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When the Pie Lady of Pie Town Met Jerry


We first met the Pie Lady of Pie Town on our first visit to Pie-O-Neer Pies in April of 2008. After receiving good news at Jerry’s follow-up oncology visit in Santa Fe, New Mexico we took the drive up to Pietown. On the way, we stopped at the Trinity Test site and made Jerry’s Atomic Three Legged Dog video. We then took a tour at the Very Large Array.

Atomic testing, massive satellite dishes, and pie. What could be better to top off the week when Jerry got his clean bill of health?
— Chapter 19: Be More Dog

Unfortunately, our camera stopped working somewhere between those two stops. So, we have no pictures of Jerry with the Pie Lady of Pie Town from our inaugural visit. Fortunately, we have become close friends with Kathy and Stanley over the years. And, we’ve returned to Pietown many times since then.

pie lady of pietown

When we finally reached the cafe that day, it was late, and I was ready for pie. If it wasn’t for the Pie Lady of Pie Town and her heartwarming charm, we may have never met.

By the time they arrived, warm sunset rays beamed on the weathered Native American Thunderbird sign that watches over the cafe. On a mission for pie, Jim and Jerry ran to the old wooden porch. “Uh oh.” He knew it didn’t look promising. The door was shut. The only car out front was a well-loved white Subaru with a license plate that simply read PIELADY.

How the Pie Lady met Jerry

Thankfully, Kathy is a sucker for animals. One look at our three-legged Chief Fun Officer, and she just had to let us in. We got our pie. Jerry got to meet the Pie Lady of Pie Town. And we formed a friendship forever.

“Whoa! I didn’t even notice he was missing a leg.” Her smile lit up as she stooped to greet Jerry.
“Shhh…” Jim held his finger to his lips. “Don’t tell him, he doesn’t know.”

I first included a short Be More Dog excerpt from our visit with the Pie Lady of Pie Town in my post with photos of  Wyatt following in Jerry’s paw prints.

Read the whole story – and many more from our travels with Jerry – in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now. Here’s a teaser, with her fun three legged dog comment from our first conversation.

“It’s funny, really.” The Pie Lady stared into her coffee cup, now nearly empty. “My mom used to give me a hard time whenever I’d bring home any boys she didn’t approve of…with her eyebrow raised up like this, she’d say, ‘You don’t have to bring home every three-legged dog you find!’ And, here you are, Jerry.” She reached down to caress his velvety ears.

pie lady of pietown
The Pie Lady and Her Man

Who is the Pie lady of Pie Town

We may not have photos from that day, but we do have plenty of fond memories from that first time we met the amazing Pie Lady. Kathy Knapp is a magical soul, wrapped in a beautiful spirit. She and her man Stanley are kind, gentle, and caring. That’s why they let us in after hours. It’s why she sat down and put her feet up to join us and hear our story. It’s why I built and maintain the pieoneer website. It is why we’re still friends to this day. And that is why the Pie Lady of Pie Town made it into our book.

We love Pietown. It is a magical place. We’d love to go back again. However, if we do ever return, it will only be to visit with the Pie Lady. Since COVID-19 shut their doors, Kathy and Stanley have decided to list the Pie-O-Neer pie shop for sale. Sadly, the sun must set on every beautiful day.

The hot, glowing sun descended behind the big Thunderbird totem as the eastern sky darkened into twilight. Nearby, an old truck with a fading “For Sale” sign was the only other vehicle in this special corner of the universe. The remote stretch of road was empty for miles in each direction.

pietown, nm

Before crossing the lonely two-lane Pieway to set up their campsite in the park, Jim and Rene turned to wave goodbye. From the old, weathered doorway, the Pie Lady watched her new friends walk away and hollered, “Watch out for traffic!”

With Wyatt Ray in October, 2015

I’ll miss those mornings I’ve spent while working at a table in the corner of the Pie-O-Neer. I’d watch first time patrons come in cofused at the Pie Bar dining concept. the Pie Lady of Pie Town would greet them with a big smile and open arms. Of course, that was the Before Times. It may be in Mogollon someday, but our paths will cross again Pie Lady. And I’ll get my pie. Perhaps, once the world moves on…

Who will be the next Pie Lady?

Or, who knows? Maybe somebody reading this will feel the magic, and become the next pie Lady of Pie Town. Get a real feel for the place in chapter 19 of Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now.

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