My wife brought me the news Thursday night. “You know, tomorrow is National Donut Day.”

Really? There is such a thing? Obviously I’ve never heard of this before, never really needed a holiday to eat a donut. It’s perfect photog food.

I did a little digging.

National Donut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise funds during the Great Depression, and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers who prepared donuts and other foods for thousands of soldiers.

The original donut was served by the Salvation Army in 1917. In WWI Salvation Army women were sent to the front lines of Europe. Besides making home cooked meals for the troops, doughnuts were cooked in oil inside the metal helmets of American soldiers. Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance is considered the Salvation Army’s “first doughnut girl”.

Okay, so we got the explanation out of the way.

Several years ago, PD columnist Bob Padecky and I were assigned to cover the Kentucky Derby. Sebastopol breeders Bob and Barbara Walter had entered their gelding Cavonnier in to the Derby. One night as Padecky finished up his column (at two in the morning), he noticed a Krispy Kreme Donut shop across the street from our hotel. It was lit up like a beacon. He promptly went out and bought a dozen and brought them back to the room. Bob was pretty impressed. “You haven’t had a donut until you’ve had one of these!” I guess they were fine, at least they were fresh. Padecky went on and on about them. They even accompanied us to the track the next morning, serving as breakfast.

On Friday morning as my family and I finished up morning errands, a Krispy Kreme truck rolled up beside us. I took it as a sign from the sugar gods. I tailed the vehicle, Krispy Kreme could be on the menu. Alas, the driver pulled in to a neighborhood, finished with deliveries for the morn.

A Krispy Kreme delivery vehicle on Fulton Road in Santa Rosa, Friday June 4, 2010. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

We then stopped by A’s Donuts (our original plan) on Piner Road in Santa Rosa. Co-owner Socheata Wanko, was behind the counter dishing out donuts to paying customers. “Did you know it’s National Donut Day?” I asked.

Socheata Wanko of A's Donuts in Santa Rosa serves up donuts Friday June 4, 2010. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

She deadpanned. “Yea…” Turns out a lot of customers were asking the same question. They were nearly sold out . Customer biz was up Friday Socheata said. In this economy, any biz is good biz.

A chocolate cake donut with sprinkles. I just bought it to photograph it. Right. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Got donuts?

-Kent Porter