By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 01, 2018 at 9:01 AM

As if anyone really needs an excuse to eat a donut at Cranky Al’s, 6901 W. North Ave., in East Tosa, today is National Donut Day.

Well, actually, according to Mental Floss, today is the first of two annual National Donut Days. Why two, you ask? Well, it’s donuts, so, instead, I’d ask why not three?

But the first Friday in June is the date that was selected 80 years ago to honor the "Salvation Army Lassies" (which might not be my choice of wording, but times were different back then) who served donuts to World War I soldiers, according to the National Donut Day website, which further explains, "these volunteers were the only female non-military personnel stationed on the front lines, where they even have to prepare donuts inside U.S. soldiers’ steel helmets using only hot oil and a stove!

"Improvising in the trenches using helmets as deep fryers, spent artillery shells as dough cutters and empty wine bottles as rolling pins, the Lassies prepared donuts made from leftover ingredients for soldiers. It was reported that some pilots even dropped notes asking for donuts."

You heard it here, folks: America won the Great War on donuts.

So, it’s your civic duty to go to Cranky Al’s and get a double chocolate cake donut, which is, as the name suggests, a chocolate cake donut – which boasts a nice crispy exterior and a softer interior – topped with chocolate.

It’s super decadently delicious, it’s only a buck and it’s way easier than trying to heat oil yourself at home in an old military helmet.

I hear some places give out free donuts on National Donut Day, but I’d rather drop a dollar at a great local bakery for a top-notch example than get a second-rate one for free somewhere else.

Cranky’s is open weekdays from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m., and weekends from 6 until 2 p.m.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.