Day 7: Earning an early morning doughnut

I’ve got to run on my own Friday. In the dark.

The "newly renovated" storefront in 1964, in a photo on the bakery's facebook page. Looks exactly the same today.

To make the first session go down easier, I want to reward myself with a Heyerly’s doughnut. The only problem: The bakery doesn’t open until 6, and we need to be leaving the house around then for a college visitation day.

Turns out the nearby Marathon station, aka the Ossian Deli, gets its delivery around 5. Both the bakery and the deli are on my route, so I figure I’ll monitor the situation as I run laps around Ossian.

I can smell the doughnuts baking a couple of blocks away. Through the lit display window, I can see one of the “showroom stockers” loading the glass cases with trays of aromatic fresh carbs. I decide to cut down the alley to peek in the production facility to see what’s going on there.

In this hilarious but tragic novel I once read about a downward-spiraling yuppie who winds up dealing dope, there’s this elaborate underground drug factory lurking in the linked basements of what appear to be a couple of ordinary looking small town houses. I’m reminded of that scene as I notice, for the first time, how far the bakery’s unseen innards stretch, through a long addition behind a neighboring storefront.

This alley must be where the delivery truck is loaded, but I don’t see it. I keep running, out past the post office, the coffee shop, the school, back past the grocery store, the deli, the library, then back past the bakery again.

Three times I run this 1-mile loop. I should do a fourth, but I notice the clock on the bank and see I’ve got to go. I never did see that darn delivery truck. But when I get back to the deli, its donut case is freshly stocked. I wonder: Does the labyrinthian bakery have basement tunnels extending under the whole town, to increase the efficiency of its delivery system?

I’d joke about this with the guy at the counter, but he’s got a long line of early morning customers to deal with — many of whom, like me, are clutching a donut. Most have more than one.

At least I earned mine, a classic fried cinnamon. Anticipating it made my early morning run go much smoother than yesterday’s.

When we get back from Indianapolis Friday evening, I do two laps around the Ossian trail in the fading light, then switch to less spooky residential streets strung with Halloween lights when it finally gets dark.

There won’t be any doughnut reward this time, though the bakery’s still open. But it feels good to stretch my muscles after a long drive.

When I tally up my day’s mileage, I come up with 7.5. Borrowing the 2 miles I banked last Saturday, on Day 1 of the 90in9 challenge, plus another four tenths “extra” accumulated on a couple of our routes this week, puts me at 69.9 miles in six days.

Two days — and 20.1 miles — to go.

According to the bakery's facebook page, the guy closest to the camera is Ray Heyerly, one of the brothers who started the business back in 1931.

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