Last batch: Bikers mourn Cookie Lady June Curry
After more than three decades welcoming bikers into her Afton home for showers, rest, and lots of cookies, "Cookie Lady" June Curry died June 16 at the age of 91, according to Nelson County Life magazine.
"She was a classy lady," says Anson Parker, who pedaled through Afton several times and was surprised and delighted by Curry's generosity.
Although Curry was listed in various biking guidebooks and had been dubbed a "Trail Angel" by the Adventure Cycling Association, Parker had never heard of her as he climbed the steep mountain road toward the tiny town of Afton in 2006 and noticed signs suggesting bikers stop in for water, rest, and cookies. He heeded the suggestions, and arrived at the brick house where thousands of bikers had stopped previously.
"I asked how much for a dozen cookies?" Parker recalls. "She said, 'Oh, honey, the cookies are free, but you need a bath. Go on up and take a shower, and then come down for some cookies."
Cleaned up and sated on cookies, Parker stayed several hours poring over postcards and souvenirs sent to Curry by previous biking guests which numbered over 13,000 in 2006, the year the Hook profiled Curry. That number undoubtedly grew in recent years, even as a stroke caused Curry to require nursing care– something paid for by donations from grateful bikers.
In that interview, Curry was modest about her generosity– which began during the Bikecentennial in 1976, when more than 2,000 bikers rode cross country between the Virginia village of Yorktown and Reedsport, Oregon.
"It makes me feel as though my life has not been a waste," she told a reporter, as she held a toy bicycle left with her by a young biker who stopped through with his parents.
That she might have doubted her positive impact elicits a strong response from Parker.
"She opened up her house to thousands of people," says Parker. "She was a one-of-a-kind being."