lizzie started baking pies at that time. She baked them right up until five years before she passed away.

HARRY CHAMBERLAIN: Obviously, it was very difficult for my grandfather, but one of the ways that he found to cope was to teach himself how to bake the pies that my grandmother had always made.

CHAMBERLAIN: Well, what I did when she passed away, I just followed the directions on her recipes. And I've got to admit, they are excellent.

WERTHEIMER: A few listeners tweeted about a woman named Karen Amarotico. She's from Ashland, Oregon, and last year, she came up with a unique idea for charitable giving.

KAREN AMAROTICO: Two in the morning, I sat up and thought: I could make a pie every day and give it away.

INSKEEP: Amarotico began by giving away pies to friends. Then through this project, she wound up learning about strangers in need.

WERTHEIMER: Once a neighbor told about a little girl nearby who had cancer. Amarotico was nervous about showing up...

AMAROTICO: But I went ahead and I made her a pie, and as I drove to her house, I sat in front of the house for a while thinking, okay, God. I know you'll tell me what to say, because I didn't want to say the wrong thing.

INSKEEP: The young girl opened the door and said, I'll go get my mom.

AMAROTICO: And I said, actually, Sarah, the pie is for you. And she said: It is?

WERTHEIMER: Karen Amarotico says that after all that worrying, it turned out she didn't have to say anything.

AMAROTICO: I mean, the pie was a tiny part of it, but just showing up was really important.

INSKEEP: Although, then again, it doesn't hurt show up with pie. Now, Pie Week has been a feast for the senses. We've covered touch, taste, sight and smell, and next we have a treat for the ears.

(SOUNDBITE OF "AMERICAN PIE")

DON MCLEAN: (Singing) We were singing, bye, bye Ms. American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy, but the levy was dry.

WERTHEIMER: That of course is "American Pie" by Don McLean, perhaps the most famous pie song, even though it's not about pie. But it's certainly not then only pie song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "I CAN'T HELP MYSELF")

THE FOUR TOPS: (Singing) Sugar pie, honey bunch, you know that I love you. I can't help myself. I love you and nobody else.

WERTHEIMER: The Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself" was a Motown hit in 1965.

INSKEEP: A few years later, the Beatles did "Honey Pie," and Bob Dylan sang "Country Pie." But you go back for the really wonderful stuff. Dinah Shore sang "Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy" in 1946, and Fats Waller sang "Sweetie Pie" more than a decade before that.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "SHOO FLY PIE AND APPLE PAN DOWDY")

DINAH SHORE: (Singing) Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy makes the sun come out when heavens are cloudy. Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy, I never get enough of that wonderful stuff.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "SWEETIE PIE")

FATS WALLER: (Singing) You are my sweetie pie, sweetie pie, a little bit good, a little naughty, a little bit bad...

WERTHEIMER: And since you can't have enough types of pie, here's a treat.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "PIE")

BRADY RYMER AND THE LITTLE BAND THAT COULD: (Singing) Well, there's blackberry pie, blueberry pie, strawberry rhubarb (unintelligible). Apple and cherry and banana cream, pumpkin and peach (unintelligible).

WERTHEIMER: That is "Pie" from Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "PIE")

COULD: (Singing) For a late-night snack, she's a midnight mood. Lemon meringue, that's the thing, pucker my lips 'cause of key lime sting. Pie ala mode, I'm about to explode, I can never get enough of that sweet, sweet pie.

INSKEEP: Okay. We know we've left out many pie songs, so tell us your favorite on Twitter, and be sure to include the hashtag #pieweek.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "PIE")

COULD: (Singing) I see a trail of crumbs following you. You fingertips have turned a very, very, shade of blue, and all around the kitchen, all I see are tins. I think you missed a little bit there on your chin, but you can't get by.

INSKEEP: This is NPR, National Pie Radio.

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