Friday, June 1, 2012

National Doughnut Day

June has never been one of my favoirte months. But what a wonderful way to begin it - with National Doughnut Day! Supposedly, National Doughnut Day started in Chicago in 1938 as a fund raiser for the Salvation Army, which had served coffee and doughnuts to U.S. soldiers in France during World War I. It was a way of raising money to support the Salvation Army's extensive efforts to assist the poor during the Great Depression.
Somehow that seems so approrpiate. It has often been observed that, in time of economic distress, coffee-and-doughnut shops still seem to survive. It seems as if, even then, the ubiquitous coffee-and-doughnut are an indulgence many people are just not inclined to give up. The persistent popularity of coffee-and-doughnut shops' upscale equivalents even during economic downturns seems to me to confirm this.
Speaking for myself, I remember how much I enjoyed taking a break at Bloor Street's Second Cup while serving at the parish in Toronto in the 1990s. In New York during the decade that followed, it was, of course, Starbuck's (conveniently located right on the corner) that got a lot of my business - although in both cities the new fashion for cafes in big, chain bookstores often offered attractive competition. Here in Knoxville, I am a regular cusotmer at the Knoxville Visitors Center, located in a charming century-old building a short walk from the church down the hill to the corner of Summit and Gay. Besides tourist information, the Knoxville Visitors Center provides a valued venue for live music daily. And it sells good coffee at a good price.
Unfortunately, I can no longer consume doughnuts (at least not real ones). But I can consume them in spirit, so to speak, while drinking my coffee, reading the local paper, and enjoying live Tennessee music - and thus remain at heart sitll a part of that great, shared human experience, in good times and bad, of coffee and doughnuts.

No comments:

Post a Comment