I finally pitted the cherries, and found the best and fasted way I know of so far: Instead of picking up two at a time and smushing them until the pit pops out, I now stand by two bowls, use my thumb to split the cherry, take the pit between thumb and forefinger and drop into the bowl to the right, put the good part in the bowl to the left. This is at least twice as fast as my old smushing method. Then the cherries can be cooked with the other ingredients for cherry pie filling. (Note: as you are cooking them, observe carefully for any pits that might have inadvertently snuck into the good stuff. I found five in my pot, in spite of how careful I was.) The pies were delicious!
Homemade Cherry Pie. Yum!