Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My name is Glen Wright. I am a junior at Utah State University, studying Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Unmanned Aerial Systems and Computer Science. I come from an active family of seven, where I am the only boy. I have two sisters that have followed me up to Utah State, so we usually get together on Sundays and take turns cooking a big dinner. Since my mother managed high-end food restaurants for over 30 years, my whole family has gotten a knack for cooking and baking. After a long day of classes, I find nothing more relaxing than trying out a new recipe. I work as a freelance commercial drone pilot and avid outdoor photographer, which gives me the excuse to spend as much free time I have outdoors.
While serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I spent the last six months in a small Washington town called Warden. Having come from Yakima, a densely-populated city in the tri-city area, I didn’t really know what to expect from a town made up of corn fields and potato crops. My companion (who had been in Warden a few months) picked me up in a grey corolla (which turned out to be red once we gave it a wash two months later), and we headed into town. At the end of that first night, one of the members, Debbie Roylance, invited my companion and me to come over, enjoy pie and ice cream, and get to know them. Debbie was in the kitchen and Clair, her husband, was on the couch clothed only in the newspaper he was reading on his lap. This was the start of a fun and close friendship with the Roylance family. This was also the first time I was introduced to the Warden-coveted Roylance family peach pie recipe. This tradition of going to their home at the end of the day occurred, without fail, three to four times a week. If we missed a day, Debbie would show up at our house with two bowls filled with pie and Tillamook ice cream. After I returned home from my mission, we talked four times a week, every week, for about a year. In 2016, I joined them on a fishing trip to Alaska, which was filled with plenty of fish and more pie than I could ever imagine. While in Alaska, I helped Debbie make many of the pies, which also provided me the chance to get to know how to make it.
4 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 ½ cups sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca
Pour into pie shell and top with butter. Pour a small amount of cream over top of pie crust; spread (makes crust golden brown). Tear strips of Reynolds Wrap and cover edges of top crust. Makes a great winter pie!
Recalling this story has taken me a long time and a lot of energy. Alaska was the last time that I saw Debbie. The trip was cut short because she had an emergency surgery that removed a large portion of her leg. That’s when the doctors told her she had cancer. Debbie was a really close friend of mine, and I regret not talking to her as much as I had before. I could have easily called or even texted her during that last month. Her sister texted me a few days after my birthday, while I was having lunch with my grandfather, to inform me that Debbie had passed away earlier that morning. I kept getting an itch to call her only a few days prior to her passing, but I didn’t. I don’t know why I didn’t. While Debbie’s sister and I talked, I asked her for the physical copy of the pie recipe, to have something to remember Debbie by. She was more than happy to and sent it through Debbie’s phone. While looking for the recipe, I ran into a text she sent me a year earlier, which is copied above. I’ve now spent over an hour sifting through Debbie and my messages spanning the two years after my mission. I’m grateful for that friendship! [1 hour later] I just got back from the store. I got all the ingredients and I think I’ll surprise my family by bringing that pie to this year’s Thanksgiving.
ENGL 2210 Folklore
Semester and year
G1: Groups/Social Customs
Wright, Glen, "Roylance Family Peach Pie" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 593.
Additional FilesCapture.PNG (672 kB)
Text from Debbie with picture of Roylance peach pies