Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pie Auction

I was asked: do we have pie auctions in NYC? If anyone has encountered one there, please inform me. The closest I've ever encountered was a fruit/sugarcane/chicken auction in a Catholic church in a village in Uganda, and I think someone donated a goat as well. That was fun...

So, a pie auction is a stupendous way of raising money when hard times has fallen on someone, and they certainly have fallen on this community recently, in a pretty regular and merciless schedule. THIS month's tragedy was a car crash, when a youth group, coming back from a camping trip, took a rough road and their truck slipped off. The driver, the youth pastor, died. One lucky person got away with bruises but everyone else had major broken bones. And for two weeks we've been praying for Isaiah Buck who suffered brain damage and has been in a coma. Miracle of miracles, he's started waking up! But this is just the beginning of a long recovery for him, and a lot of medical care will be required. As someone said when I told her about the pie auction "they're going to need an awful lot of pies."

The Lostine Tavern (the only eatery in town) was packed to the GILLS tonight, standing room only, and cars lined the road for several blocks in both directions (keep in mind there aren't many blocks in this town!!). The front tables were loaded heavy with pies, cakes, cookies, etc. and a few gift certificates, and a quilt. I was astonished when I walked into the hubbub. No one else in this town would have trouble finding people they knew (some would have trouble finding anyone they didn't) but when I came in I had to look around for a bit before I picked out some parishioners to tease and joke with until the auction started.
My friend Sally's lemon meringue pie started the bidding off at $50. She's a notable cook, however, her lemon pies are well-known, and it sold for $375. The evening proceeded apace, and I picked my jaw up off the floor. I didn't find out the grand total but it must be far into the thousands. Everyone spent far more than they could afford, and shared out their baked goods (the crowd was hungry and the few waitresses were understandably delayed in getting folks their tacos), and out-bid one another, and out-bid their own selves, and threw a couple hundred extra in the basket just for kicks.
THIS is what it looks like when a community rallies around to support their friends!

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