A different opening day

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The line stretched at least 20 deep into the parking lot. The woman in front of us, with her two adolescent and thankfully well-behaved children, heard the surprise in our voices at the length of said line.

“It’s opening day. You can’t miss opening day.”

No, you can’t.

And no, we were not talking about opening day at Saratoga Race Course. Everyone knows that’s a few months away. It’s not opening day for the Saratoga Little League either, or maybe it was. We couldn’t tell Friday night, since there weren’t any ballplayers in their uniforms in the line.

The line was formed in the parking lot at 70 West Avenue, on the “other side of the tracks” (if they still existed) and on the west side of Saratoga, almost on the corner of West and Washington Street.

Friday was opening day for another Saratoga institution: Humpty Dumpty.

If you’ve never been you need to go. We needed to go Friday night, a few hours after the appropriately named Ice Cream Silence won the Doubledogdare Stakes hundreds of miles away at Keeneland.

Alright, that might be a stretch. The place is vintage Americana though and a place you can get a couple soft ice cream cones for less than 5 bucks. It’s kind of a welcome respite in this ever-changing place, which has so many new buildings you’d think someone had an ax to grind with the sun and were trying to block it out.

Maybe I’m a little biased. I grew up right around the corner, attended school with the kids of the owners, went there after ball games and always tried to make a trips there at least once while visiting Saratoga over the years as a summertime racing tourist.

It’s a great place to get you thinking about summer, or spring.

Thinking about starting over. A fresh start. An opening.

Like the lady said, you just can’t miss opening day.