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July 12, 2020

There are just some things you can’t make up. I often catch myself saying, “This is an episode for Seinfeld!” Definitely Modern Family.

Louie and Lola’s regular morning walking route is to the park on the east end of town. When they get to the park, Louie plays catch with Lola on the grass. Then he calls me when they’re ready to be picked up. This time he added a special request.

“Can you pack two big slices of the cheesecake pie JoAnne made for us?” He had told Shirley and Fran, our wonderful neighbors at the end of the block (both retired schoolteachers) that he would bring them some cheesecake pie.

So, I went to the fridge and pulled out the pie that was still in the peep-through box – with half of the pie left. We didn’t wolf down the decadently rich pie when we first got it July 4th weekend. Instead, we’ve been treating ourselves with small slices every few days. I cut two big slices for Shirley and Fran. And saved two small pieces for us.

As we headed home, Louie called Fran to let her know that he would deliver the pie to the side gate. I sat in the car waiting. Shirley met Louie at the gate. I wondered why they were talking so long. I had the car running on the narrow street and was worried that a car might quickly turn the corner.

When Louie jumped back into the car, he said, “I have a funny story.” He proceeded to tell me that Shirley was telling him that Cathy, our neighbor several doors up, had just called Shirley to tell her that she would soon bring over – two slices of cheesecake pie. “Made by a woman in Monrovia.” Then Louie told Shirley, “That’s JoAnne who made our pie!” Shirley, putting her finger to her lips told Louie, “Don’t say anything to Cathy!” Because Shirley would love to have more pie.

Later in the day when Louie was taking Jacqueline for a ride in his late uncle’s 1965 GT Mustang (that he had just picked up from the mechanic who had been restoring it for months), he swung around the corner where Shirley and Fran live. Louie had called Shirley to show her the car. Shirley came out to see it, which she loved. Then she said, “Guess what happened? Teresa walked by and stopped to tell me that she would be dropping off two slices of -- cheesecake pie!” Mum was the word as Shirley stockpiled slices of heavenly cheesecake pie.

The back story: JoAnne is Teresa’s long-time friend. JoAnne is famous for her divine pies. Even the local fire department orders pies from JoAnne. She was getting ready to start baking the big order and mentioned to Teresa that if we’d like to order some, now was the time. We immediately ordered one. The pies are so extraordinary, we all thought we could eat the whole thing ourselves. Really, we could. But the question is, should we? Something this exquisite must be shared. And so, we did.

Shirley and Fran made out like bandits.

“You’re going to have six pieces of cheesecake!” Louie told Shirley.

Gesturing her hands around her stomach, Shirley smiled.

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