Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 33
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PIE SUPPERS IN EAST TEXAS
By Virginia Walker
Of the 2,511 people in Center, Shelby County, Texas, probably
very few would want you to think that we have pie suppers just
because we want an excuse to see all our neighbors. The pro-
fessed reason for pie suppers is usually to raise money to clean
off the church yard or fix the school bell or buy the new Stamps
Baxter Song Books. In my private opinion Shelby County would
be having just as many pie suppers if taxes took care of all those
A pie supper is a community social to which each lass and
lady carries a choice bit of meringue, crust, and filling, all
wrapped up in fancy paper or in a decorated box. The box is
preferable: many a lad has suddenly found plum stains on his
clean khakis because he couldn't tell top from bottom of a paper-
The supper is the one thing in the community to which every-
body goes. People come on horseback and bicycles, in wagons,
Model T's, or occasionally a new car. Some walk, starting out
just as soon as they've watered the horses and milked the cows.
Down the road they go, young and old, arm in arm, singing,
breaking ranks for a passing car, jumping on the fender if they
know the driver. Pie suppers are festive nights; history for sev-
eral months will be dated "before pie supper" and "after pie
Places for pie suppers vary. A school house is better than a
home because there is more room; and a church house is better
than a school house because it is more likely to have a piano;
and a brush arbor is better than a church because it is cooler; but a
home is better than a brush arbor if you have to borrow knives
out of a kitchen. Borrowing knives can be necessary, as anyone
who has tried breaking a syrup pie can testify.
The principal object of the supper is to auction off the pies so
that the buyer of the blackberry cream eats with the maker of
the blackberry cream. Backward is the man who cannot find
out beforehand what color of ribbon the maid with the delicate
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/41/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.