Across the street from the Brethren church that I attended growing up was the local donut shop. A family-owned operation, they deep-fried those little gems six nights a week and distributed them to gas stations and convenience stores around town in time for the hungry morning rush of prison guards, teachers, truck drivers, bankers, farmers and such. No less important to the donut masters were their nightly customers. For a couple of coins on the counter, one could walk away with hot, fresh gastronomic delights on the spot. Donut lovers from Spruce Street to Salem Avenue followed their noses to the little shanty that faithfully pumped out the aroma of fried grease and happiness. (And reportedly still does!)
Sunday evenings after church, if we had been quiet and attentive, Mom would take my two sisters and me across the alley for our weekly dozen: two donuts each, plus three apiece for Mom and Dad. Once home, we savored a half of a donut before bedtime and looked forward to the remainder of our stash for breakfast the next morning – a meal which Mom bolstered to semi-healthy status by adding a grapefruit, pear, or some other fruit “to help us think in school.”
After college, I moved to Pennsylvania where I worked the evening shift at a cottage cheese factory. On my way home was an all-night donut shop. Despite a gaggle of googly-eyed men, mainstays of the joint, I worked up the nerve to stop in at least once a week.
As the years wore on, I soundly sealed my status as a hard-core donut consumer. Although you won’t find me bellied up to a donut bar anytime soon, I have been known to trudge through howling winds and snowdrifts up to my kneecaps for a Boston Kreme and an Apple ‘n Spice.
I would sit up straight, face flirts, and bear a blizzard. What would you do for a donut?