I drove into Winston-Salem the other afternoon and went straight to the Krispy Kreme on Stratford Road. It had occurred to me that a fresh Krispy Kreme might be just soft enough for my Dad to enjoy.
The consistency of a fresh Krispy Kreme doughnut is probably akin to the taste of an angel's halo, presuming those are edible. It's like biting into fresh, hot nothing covered in sugar. And then it disappears into your tongue and mouth and it's gone and so's the next one. They are hard to eat in the singular when they are young. Oddly, as they age, they fill with a cobwebby breadiness while their outside frosts over and stiffens. If you have a microwave, you can save your Krispy Kremes from this kind of fate.
This is the location of the flagship free-standing Krispy Kreme, and most of the present building is still pretty old. When I was a new lad in town in the 1960's, Thruway Shopping Center hadn't spanned to Knollwood Street yet, but you could get these great doughnuts right across the street. I was thrilled. My dad would bring home a dozen, and we'd make short work of them. When I was an errant teen, I would sneak out at night and wander across the I-40 bridge, sometimes meet my friends and dazedly watch the new doughnuts go through their little roller coaster, up and down on platforms guided by chains, into the hot grease and out of it. You could stand in the parking lot, looking in through a plate glass window; we did this a lot.
A few years ago, they enclosed the old building with a seating area on one side and a drive-through on the other. I went in and stood watching the doughnuts go around for a minute in the dusty afternoon.
A woman in a fancy hat was having a doughnut and a coffee. I'd seen her when I pulled up and parked. She was thin, wore sunglasses, read a paperback and sat alone at a table by the door. She seemed somewhat out of character for the Stratford Road Krispy Kreme in the afternoon. But you take your moments where you find them.
My dad enjoyed his doughnut very much.