Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Memories and the best Pie Ever!

On the car ride home today
I heard that Andy Griffith had passed away.
I'm in that weird age group that
grew up watching the re-runs of shows like his on Saturday
and Sunday mornings.

A totally different generation
enjoying some of the same shows our parents watched.
One of the most iconic opening scenes
and songs for openers.
That simple little whistled tune...

Andy retired to one of my favorite places
on earth.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina.
 Where is this story going?
Well Andy also led me to some of the best pie on earth!

A few years ago
a local reporter did a story about
a little sandwich shop that is a locals secret here in my hometown.
One of those places that still makes 
dishes from scratch like my grandmother used to make.
Old fashioned fruit salad...
chicken salad ...
chicken bake...
and all kinds of pie!
 The reporter mentioned
at the end of the piece that the owner Mrs. Swain makes 
some of the best from scratch pies on earth,
and that if Andy was ever on his way through our area
he would call ahead for pie!
That was all it took for me to stop in.
I worked around the corner for two years and we went at least once a week
with the ladies from my office!
Mrs.Betty is holding my favorite in this picture...
Coconut Creme Pie!
Her Chocolate Pie is the only one I have ever had
that is even close to my grandmothers
so I became very partial to her cooking.
Mr. Swain is always there to welcome you
or have a chat...
something you really don't get in a city like ours anymore.
Considering the population explosion our once small county has been through over the years
it is so lovely
to find somewhere
that makes you feel like this is still a small town 
and they are happy to see you return.

If Mr.Swain is not around 
you fell like something is wrong...
If he isn't there to greet you it is like you missed the mayor!
One time on our way down to the Outer Banks
we stopped in a farmer's market 
and who was standing in the checkout but
Bill and Betty!
I stopped and said hello
and he remembered me instantly.
They were on their way down to their beach cottage
(and I'm wondering if they were dropping off a few pies to Andy)
He remembered my son too who was only about 2 years old at the time!
"The little boy who wouldn't eat my Hot Dogs!"
he said with a grin on his face.
That involved a situation where my husband and I
made it in to the restaurant after a snowstorm had shout down our city for a few days.
Everyone was dying to get out after being shut in.
That day was chicken bake day so we thought what the heck,
it was worth venturing out in the snow for some chicken and pie!
My son decided as soon as we sat down
that it was nap time.
My poor husband ate with one hand the whole meal as he held him in his arms.
My son woke up and decided he did not want to eat
and was going to let the whole restaurant know!
Mr.Swain came over a couple of times
to talk to the two exhausted parents and remind us these are the good times!
He chatted up my son too
but he still wouldn't eat that hot dog no matter how 
Bill tried.
When we went to pay the check he said
"Hot dog is on the house!
take it home and maybe he'll want it later!"
How sweet, he really tugged at my heart by that simple gesture.
Mr. and Mrs.Swain are true gems.
Here are Andy and Opie all grown up...

So Andy....
thanks for the memories
for introducing us to one of the nicest couples around
the best pie you'll put in your mouth!
 Heaven gained a real star today.

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