I took Sullivan and Bridgette to Ingrid’s Bakery last night for St. Patrick’s Day cookies, cream cheese hamantaschens and Turkish macaroons. I’ve been going to Ingrid’s since I was 19. That was back during the late 1980s when the placed was owned and operated by the original Ingrid. She was the wife of a U.S. Army soldier. The couple met when he was stationed in Germany and married before she even knew how to speak English.
Younger generations will not remember this, but at one time there were two Ingrid’s in the city. The bakery and restaurant we went to tonight is located on Northwest 36th Street and Villa. The other Ingrid’s was located on Pennsylvania Avenue around NW 27th Street.
Then, much more than now, Ingrid’s was a magical place for me. I was still a teenager, albeit 19, and just beginning to explore Oklahoma City. I was a college student at Southern Nazarene University and had spent my formative years growing up across the rural South Central Plains. Although I was born in East L.A. and lived there until I was almost 7, I had been exposed to very few world cultures. German bakeries were completely exotic to me.
As Sullivan and Bridgette peered through the bakery display cases, I wondered if when they’re old they’ll remember me taking them to places like this. Will they, along with Juliette, know how much I wanted them to have lives full of celebration and tradition? Will they know that these trips were about more than macaroons and hamantaschens? That the days of our lives fade so quickly and 19 comes and goes so fast. Today, the joy I offered them was wrapped up in a magically green cookie sprinkled with gold dust. It hardly seems enough. And, still, I hope they remember it. Remember me. Remember us and these things we did together, when we were together in 2015.