A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 22, 2017
“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people…”

A popular Mother’s Day saying is:

“A mother is a person who sees there are only four pieces of pie for five people and says she doesn’t care for pie.”

The saying was published by American journalist and humorist Robert Quillen (1887-1948) in his syndicated newspaper column on June 14, 1937. The saying has been credited to Tenneva Jordan since the 1960s, but she was not its original author.


Wikipedia: Robert Quillen
Verni Robert Quillen (March 25, 1887 - December 9, 1948) was an American journalist and humorist who for more than a quarter century was “one of the leading purveyors of village nostalgia” from his home in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. In 2012, his office and library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

14 June 1937, Charleston (SC) Evening Post, “Quillen Says” by Robert J. Quillen, pg. 4A, col. 6:
A MOTHER IS A PERSON WHO SEES THERE ARE ONLY FOUR PIECES OF PIE FOR FIVE PEOPLE AND SAYS SHE DOESN’T CARE FOR PIE.

28 July 1937, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 14, col. 2:
Thank God for Her
A mother is a person who sees there are only four pieces of pie for five people and says she doesn’t care for pie.—Mrs. J. W. Byrn, in Winchester (Mo) Star.

18 September 1937, The Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, PA), “The Office Cat” by Junius, pg. 10, col. 1:
A MOTHER IS A PERSON WHO SEEING THERE ARE ONLY FOUR PIECES OF PIE FOR FIVE PEOPLE, PROMPTLY ANNOUNCES THAT SHE NEVER DID CARE FOR PIE.

Google Books
Definitions and Toasts
By Jacob Morton Braude
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1965
Pg. 45:
Mother: a person who sees that there are only four pieces of pie for five persons and promptly remarks that she’s never cared for pie.

18 June 1966, Holland (MI) Evening Sentinel, “Father’s Day—June 19,” pg. 4, col. 1:
For he can match in self-sacrifice the spirit of his spouse, the mother of his children, of whom Tenneva Jordan once wrote in This Day Magazine: “A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

Google Books
14,000 Quips & Quotes:
For Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers

By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
1990, ©1980
Pg. 42:
A typical mother, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.

Google Books
I’m a Mom:
Meditations for New Mothers

By Ellen Sue Stern
New York, NY: Dell
1993
Pg. 27:
A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
Tenneva Jordan

Google Books
Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Mom, with Love:
101 Stories about Why We Love Our Mothers

By Amy Newmark
Cos Cob, CT: Chicken Soup for the SOul Publishing, LLC
2016
Pg. ?:
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, April 22, 2017 • Permalink