Chicken pie was the all time favorite entree in the cafeteria at Pilot Mountain School no matter who the cook, no matter what the decade. But one year the school received government surplus turkeys, an entire truckload of them. Piles and piles of frozen turkeys. So the ever so resourceful lunchroom ladies made turkey pie. And turkey salad. And vegetable soup with turkey. Not to mention plain turkey.
After weeks and weeks of turkey for lunch, the children were a little tired of it. Enough of this good cooking, they said. But still every other day, turkey for lunch. During one of my interviews with former students I laughed as this present day grown-up described the day she was to perform in the Recitation and Declamation competition. She was a little nervous, true, but not all that bad. Lunchtime came. Turkey pie, again. She couldn't stomach it and left every bit on her tray. As she scraped it all into the trash can, the ever present lunchroom lady smiled. "You're worried about the competition, aren't you?" she asked.
Not at all. This girl just couldn't eat one more bite of left over turkey. But, true to Pilot Mountain graces, she couldn't tell her that. She wouldn't hurt her feelings. So she nodded her head, went to the competition, and said her speech. She didn't win. But at least she didn't get sick.