On various Sundays, Daddy and I rode a streetcar out to the edge of Detroit to where there were many orchards. The farmers allowed us, and many others to pick the ripe fruit off their trees. We only paid 1¢ for each apple, peach, pear, plum, or whichever fruit was in season.
At home, Mama canned much of the fruit. She also cut a few apples into small pieces, rolled them into some dough, and baked them into two pies.
I left to go play softball with three neighbor kids. Some time later, I proudly bragged, “My mother baked two apple pies today, and she puts them on the kitchen windowsill for them to cool.”
Maxie immediately said, “Let’s go get one.”
I said, “NO, that wouldn’t be nice…”
Before I could say anything more, the three kids were running fast toward the house where I lived. On the way home, one of my shoestrings broke so I couldn’t run fast enough to catch up with them; to stop them from stealing one of my mother’s +-pies.
Too late! Joey, the tallest and fastest boy quietly snuck up to the windowsill and took one of the pies and handed it down to one of the other kids. We all sat at the street curb to eat the pie.
One of the boys showed us a spoon he said he always carried with him. The four of us used the same spoon as we took our turn in eating the apple pie. We each had two turns. I took the pie pan with me to our home.
Just before dinner, Mama reached up to the windowsill to get one pie she would serve after dinner.
(Mama, at that time, only spoke a few words in American and mostly in Greek. I could understand and speak in both languages.)
Quite suddenly, she shrieked, in Greek, “One of my pies is missing.”
Mama immediately faced me and politely asked, “William, do you know where my other pie is?”
I’m always leery of lying to Mama, so I very sheepishly said, “We ate it.”
“What do you mean “WE”?
“Well, one of the boys I play ball with reached up and took one pie. I tried to stop him but he and the other boys ran so fast; then my shoelace broke so I couldn’t keep up with them. By the time I caught up with them, they had already started eating the pie. Someone handed me the spoon with a piece of pie on it, so I sat down and gate the pie. MAMA, everybody said it was delicious….”
“Never-mind telling me how delicious the pie was…. you and your three friends are thieves. You stole something that was not yours.”
Papa added, “Well, son, now you see how unhappy we are about NOT having a slice of Mama’s delicious apple pie. Our family is NOT eating ANY pie, today.”
As we were eating our dinner, someone knocked on the front door. Mama went to see who knocked. There stood our neighbor, Mrs. Morton and her son, Joey; and Maxie and Charley and their mothers.
Mama said, “Molly, what is this all about…?”
Mrs. Morton immediately stated, “Maxie, Joey and Charley have somethin’ they need to tell you, Katina.”
Maxie, with bowed head, meekly said, I’m sorry, Mrs. T for stealin’ your pie. We won’t do it again.”
Joey and Charley also shamefully apologized.
Then Maxie handed the pie to Mama that Mrs. Morton was supposed to receive. Mama came back to our dinner table and placed the pie on the table, in front of me. I stared at for about a minute.
Mama announced, “Now that we all have finished our dinner, we’ll have a piece of pie. ”
Papa placed a slice on everyone’s dish except mine.
I asked, “WHERE’S MINE?”
All I heard was, “You’ve had yours.”
This article was written by Bill Thomas.