Its 4:00 pm
I talk to my brother Phil about 3-4 times a week. We talk about everything under the sun and we get a lot of bittersweet moments to reflect on. Every once in a while we travel back the road to where we used to live at – Ontario,Calif.
Now while we each have our own set of memories,we do have quite a few mutual ones as well. Phil was really young back then and life was really brutal as well. It was a hard place to grow up at,crime,drug abuse,poverty well embeddened in our neighborhood.
Every week we would hear about someone being locked up,overdosing or getting killed. Often it was someone we all knew and the gossip phone line would heat up with people talking about it until something new came down the line.
But not every memory was a bad one and as Phil and I were talking,I brought up The Donut Truck. Now there two things we always looked forward to seeing back in the day,the person who came by and sold us steaks,hamburgers and hotdogs that they had liberated from the meat packing plant and The Donut Truck.
The Donut Truck was called Helms Donuts and it was a old Chevy panel truck. It was a faded yellow and the name “Helms Donuts”had been spray painted on its side. It came by our barrio once or twice a week and instead of a gaggle of kids running after a ice cream truck,you would have seen us chase down the Donut Truck. Well unless you lived on our corner because if you did,you didn’t have to run,the owner,who I think was named Leon,would park right in front of our house.
The kids would start running the second they heard the truck and often or not we would have 30-40 kids and yep,adults all waiting to see what the Donut Truck had that day. My brothers Peter and Phil would always get candy while I wanted a creampuff.
My mother would buy fresh tortillas if Leon had any left. And there lay in the problem,while Leon often came to our area,he always came them last on his route.
More often or not by the time The Donut Truck got to us,it was pretty picked over and many times Leon only had what the rich people didn’t want. So while I may have wanted a creampuff,many times I left empty handed because it meant he didn’t have any donuts left either.
If you’re getting the idea that we were the last stop in his route,you would be right.
So while we the last stop,we also got discounts on fresh goods like whatever bread,donuts or even once in a blue moon,a creampuff. Leon would stay in front of our house for about 20-30 minutes before heading back home and doing it again the next day.
I don’t have a lot of good memories of our time in Ontario but that Donut Truck is definitely one of them.
What was one of your favorite memories growing up? Share it with us all by dropping a comment below.