Jennifer's Heroes: June Curry, The Cookie Lady

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June 18, 2009

Nate Crimmins came down the Atlantic Coast on an Adventure Cyclist Association route, he found mapped out online.

"I got to just about Richmond in Ashland, Virginia where I finally started to head West, and that's what brought me to Afton," said Crimmins.

In addition to bike route, the group's website lists grocery stores, lodging and other places worth a visit.

"In Afton it said, June The Cookie Lady, make sure you stop there, I wasn't sure what that meant, but the Cookie Lady was pretty enticing, and so I thought I'd definitely take my break here today," said Crimmins.

With a simple sign standing along Afton Mountain Road that reads, "The Cookie Lady, it's easy to find June Curry."

While her health has gotten in the way of her baking for the bikers, she is still willing and eager to invite any cyclist in.

"Folks like June, that actively broadcast their willingness to house bikers is a relief, a huge relief and quite a find, really a gold mine," said Crimmins.

Just two doors down from Curry's home is a bicycler's gold mine. Curry calls her old home a bike museum. Inside there are rooms with several couches to rest on, and a plethora of stories painted on postcards hanging on the walls from the floor to the ceiling.

"Knowing that each one of those has its own set of stories, that's amazing," said Crimmins.

Hundreds of t-shirts, water bottles and other knick-knacks are all tokens of thanks for Curry's generosity.

Cyclists from all 50 states and several nations have stopped in Afton to meet The Cookie Lady.

"I'm getting people from like Japan, China, Taiwan," Curry said. "You feel like after you talk to one you know that county better than you did before. I think I know more about the world than I did when I went to school. I'm getting it first hand."

According to Curry, the chance to travel without leaving home is a blessing in itself, but what's more are the relationships that have developed.

"So many of them bring their kids here and I know a lot of the kids. Most of them call me Grandma, and I like that," said Curry.

At 88-years-old, the bike museum has gotten to be a bit more than Curry can handle, and she says this might be her last year.

"I can't remember the things I did yesterday, but the stories are something I can remember. I don't know why maybe it's because I want to," said Curry.

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