May 1, 2013

Roth and Ramberg say bye bye Miss American Pie


It’s May 1st and if you have a Roth and Ramberg 2013 desk Calendar then you should be flipping it over to the month of May. On one side is Beth Howard, America’s Pie Lady. On the other side, a black and white photograph of a smiling, one armed man.

We met America’s Pie Lady, Beth Howard, at the American Gothic Centre in Eldon, Iowa. Well, actually she lives in the old house next door to the American Gothic Centre. America Gothic is the very famous painting we’re sure everyone has seen. As we learned, it depicts a father and daughter standing in front of a house. The artist, Grant Wood used his sister and his dentist as models for the painting. The dentist took a little convincing, but he agreed as long as no one would recognize him. It turns out everyone recognized him and he didn’t speak to Grant Wood for many years, until Wood was on his deathbed… or at least that’s how the story goes.

Now who told us this story? Well, Rosie and Allen of course, the lovely couple who volunteer at the American Gothic Centre. The actual house used in the painting is owned by the State, but is rented out to private individuals. In this case, a woman by the name of Beth Howard lives there, and she loves pies. We mean REALLY loves pies!

She’s written a book about her life and love of pie and just how she ended up living in the American Gothic House. Her website is if you want to give it a look! 

If you dowload our free app you can read the entire story of just how we ended up in Eldon, Iowa. How Rosie and Allen let us into the exhibit after it had closed. How we spent the evening with this great couple and also how they arranged a meeting with America’s Pie Lady, and also a private viewing of the wonderful opera house that was being restored in downtown Eldon.

The one-armed man; he is part of a series of black and white photos we took at the World’s Largest Truckstop in Walcott, Iowa. Tim Miller was one of many people showing off his customized truck at the Annual Truckers Jamboree. We set up a makeshift photo studio and since this was our 20th calendar we photographed the first 20 truckers we could find.