“…you can’t go home again…you can’t go…back home to the escapes of Time and Memory. You Can’t Go Home Again” ― Thomas Wolfe (via Tuhon Rafael Kayanan)
When I was a baby my Nana and Papa would take care of me everyday while my parents were at work. They would drive me all around Towson or Cockeysville, to the library or Valley View Gardens or Kenilworth Mall. One of their favorite places was Herman’s Bakery in Kenilworth, where they would always be sure to chat with “Big John” and let me taste the cookies there. As I got older they would still pick me up on Friday afternoons to go to Hunt Valley Mall, and as they became too tired to venture out I would visit them at their apartment in Towson and bring food to them.
It’s been several years since they passed away but one of my most attached memories of our times together was going to Herman’s. A few weeks ago, I happened to come across their reviews on Yelp and was elated to find out that they still existed. Their last location (and main store) in Dundalk still makes the Italian cookies, cakes and Chocolate Topped Cookies that kept me nice and husky in my youth. So of course the first chance I got, I strapped Hope in her carseat and headed out to Dundalk.
Apparently marshmallow donuts are a local favorite, as well as the Chocolate Topped Cookies that they are known for.
And while I have definitely established my own favorite spots for Black Bottom Cupcakes, Chocolate Tops and the like, it is definitely comforting to still have Herman’s to come back to. For years in California I wanted nothing more than to go home. I knew before we moved back that the home I left wasn’t the home it would be, or more precisely I wasn’t the same me that left. But there are days like this, when I do think and remember why I loved so much this home I remember. It was never the place, nor the food. It was my family.
“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of ‘the artist’ and the all-sufficiency of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ and’love,’ back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, tot he cottage in Bermude, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” – Thomas Wolfe