Ice Cream Heartache
Dear Brigham’s, please don’t go.
When I was in third grade, I was on a pathetically bad Little League baseball team in my hometown of Lexington.
We were so bad, in fact, that our coach promised to take us all to Chadwick’s for an infamous “Belly Buster” if we ever won a game.
Now Chadwick’s was an old-timey ice cream parlor/restaurant near the Waltham town line, and the “Belly Buster,” well, it was an 18-scoop (if my memory’s correct) behemoth of a sundae that, after some extremely loud drumming and dinging of a bell, was carried out to your table on a stretcher.
The Brigham’s in Arlington Heights, which got seized by the state Tuesday for overdue taxes, may not have this same pomp and circumstance (trust me, it was even more ridiculous than it sounds), but its simpler sundaes still elicit that same childhood joy – that’s been felt for generations.
Before I was born, my parents and two older sisters actually lived on Harvard Street in the Heights, and when I was a child, my mother used to take me and my sisters back to Robbins Farm Park in the summer.
On the way home, we’d often stop at Brigham’s for lunch and, of course, ice cream sundaes.
I can remember the anticipation. Debates on the playground centered on what flavors, what toppings, we’d get that day. (Being the youngest, I was usually told by my sisters what to get, and I heeded their worldly advice.)
It was more than a meal, it was an event.
It took us 16 games, but my Little League team eventually was able to eke out a win.
We rushed to our parents’ cars and then on to Chadwick’s where, still in our uniforms, we feasted on our “Belly Buster,” a glorious soup of clashing flavors and toppings (apparently, my sisters’ lessons hadn't stuck).
Chadwick’s closed when I was in middle school, and even though the Brigham’s in the Heights is far from a done deal, with the chain’s overall demise and Friendly’s bankruptcy last fall, I just hope the next generation has something to play for.