Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Holyoke Saturday

Holyoke had some goings-on this Saturday...

First up, they were having the annual 10k Road Race. Its a huge foot race involving thousands of people; part of the St. Patrick's Day Parade festivities in town this weekend, culminating in the huge parade itself on Sunday. We got to the upper end of South St. where it intersects Rte.5, just as the lead group of runners were going by.

We walked up to the corner just as the main group was approaching.

It was a big event, with something like 3500 participants. There were also a lot of people on the side of the road clapping and cheering the runners on. Some of the runners did there best to stand out in the sea of humanity, streaming past at trotting speed.

Some appeared to have sponsors, or maybe they just really liked certain products.

It was a pretty diverse mass of runners; young, old, dogs, kids in strollers, the fit, and the fat. Some were doing it for the win, some for achieving their personal best, but for most it was obviously just in the spirit of fun and exercise. Amherst blogger Mary Carey is a perennial participant, and took some notes from a runner's point of view, as well as the post-race gatherings.

After the last of the runners went by, we headed out. We passed this group of revelers on their front yard. They had front row seats to the weekend festivities and were making use of it. All it took was a quick toot of the horn to elicit a roaring "Woooooooooo!" from them.

Boston Prophet

We continued on to the Barnes And Noble bookstore, reason number two we came to Holyoke today. We had heard rumors that a guru from the east would be there, meeting with the common folk. We went to seek him out, and hopefully glean some grace and knowledge, from nearness to his magnificence. Yes, Howie Carr was in town.

He was there signing books with Colonel Hunt, of conservative talk radio and tv fame. Both were promoting their new books. Howie's, called 'The Brothers Bulger', obviously about the Bulger brothers. And Colonel Hunt's book, called 'On The Hunt', about winning the war on terrorism. It was standing room only on the second floor of the book store.

Kelly paid her respects to the talk radio celebrity, her personal hero...

Time for lunch. We decided to try a pizza joint nearby on Rte. 202 called Manny's Pizza, at a small shopping plaza called the Holyoke Mini Mall.

Being a connoisseur of pizza joints, I find the measure of a good one lies in the quality of it's steak and cheese grinders. Kelly usually handles the personal pizza taste-test. Chris was on hand today, and tried their chicken cutlet grinder. All three passed with flying colors, with real ingredients, good seasonings, and the all-so-important good bread quality. And the food came out PIPING hot, which didn't hurt either. One curiosity though; what's up with the backwards 'Z's on the banner near the ceiling? Is Manny aware of this?

While waiting for our food, I was reading the local Holyoke Paper, called The Sun. It's pretty good, with some nice, frank writing. On one of the pages, there are photographs of some street-walkers and their johns, who were recently arrested in a sting operation in the Central Business District of Holyoke.

The pictures are presumably there to further embarrass those caught, and further discourage their activities. I'm telling you, Police Chief Anthony Scott should run for Governor.

Happy Trails

We stuffed ourselves. Unabashedly. Afterwards we needed to either work off some of those calories, or take a nap. Luckily, Ashley Resevoir was right nearby, with some scenery and great walking trails. We opted to stay awake, and we'd better, because you don't want to wander off some of these trails.

Saw my first Tree Swallows of the year there, zipping just above the water eating the bugs that were surprisingly abundant today.

I wonder what effect the recent Bat plague will have on the quantity of bugs this year. Will there be infestations? Or will there just be more for the other animals, like the Swallows? Blogger Michaelanne Bewsee has been following the strange phenomenon.

One thing is for sure, the flat, almost unsloped windshield of the Jeep always acts like a big bug collector. Or bug vaporizer, actually. I'm usually able to gauge the intensity of the years bug population by late May...

Messy work, but someone's got to do it.


VanDog said...

Great Post! I am so stealing your pic of the Holyoke Sun, and those ugly whores:)

Mary E.Carey said...

A-Ha, we almost cross paths again! That reservoir trail looks great. I also have wondered briefly about the dwindling bats'impact on bugs. Maybe enotomolgist Brian can get on the case.

Tony said...

You must have been in the lead group that had already gone by when we got there...Ashley Reservoir seems to be a runners' mecca, it's about 3.5 miles around the outer loop...

Tony said...

VanDog, great Holyoke blog!

VanDog said...

Thanks Tony, I like your blog too..