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Written by Jes-c Brandt   

A love not meant to be

Summer break found me with two weeks off work, so I headed to the hottest vacation destination—Holyoke.

OK, so maybe there aren’t the usual tourist attractions, but I wouldn’t have spent my time off anywhere else. It was delightful to spend time with family and friends and catch up with so many people around town.

Unbeknownst to others, I also had a secret agenda when I planned to visit Colorado. I had hoped to rendezvous with an old flame.

This former love and I have an interesting history. We’ve been meeting up whenever I’m in Holyoke for several years. When I’m away, I have often tried to find another love to measure up, but I’m convinced such a wonder doesn’t even exist.

Now I know you’re curious. Who is the old flame? I’ll tell you. It’s a ballpark burger. I have a deep love, nay infatuation, with those delicious, delectable, savory burgers.

The world is full of foodies, and they all claim to know a place with the best burger. Californians are always raving about In-N-Out burgers, so I gave one a try. Every Texan I meet tells me another hole-in-the-wall burger joint I simply have to try, and I generally heed their recommendations.

I have had many good burgers in search of one that I like as much as a Holyoke ballpark burger, but they all fall short.

Don’t worry, I know that I can never hope for an exclusive relationship with the ballpark burgers, but I am content to allow others to enjoy them as well. I just hope to get my hands on one once in a while, which was exactly the ulterior motive I had in mind during my most recent stay in Holyoke.

The last thing I want is to appear desperate, so for my first few days in town I made the rounds, eating a variety of my mom’s delicious home cooked meals, accepting invites to eat with friends and revisiting my favorite local restaurants.

I knew I was running out of options when I was left to provide my own meal, and all I could think to prepare was a bowl of cereal. It was time to seek the mystical ballpark burger. I grabbed a Holyoke Happenings pamphlet and looked for a home game. Panic started to set in as I realized I already had plans during the first few games. It sure is tough being so popular.

Suddenly, joy replaced panic when I finally found a game that fit into my schedule. I blocked off that particular evening and invited LeAnne to do the same, so she could join me for dinner.

For the next few days, the anticipation grew and grew, until finally it was time. Technically, it was about an hour before the games were scheduled to begin, but we just couldn’t wait any longer, so we walked to the ballpark and sat on the swings, waiting for the action to begin.

Time passed quickly as we laughed and chatted, and before we knew it, it was time for the games to be starting. There was only one problem: the other team wasn’t there. In fact, our own team wasn’t there either.

Apparently there was no game that night. Absolutely devastated, LeAnne and I walked back across town to the Peerless, where we were volunteering that night. Chatting with all the people who came in did wonders to lift my spirits, and I resolved to try for a burger again before I had to head back to Texas.

Every time we thought there could potentially be a ball game, we drove past the park, hoping to see a ball game in progress and smell burgers on the grill. Every time we were met with disappointment.

Despite having a positively wonderful two weeks in Holyoke, I never did get that ballpark cheeseburger. I guess it was not meant to be.

Holyoke Enterprise June 14, 2012