When barrelling down along the coast of Maine -- that is, heading down east -- on Rte. 1, every right turn between the gas stations and the moldy trailer parks leads to some postcard village or cliffside saltbox overlooking the sea.

In late 1971, having found a decaying farmstead down one of those roads that would soon be a decaying summer home, my group of friends looked for a suitable place to celebrate. We discovered Moody's Diner, all you could eat for $3.45, a long, low, dumpy joint along Rte. 1 at Waldoboro, just past our Rte. 220 turnoff.

The spread began with a rotating tray of relishes, including cottage cheese and potato salad, enough for a light lunch. The main meals were -- and remain -- standard diner stuff: filling, good and cheap. It's hard, but essential, to save room for the pies.

There has never been such pie anywhere else on earth. Rhubarb, blueberry, apple, cherry, strawberry -- even the lemon meringue and chocolate cream were -- and are -- delectable, nestled in a flaky, buttery crust. The recipes, alas, are secret, but the results are sublime, and you can buy a whole pie to devour later. As proof of the place's quality, Moody's is jammed with locals after church on Sundays -- a reliable indicator for visitors.