Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

One of my favorite memories of being little in the Downey house was all four of us piling onto our parent’s bed on Saturday morning.  Sometimes my dad would say, “Who wants to walk over to Winchell’s with me to pick out a box of doughnuts?” To which we would start chanting, “doan-doans, doan-doans!” (pronounced with long “o’s”, a verbal concoction of my brother Bob’s that stuck in the family), and which would motivate us to start getting dressed and out the door to the intersection of Paramount and Florence.

My dad liked doughnuts enough that later in his life, my mom managed his diabetic diet so that he could occasionally have a plain cake doughnut.  But in those days, we were talking the full array that Winchell’s had to offer.  I know Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have their fans, but I guess your tastes get formed by what you grow up with, and I remain Winchell’s loyalist.  When Bing and I made a bold real estate move to buy a house in Northeast Pasadena in the late 1980s, I reassured myself that we could believe in a neighborhood that had a Winchell’s.

So over our years passing through the intersection of Orange Grove and Los Robles, we have stopped in at that Winchell’s for the “Saturday morning on the way to Colburn” doughnut, for the “zero-dark-thirty on the way to Long Beach for the Beach-to-Bay regatta” doughnut, for the “keep the Elders Quorum happy on a service project” box, and for “treats for USC students on a field trip” box.  During the time my hair dresser was at a salon near the intersection of Lake and California, Akemi and I had a little tradition after we had our hair cuts that she could choose an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins or a doughnut at that Winchell’s.  “Doan-doans” often won out.

Having professed Winchell’s loyalty, I have to say, though, that the very best doughnut I have ever had was made by a bakery in Barnstable on Cape Cod which the place we were staying at served in the lobby in the early morning.  When I was in Portland, Oregon last fall, my conference host said we must walk over to the nearby Voodoo Doughnut, nationally famous for its, uhh, imaginative flavors and decorations. I was happy with my selection of a Mexican chocolate doughnut from among the family-rated options.

These days, “doan-doans” aren’t on the diet, but in observance of National Doughnut Day today and the fact that I was at the office at such an early hour having taken Akemi to the airport for her return to Boston, I decided a doughnut was in order.  The doughnut shop a block away from campus is pretty modest, but certainly they can handle a chocolate cake with sprinkles.   

So happy Doughnut Day!

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