American Pie

Yes, I have the lyrics on my music stand and made up the chords as a beginner guitarist to suit me and even did a riff at the end for my guitar teacher a few years ago. I know, you want me to say before the music died.

It lives and I awaken every day with a song in my heart, whether it be from The Sound of Music, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Juni Fisher or Bob Dylan.

I’m writing about ham, and cheese, perhaps even a quiche, as that is an American Pie. No top crust on that, sadly. Pot pie is an invention made to disguise leftovers. Apple pie is a classic but I prefer strawberry/rhubarb. No, I don’t bake as that was left to my mother and sisters so I did main courses and veg on Thanksgiving.

So what is American Pie? I’d like it to be a melting pot of many of our cultures but today, politicians say the folks who came in and looked like them are “in” and everyone else is out. That doesn’t sit right with me.

I always thought I was a good Catholic girl growing up with strict rules around the house and many chores on weekends. As I recall now I was a scrapper from the start, smart and always fighting for the little ones. No fisticuffs, only words. I like to think that spirit is a piece of American Pie. I didn’t fit in and neither did they, but I was three years older so put the bullies in their place.

Perhaps it started when a family of boys on our small school bus stole my hat and ripped it in half. It was cold out and I had to walk 1/4 mile home from said bus without it. I was crying entering the classroom and the teacher sent me to the principal. He knew the family and showed me photos of the boys so I could identify them. I was terrified as I knew there were eight of them and they would retaliate but my dairy friends, two families with ten kids between them stuck up for me the next day and not a word was said thereafter.

My aunts kept a dictionary atop the toilet in their guest powder room. We were expected to open it, learn a word and define it before we rejoined them. Of course we only touched the dictionary with clean and dry hands.

Never underestimate the power of language. I miss those protectors too and we’ve been in touch since, but that was a long, long time ago. Dee


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