St. Bernard’s Parish, on the bank of the Mississippi River. Driving the Winnebago east from Dallas along Route 80, we see our first rainfall in months as we begin passing what must be the largest concentration of small donut shops in America: Donut Palace, Donut King, Queen Donuts, Donut Supreme, Donut Shop, Donut Box, Classic Donut, Star Donuts, Master Donuts, Mister Donut and more. We arrive at our campground at dusk in the village of Hawkins, population 1,300, where a road sign announces it as “The Pancake Capital of Texas.” I immediately began thinking about the flapjack feast I would enjoy in the morning — I haven’t had pancakes since October in Wyoming — only to discover there wasn’t a diner to be seen, or any restaurant at all, save a Sonic. I knew we should’ve stopped for donuts. It turns out Hawkins was the hometown of Lillian Richard, one of the women who had been featured on Aunt Jemima brand products for many years. Amid the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Quaker Oats (owned by PepsiCo) ended the brand that dated back to the 1890s. The next morning, I stop by the small schoolhouse that Lillian Richard had attended and speak with her great-niece, Vera Harris — a 30-year Army veteran and children’s book author — by phone. In news stories, Vera had been pitted as the voice of opposition to efforts to end the brand. In fact, she tells me, she supported the company’s decision, up […]