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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #63: Mister Donut, Portsmouth

I would buy donuts from this man

In this age of Starbucks and Dunkin's, who remembers Mister Donut? There was a time years ago when it was a player in the American coffee and donuts scene, though DD acquired most of their domestic footprint in 1990. They still exist in some numbers in Asia and, apparently, El Salvador.

The one I'm talking about was on Islington Street in Portsmouth, down near Yudy's Tires and the old Pic N Pay (where we had more than one vicious battle royale with rotting fruit behind the store). I loved that logo when I was a kid - rakish, old-fashioned, welcoming. My dad used to go there when he was a cop in town - a lovely Rockwellian image, and yeah, he was there for the donuts. But not for him, at least not primarily. He would go early in the morning and pick up huge trash bags of the day-old donuts and bring them home to our pigs.

I don't remember what summer that was - I might have been five or six - but we had half a dozen pigs on the property at Stratham Lane. We had everything at one time or another: chickens, turkeys, geese, rabbits, heck, even flying squirrels and a sheep. That summer it was pigs, and they were a stanky bunch (yummy, though). Anyway, dad would bring home the big bags from Mister Donut and the pigs would love it. Then he'd put me on the pigs and I would ride them. You read that right - I was a pig-rider in my youth. There's also a great family story about one getting free and my mother chasing it down the street in her bathrobe brandishing a wiffle bat.

Eventually, we ate the pigs. And Mister Donut with its awesome logo became a thing of the past. And I haven't ridden a pig in a long time.

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