RAGBRAI dreaming is easy today

MUSCATINE, Iowa — It’s 3:30 p.m. on a Tuesday in March.

And it’s 72 degrees in Muscatine.

That’s enough to make any bicyclist start thinking about RAGBRAI — especially when the Melon City Bike Club held its first group ride of the year Monday night. Another ride is planned for tonight. (Rumor has it Deb Elliott is going to ride tonight for the first time since she broke her leg last year. Welcome back, Deb.)

The chance to ride fuels plenty of RAGBRAI dreams. But those dreams were knocked out of the park today by the lunch served at the Button Factory Woodfire Grille to Kiwanis Club members. Well, specifically, the dessert did the trick: Homemade pie of almost every imaginable flavor.

Maxine Calvert

It was made by Maxine Calvert, 76, of Muscatine, mother of Guy Calvert of East Moline, Ill. He owns the Button Factory at 215 W. Mississippi Drive with his wife, Jan. Maxine and her husband of 60 years, Cecil, both work at the restaurant for their son and daughter-in-law. In addition to Guy, they have 10 other children, 28 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Cecil greets nearly every customer who enters the restaurant.

Maxine’s specialty is the desserts she makes. But the pie may have been even better than the cookies and other homemade sweets she serves to the Kiwanis  Club every week.  She says she makes more than 20 pies once each month to serve as part of the restaurant’s Sunday buffet.  So the pies she served Tuesday were — technically — leftovers.

But all leftovers are clearly not equal. And her pie was great — as good as any that will be served this year on RAGBRAI XL.

And at least one bike club member will have to ride a little harder tonight to compensate for eating a giant slice of peach pie. It was worth it.

Et cetera: I have been president this year of the Muscatine Kiwanis Club. And today was my first day back with the gavel since Black Monday a couple of weeks ago. Thank you goes to the club members who say they miss my work in that newspaper. I’m hoping some of them will find me over here.

More on Pinterest: Don’t forget to check out the community events and obits posted here.

Today’s quote: Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand. — George Eliot, British author (1819-1880). Too bad for old George that he never got to try a piece of Maxine Calvert’s peach pie.

Have a question or feedback? Post it here or contact me at cs.iowaboy@yahoo.com or on Twitter @CSteinbach

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