081718 Curveball III, Watkins Glen, NY

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Amazingly enough, when m’lady and I awoke on the morning of August 17th, 2018 we still didn’t have a plan.  Bringing you up to speed, two days earlier we had gone from heavenly bliss to hell in a bucket when the purchase of our dream home in Newfoundland had fallen through on the very closing day.  We bit our trembling bottom lips and drove to Watkins Glen, New York where we checked into the VIP camping section for a weekend of Phish.  The next day a million friends from far and wide began arriving and just when things were looking upupup our hopes and dreams were dashed once again when the entire Curveball festival was cancelled in the middle of the afternoon due to a boil-water order (which was indeed quite a curveball).  We opted to stay onsite for the evening and commiserated with a hundred friends over a thousand beers.  When m’lady and I finally turned in for the night we still had no idea what we were going to do with the weekend (not to mention all the beer we had bought).  But just like the bar staff says at a quarter after closing: We didn’t have to go home but we couldn’t stay here.

It’s not like ideas hadn’t been bouncing around our crew.  A handful of hastily thrown-together relatively-nearby mini-fests had cropped up out of thin air in an attempt to draw the massive dispersing crowd of music fans, plus there was talk of trying to book multiple sites in a nearby state park.  The bottom line was we had a lot of friends gathered together with tents, food, snacks, and a festival-sized pile of alcoholic beverages so the opportunity was nigh.  We just needed a plan.

And then in an instant one was miraculously hatched, confirmed, and settled upon sometime around 10am.  Seemed our good friend Brian had a godfather who was a judge, and this judge had a cottage on the banks of Keuka Lake just twenty-five miles away in the Finger Lakes, and not only that, he was willing to give it up to his godson and a significant pile of his friendly neo-hippie friends, of which we were two.

So we packed ‘er all up and caravanned to the cottage.  When we arrived we were greeted with a lovely two-storey cabin directly on the glassy lake with plenty of bedrooms.  There was even an old, working funicular to transport all our stuff down the steep embankment from the roadside.  Good thing too, as m’lady and I had well over a hundred beers with us and everyone else was similarly stocked.

Hmmm…now did m’lady and I pitch a tent?  I think we did.  I recall there were a couple of tents set up in the small backyard, but most people had found sleeping space indoors.  There was what, maybe fourteen of us there?

And my gosh we had so, so much fun!  I don’t remember much grumbling about the cancelled festival.  If there was any at all it would have been quickly quashed by the bevy of good friends forcing beers into and belly laughs out of one another all weekend.  We were swimming, singing, jamming, sunning, relaxing and eating great food and it was just freakin’ stellar.

I’m still laughing about my friend Dave remembering with a start that he had had his phone in his pocket when he went for an impromptu midnight swim the night before.  A group of us were rolling on the ground with tears in our eyes as Dave waded cursing into the lake in search of his umpteenth lost phone of the season.  Oh, it was all such a great time.  Thanks BDunn.

I honestly can’t imagine that we would have had nearly as much fun at the festival, however I’m totally open to experiencing a time/space vortex that will allow me to test the theory.

Astoundingly, when m’lady and I left on Sunday afternoon (with our friend Stapes in tow) we didn’t even need to use the funicular as we had somehow gone through our entire mountain of beer.  Perhaps we accidentally went swimming with our beers in our pockets? 

The Curveball family at Keuka Lake

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