As the nation absorbed the news about Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, CT, author Beth Howard (wrote on her facebook page, “Overwhelmed and heartbroken by today’s tragedy, I feel like packing up my pie supplies into my RV and driving to Connecticut. If making pie and sharing it with the citizens of Newtown would help ease their pain I would load up a hundred cases of apples and start driving right now.”
And less than 24 hours later, with ample encouragement from facebook friends and a few paypal donations for gas and pie-supplies, she was on her way from her home in Iowa (she lives in the American Gothic House) to Newtown, CT.
Howard, fondly known as the Pie Lady, is the author of Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie. It chronicles the year she spent in the aftermath of the sudden death of her husband, Marcus. She road-tripped cross-country in his RV, making pie, teaching pie making, filming a documentary about pie, judging pie competitions, and ultimately landing in her home state of Iowa. It’s a story of grieving and unexpected loss, but also one of the hope and salvation she found in friends, community, and pie.
By Friday evening, an extra driver had volunteered to co-pilot the trip from Chicago on; friends had suggested Kickstarter or indiegogo to pay for gas and supplies; a PayPal account was added; kitchen space was volunteered in New Jersey; and the Bridgetown CT Costco agreed to donate flour, sugar, butter, and shortening. Her Saturday morning facebook post read, “The sun isn’t up yet, but I’m packed and about to start the engine of The Beast. If only Marcus knew just how much I was driving this RV — and for what cause.”
In the last few pages of her book, she writes, “As much as I appear to be embracing my new beginnings…sometimes there is a sense that all of this is just temporary. And it is. Plain and simple…I live with the notion that life is short, there’s not much time. Whatever it is you want to do, do it now. Don’t wait.”
More than just offering food, her goal is to extend to a grieving community the same love, comfort, and hope she once found in the aftermath of tragedy.
In another facebook post this afternoon, she adds, “If you want another way to volunteer for the ‘Pie for Newtown’ project, you can make pie at home (invite your friends and loved ones to help). We will designate several drop-off locations for your pies and distribute them to the people of Newtown this week.”
Visit her WorldNeedsMorePie facebook page here.