Now I was never one for not standin up for my principles but when the fight, or the issue was about somethin that I just felt was in the cards I'd rather stand back and let fate handle it. God works in mysterious ways, I guess. When the issue was over a darn Cherry Pie, it just got me riled. Why couldn't people leave well enough alone was my way of thinkin. There wasn't a darn thing I was good at except bakin my Cherry Pies and helpin Nature take its course in my garden of course, but Lordy! couldn't a body just be proud of their Pie without someone else horning in?
Well, just about a month before the flagpole incident and shortly after Jean Kemps Weddin, somebody'd stood up at the Town Meeting and announced that as a couple of years had gone by since we'd had ourselves an Official Bake Off, wasn't it about time we had another one. Some new folks had moved into town and shouldn't we just let them have a go of it. What's the world coming to I thought. Disturbin the status quo an all. Not that I didn't think that I still had the best Cherry Pie around, but Holy Cow, why couldn't people jest leave well enough alone. It was only a darn Pie.
Well I guess George Lumas couldn't say too much about it. People was saying that it was only fair. Only fair to who? was what occured ta me. I wondered who these interlopers were gonna be. I knew that a couple of new families had moved in over on East St. A couple with a enormous brood had moved onta the land next to the Jorgenson Farm. But thats all I knew. I never took any particular mind to most people except when I had ta.
Now wasn't I just being silly and stupid over a Pie. Wasn't I the first one to say how proud I was ta be a part of this community. Weren't people just tryin ta get on with it. I'd sure have a lot of prayin ta do on Sunday after the way I was thinkin.
Madge Lumas was ta be in charge of the organizing. People were to announce their entries the night before the Bake Off. That was only fair they figured so's people wouldn't know who's bakin what. Ta beat everything it was George's idea that to be even more fair nobody was to know who baked what durin the judgin. Pies were to be submitted in a plain box which was ta be picked up at Mildred Puce's Dry Goods Store. Only the person who'd done the baking would know it was their pie. Well, I supposed it was only right. Blind judgin would definitely keep it fair all right.
Now, I wasn't one for bein nosey or anything and I certainly wasn't one for cheatin but I sure had a close pal at The Busy Bee I was thinkin. Billy practically knew people's grocery lists off by heart and wouldn't he just be the one to know who was buyin what for their pie bakin. Not that it would help me to know, if you know what I mean. I was just interested thats all. I'd just sorta ask him off hand how his stock takin was goin on one of our Wednesday walks home. You know, like what kinda fruit was sellin fast lately. I'd be needin some real good Cherries soon and did he think there'd be a run on em at all and if there was would he let me know, if he knew what I meant. Somethin casual like if he knew who was doin the buyin maybe he'd let me know so's I could personally ask them ta leave some for me. That's all. Harmless enough.
A week before The Bake Off I was talkin to June Brown and she starts tellin me how this woman up on East St. turns out ta be a prize winnin Pie maker. Said she'd even won at several County Fairs over the years and wasn't she ta be the Dark Horse. I was wonderin if it'd been her that stood up at the Town Meetin and suggested the whole thing. June said she had five tolerable kids and was the sweetest sort she'd met in she didn't know how long. She'd met her at Janice Buzzy's place. Turns out she could bake just about anything she set her mind to. Didn't that just tear it! I told June there was no sense stewin about it and wouldn't she probably win for her Cheese Cake. There was no sense stewin about it I repeated to myself. No sense.
The Friday afternoon before Saturday's Bake Off, Billy came over with two quart baskets of the finest, freshest cherries I'd seen in some time. When I finally took her outta the oven it was near on ten o'clock and I figured I better try and get some sleep. It was all in somebody elses hands now. It did look like the finest pie I'd ever baked. I was real proud of it and I guessed that was all that was important. So what if someone elses best was better.
In the mornin I put her in the plain box I'd got at Mildred Puce's and took her on over to the Town Hall. There was sure a lot of people there and a lot of good lookin pies. June was right, the woman from East St. was a real fine lady and a body ta get to know I figured, a credit to the community. Wasn't I feelin a bit chagrinned to think I'd stewed so much about the whole event.
Well, the judges went about their business while we all had ourselves some tea and nobody was really payin attention. Seems it was a good idea just to all be in one place sharin stories and gettin ta know each other again. There were some I hadn't seen in a dog's age. The time came to announce the winners and we all sorta gathered around the Head Table. June won for her Cheese Cake as usual. Alice Kemp's Lemon Meringue was a real success. Didn't the woman from up on East St. win for her stunnin Fruit Flan and for heaven's sake my Cherry Pie won again.
Now wasn't I just the ninny for even worryin about it at all. Didn't everybody know that I baked the best Cherry Pie around. Anyways, it was only a Cherry Pie. It was the best darn Cherry Pie for another year at least and wasn't everything just the way it should be, if you know what I'm sayin...