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Mrs. Givens' Apple Pie

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In the winter of 1911-1912, four young men worked surveying the right-of-way for the new southern interurban line from Dallas to Waco (later part of the Texas electric railway). Helen B. Anthony, in her book "Lisbon West of the Trinity," tells of things that happened to some young surveyors at Lisbon, which was then an independent town south of Dallas' Oak Cliff area.


The surveyors ----- Walter Taylor, Albert Cassidy, Sam Epstein, and Edward Meagher ----- loaded their equipment each morning onto a small wagon and worked their way south along the proposed route. While on the assignment, they lived at George Givens' home in Oak Cliff. Mrs. Givens, a celebrated cook, announced one day, "for you boys lunch, I've baked a pie." Only three of the surveyors were going to work that particular day, and an argument broke out among them about a three-way split of a round pie. None would settle for a crumb less than his share.


They finally agreed there was only one solution. So the highly accurate survey equipment was brought out and set up in Mrs. Givens' dining room, and the pie, in its uncut glory, was placed in the center of the dining table. There it was surveyed into 3 precisely equal parts. Work on the projected interurban line got underway just a little late that day as the wagon rolled out in the front yard, but there was no complaint from anyone about getting an unequal slice of Mrs. Givens' superb pie. Today a motorist driving along I-35 East can often observe just to the east the long-abandoned right-of-way they were surveying for the 1911 interurban line.

----- A.C. Greene, "Sketches from the Five States of Texas," 1998.  The book is a super read and comes highly recommended as do all of A.C. Greene's books. He was a great journalist/writer.

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 9th August 2020 9:53 am