My hobby is driving the rural back roads of America, where towns are far apart, falling apart, forgotten, ignored… and mostly abandoned.
On one cross-country trip I discovered that local, homemade donut shops are a big business in the rural West. If a deteriorating town along the back roads has any business… it’s a donut shop. And not in a shiny new building—like a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donut outlet—but usually in abandoned laundromats, ex-burger joints, or little forsaken gas stations.
It’s bizarre. I’d been driving past them for a week, wondering what really went on inside. How could they survive, where even a drug or car parts store couldn’t? After my night camping in tiny, and mostly vacant Goodlett, Texas, I finally stopped at my first Western-style god-forsaken donut shop—for a coffee, I thought. It was dark, and empty of people, except the clerk. He was a Cambodian. He explained to me, in a thick Asian accent, that his aunt in New Orleans owned many donut shops in Texas. He managed this one.
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