Tuesday, July 9, 2013

First Impressions

One of my earliest impressions of life in America, I was fifteen when I got here, was the Hostess cupcake. To be sure, Europe has no end of delicacies of the baked variety. The difference here was the almost universal availability of this product, in packages of two, in every drug and grocery store everywhere. We, the children of the family, became very fond of them; I was still buying them years later in the Army. What we didn’t know then was that the maker of these cupcakes, then called Interstate Bakeries Corporation, had its headquarters on Armour Boulevard, in Kansas City, Mo. Armour is actually 35th Street—and our first address in the United States was 3632 Tracy, meaning that at least in the North-South direction we were just a block away; but we were much farther removed in the West-East dimension. The company began in 1930—and went bankrupt in 2012. By that time, to be sure, I hadn’t tasted a Hostess cupcake for many decades already; that’s the difference between youth and age. I learned this morning that the cupcake will be back, on June 15, 2013. Some new owner of the brand will be producing it again. Everything passes. Some things return. The things that return, however, are never what actually passed.

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