Images from Pie Town
Best Illustrated Trade Book for 2001 from the Publishers Association of the West.
NM Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces,
February 20, 2004-July 4, 2004.
Roswell Museum and Art Center
October 25, 2002-January 5, 2003
100 West Eleventh St.
Roswell NM 88201
Branigan Cultural Center
February 7, 2003-May 3, 2003
Las Cruces Cultural Complex
500 N. Water St.
Macy Center at NM Tech
May 2003-July 2003
Las Cruces, NM 88001Socorro
Pie Town Woman tells the story of Doris Caudill and her family, immortalized in over a hundred photographs in 1940 by Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer Russell Lee.
With the nearest doctor 60 miles away, and Albuquerque a daunting 180-mile trip; the land rough and electricity rare, how could a spirited woman living a life of such hardship remember those times as the happiest in her life?
Joan Myers, intrigued by how a "dirt poor" existence could be reminisced about in such glowing terms, went in search of Doris Caudill, in part to meet the subject of so many photos, and in part to compare how Doris' feelings and memories compared to Lee's photographic observations.
Lee was paid to photograph "the spirit of America at a time of great trial." His photographs were published in a variety of magazines and other publications to demonstrate how people were living in other parts of the country, and to influence Congress to appropriate more money in the rural areas where people most needed it.
Today, more than six hundred photographs of Pie Town exist in the Library of Congress. Myers' Pie Town Woman is the fascinating story of homesteaders Doris Caudill and family, Russell & Jean Lee' s experiences during their own stay in Pie Town, and Joan Myers' sojourn into the past to unravel the stories behind the pictures.
The book includes photographs by Russell Lee, family snapshots, and photographs by Joan Myers of Pie Town today.