Hi everyone and welcome to The American Pie Party!
My legal name is Edwin Anthony Sobony but, my friends and family know me as Tony Sobony. I remember being told by my mom that I laughed as a baby when I heard my name. Rhythmic rhymes were sung during my school years using my name. I developed a keen sense of humor during my formative years, and from this developed my American Pie Party Dream story.
When I was ten years old my father died in our living room from lung cancer. I did not realize the effects of that September Saturday morning until decades later. Then one day it hit me full in the face, so to speak. As a young adult, I titled my entrance autobiography for Mansfield State University, “E Pluribus Unum” (from many comes one), and I then realized I was forever shaped by those experiences surrounding that tragic event.
From then on, I understood that I could face tragedy, with full respect for those involved, with my sense of humor.
As a high school teacher in the late 1970’s I realized I did not know if I wanted to teach the rest of my life. I asked my colleague and mentor, Carol Lowe, “What should I do?” Her reply was: “Specialize in something.” I went home that night and coincidentally watched Johnny Carson explain humor. He said, “Humor oftentimes is the extreme of something.” A pie in the face is the ultimate extreme physical comedy act, and cancer is the extreme physical tragedy. You cannot get more extreme than that juxtaposition.
I believe God showed me the American Pie Party at that time, and what I could accomplish with pie in the face humor. I used divergent thinking. Simply put I wanted to face cancer in a different way, with humor. I wanted to push myself as much as I could. I wanted to be the best PiePal in the world. In the 1980’s, I would sit on the Ohio Statehouse lawn and accept pies in the face from the public for hours. We literally mixed a ton of whipped cream to do so. I heard a comment from an individual who worked on one of the higher floors of an adjacent building say, “I thought a cement truck overturned.” I laughed, and so did the folks throwing pies.
The quantity of whipped cream we used in the beginning was very costly. Shorten party time and lessen the product used we thought. On Father’s Day 2005, SpeedPie was launched with pie in the face and pie on the body humor. It was a day to honor my biological father, my stepfather, and my father-in-law, each losing the battle to cancer. I took 3,299 pies in the face in 20 minutes and 10 seconds. I decided to ask others to take pies in the face for our cause which is to eradicate cancer. We would recruit people and call them PiePals. They would be those who celebrate life and would be willing to take a pie in the face. PiePal Jack Hanna accepted a pie in his face from his daughter Julie in his living room. Jack wanted to benefit Saint Jude Children’s Hospital for our National Online Auction. Another PiePal was our friend Chris Rollins, who was a teenager and a cancer survivor who wanted to celebrate the time he was given on this Earth. There are many others, but those PiePals are the most memorable to me.
Currently we are refining Virtual American Pie Party TAG. Times change and using social media going forward will be quite important to us. We expect PiePals across the United States and the world to take a pie in the face to benefit their chosen cancer organization. Circumstances certainly have changed. America needs The American Pie Party. America needs to get its sense of humor back. We now have the opportunity to fight cancer with pie in the face humor virtually.
Dream with me a moment. I dream that Susie Solomon, a beautiful educated armless legless former student, would have a seven-foot in diameter whipped cream pie catapulted at me. I dream that Broadway will have a production of the history of pies in the face, and what fun it would be to involve the whole audience! I dream that PiePals will multiply all over the world and play Virtual Pie Party TAG. I dream that someone will beat the record of 14,365 pies in the face at one sitting. And of course, I dream that someday cancer will only be a Zodiac sign. Dreams can come true.
It really is up to YOU to be an advocate for your favorite cancer charity by supporting us in our fight against cancer. We want YOU, our PiePal friends, to help us eradicate cancer! Tag, YOU are it!
The Future Is Not for Us To See
Whatever Will Be, Will Be
Thank you, God be with you, and Good Pie!