Windy Valley

Windy Valley Farms

When I was growing up I was sent off to a boarding school that sat at the top of the hill in an area that back then was pretty empty. Brooklandville did have a post office but it was unlikely more than two folk were ever in it at the same time. The various homes that sat on the ridge line were mostly older, big, mansions, the kind with driveways that go a half mile or so... way uphill, and the next neighbor was what anyone would concede was "a fair piece away."

Of course we had a big dinner but like all kids, by a couple hours later we were hungry again. Unfortunately we were also not allowed off the campus.

About a mile or so down hill, across the old cattle pasture was Windy Valley Farms.

For a buck you could get a big greasy burger made from real not mystery meat, with real onions, pickles, mayo, ketchup and mustard, a bag of fries made from real hand cut taters and a chocolate milk shake made with real ice cream and milk.

This was horse country, the home of the Hunt Cup and My Lady's Manor and Windy Valley Farms was a hang out for lots of the trainers, jockeys and horse owners as well as the touts that made their livings sharing their wisdom with the masses. The walls were covered with photos of horses, from the harness winners to the thoroughbreds that ran down at Pimlico to the true stars, the steeplechase high jumpers.

Windy Valley Farms was also TOTALLY off limits.

The call of fries and burgers and milk shakes though was more than any mere human made law could restrict or any dormie could resist.

About once a week, not long after the sun went down, one of the boarders would come around and make a little list and take up a collection. Then several of us would start off down the hill, usually one 9th or 10th grader and two or three younger kids (seniors and juniors were lofty and august figures and never ran errands).

It was dark, cold, the wind was always blowing and we all knew that if we got caught we'd be in BIG trouble.

But oh that stuff would taste so good. The buns were wiped in the grease off the grill and the burgers themselves were big and thick and had chopped onions in them, the fries were the best I've ever found anywhere other than the annual carnival and the milkshakes, ... the milkshakes were thick and had lumps of ice cream in them and would fill up even a teenager. The climb back up the hill seemed to take forever and the smell held a promise of what was waiting once you got to the dorm.

Windy Valley Farms is long gone, last time I was by it was now a big shopping and business center, but to this day I can still smell and taste those treats.