Tuesday, January 4

Pocket Change

(Giant Donut kind of like this, but different)

We have a handful of nickels,

pennies and dimes between us

to go to Winchell’s -

the donut shop

with the gigantic tractor tire

in the parking lot

painted like a chocolate donut

with a lot

of sprinkles on top.

Five cents for cake

or plain or raised,

eight cents for raspberry


or lemon-filled,


Making a choice

is sweet agony

hopping in place

(one foot

to the other)


on the other side

of the glass case.

We pedal our bikes furiously

with a hunger

deep and craving,

an urgency borne all on the wings

of sacred

pocket change.

I remember when they raised the price of specialty donuts from eight to eleven cents a piece. That’s all we could talk about for days! It seemed like a terrific injustice. In our minds, we were the core clientele of this tiny, paint-peeling little donut shop on Saticoy, just around the corner from Jellico. Executing our donut runs almost exclusively on a Saturday, we were accordingly unaware of the week day early morning business they must have been doing just fine without any of us penny-pinching neighborhood kids.

Winchell’s is an international donut chain. We didn’t know this. We thought Mr. Winchell was the old guy in the stained white apron and the little paper hat behind the counter.

Donuts 2011: 89 cents each

"The Donut King"

Verne H. Winchell

October 15, 1915 - November 26, 2002

Founder of Winchell's Donuts in Temple City, CA, 1948, graduate of Alhambra High School, CA.

* Excerpt from Station Wagon Wars ~ Growing Up in the 60s by cTanner