As I was writing the Dogs, Donuts etc. page, my research department showed me a photograph of Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood:
I was down the rabbit hole. Again.
I am a sucker, a complete sucker, for these large pieces of roadside vernacular architecture. In 1973, a caravan of grape strikers from Coachella drove to Los Angeles for a day of picketing at Safeway. We met up at the giant dinosaurs in Cabezon – hundreds of Mexican and Filipino farm workers and their families, old busted-up slutted out cars and trucks, red and white and black UFW flags flapping in the wind, great spirit – and the giant dinosaurs that were built in the early 1960s.
Pretty funny. (Ironic P.S. – the dinosaurs are now owned by Young Earth advocates who believe that dinosaurs and man walked side by side in the early days of a 6,000-year-old earth).
And in the 1990s whenever Julia and I went to Bangor to see my sister and her family we took our pictures with the giant Paul Bunyan. I will look for those photos to scan. Here is Paul without us:
What we have here are photos made and gathered and presented by others of cool giant donuts. Not Berkeley, but Quirky. Some are gone, but the photos live. I excluded Winchells and Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’s and Top Pot, even their shops with good signs. Too bad. Too corporate.
RoadsideArchitecture.com is, for me, all that a website can be. In asking you to check it out I am aware that you might not come back here for a while. It is really something. From that website I gleaned these giant donuts:
Joe Orman took/collected these next photos. He urges us to “Get off the boring interstate highway of everyday life! Look for the Signpost for the Strange; take the Exit to Eccentricity, the Offramp to the Odd! Exercise your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of total weirdness!”
Roadside Peek is a brilliant website – great passion for and photos of “old motels, bowling alleys, drive-in theatres, neon signs, petrol pumps, googie sites, tiki villages, and other roadside treasures, including Route 66.” From that website, these giant donuts:
A final group of donuti giganti from image searches of the web:
I go to Stockton a few times a year for meetings. I spent some time there in 1974 working on a tomato strike and like the place, down and out and all. But I always get lost. On January 9, 2014, in the late afternoon I was headed for a meeting, as un-lost as I think I have ever been in Stockton. I then spied this sign:
I drove past it and then desperately began to loop back around to take a photo. And got kind of lost. I survived. And what a perfect desolate donut shop sign for Stockton!
You wouldn’t guess it from looks, but my friend has a pretty good idea for numbers. When he looked at these photos he dug out his slide rule (!) and got to work figuring out approximately how many calories there would be in the big Dale’s donut. I asked what he thought about the giant donuts in general. He said: