‘My meringue just drooped’

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT. -

In Fe­bru­ary 2003 a won­der­ful thing hap­pened to the yet to be com­pleted Grif­fin Tav­ern: Mary Frances By­wa­ters stepped on the prop­erty and im­me­di­ately got to work. There were no pie crusts to be made, no fa­mous meringue pies, in fact there were no eggs in the walk in be­cause Grif­fin Tav­ern didn’t open un­til May of 2003. Yet Mary Frances was not go­ing to stay at home while on the pay­roll, her work ethic is too amaz­ing for that. She came to work and helped clean up the de­mo­li­tion work and her seam­stress skills came in handy as she made all of the cur­tains. Any­thing she could do to help, that was and still is Mary Frances.

It is a ter­ri­bly dif­fi­cult thing to write, but Mary Frances’ last day is this Fri­day, Feb. 2. She has de­cided to re­tire. My meringue just dropped. We’ve been through so many guests to­gether, each year her track­ing the over 1,500 desserts and 700-plus pie crusts made — just amaz­ing for any­one, but Mary Frances is 76 years young.

We’ve had three of her grand­sons that did work and a son in law that does work for us to­day. You know if Mary Frances rec­om­mends them she’s also go­ing to make sure they live up to her ex­pec­ta­tions. We’ve joked, some­what se­ri­ously, that if I could clone her about 5 times she could run the place.

We plan on hav­ing lunch at the Tav­ern on Fri­day. Feel free to visit or if you see her around the county I hope you will tell her how much she means to Rap­pa­han­nock. She’s fa­mous for her pies, but she’s prob­a­bly got more vol­un­teer hours than most of us be­tween the fire de­part­ment, her church, and the Re­lay for Life. She’s a very spe­cial woman and will be missed. Thank you Mary Frances!

DEB­BIE DONEHEY Grif­fin Tav­ern

Mary Frances By­wa­ters

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