The passing of William Scantlebury of Betty Ann’s Donuts, famous for his “sinkers” brings to a close another link to a childhood that was much simpler and easier than what our children are dealing with today.
The first time that my brothers and I tasted a “sinker” was in the mid 1960s when my grandmother would stop by our house on a weekday with her box of pastries from Betty Ann’s.
In the box there were an assortment of Danish — lemon and raspberry with plenty of icing, the cinnamon rolls, the chocolate chip cookies, maybe a pie or brownie but definitely a bag of “sinkers.” The caloric intake was not even considered as hands quickly went flying to get a share of the bakery stash.
For my family, going to Betty Ann’s was a treat on Sundays as we usually bought two dozen donuts – primarily jelly and hot. One would became accustomed to waiting in line and hoping that a new batch of donuts would keep on coming from behind the wall before the person in front of you took the last half a dozen.
Years of carefree childhood went by and then watching the waistline became more of a priority as one grew older.
But Betty Ann’s was always a treat on a limited basis and a link to a childhood.
Then one day after years of not going, I decided to take my youngest son at that time in the first grade for the experience while we were waiting for a plane to arrive at Logan Airport,. We went to Betty Ann’s for his first “sinker” and he was hooked as everyone has been for more than 80 years. Seeing the sugar covering the donut, he went wild. He savored every bite and finally announced that he should bring the donuts to his class because his friends would love them but maybe not the teachers.
That was more than seven years ago and in the years between then and now, he would always make me feel guilty if I drove home through East Boston and did not stop at Betty Ann’s.
Another link to my past is gone, but at least my son was able to enjoy a real “sinker” as I and countless other children had discovered in that magical time of our childhood and innocence. Hopefully, when he gets to be my age and sees an imitation, he will always think of a happy and carefree time in his life when one of life’s greatest problems was — who ate my “sinker”.
(Stephen Quigley is the President of the Independent Newspaper Group)
Sometimes common sense just loses out …
The article in last week’s Revere Journal about CAPIC losing the funding for running their homeless program seems just counterproductive.
Robert Repucci, CAPIC Director, said that he was forced to stop the program that has been successful and in place for more than 48 years to help stave off homelessness because of the way that former Governor Deval Patrick changed funding for the program.
Repucci points out that under the current program, the cost of the program that was $10 million before Partick’s changes will now almost triple with people forced to live in hotels.
Housing costs in the Boston market have seen a steady increase as apartments are now renting for more than $2,000 a month.
In this week’s Journal, one can see how illegal apartments are being put in everywhere and anywhere. Revere city councillors have adopted a new ordinance to streamline city government to check on illegal apartments and make sure that these type of apartments become a distant memory. Revere councillors have used common sense to address our housing issues.
Bob Repucci used common sense to make sure that homeless people were not taken advantage of in finding decent and legal housing.
But state government seems to just not care what it spends to do things wrong.
We look forward to Governor Charles Baker looking over the budget and fixing blatant problems like the state’s allocation of funding of the homeless program.
No one should object to paying taxes to help our fellow Americans find legal and decent housing. But when one sees and hears that a program is costing three times as much with lesser returns, then Baker might be on the right track when asked about raising taxes, he says that “the state does not have a revenue problem but a spending problem.”