July 5, 2011

Seneca Lake and a very Phishy July 4th holiday

VALOIS, New York, USA - The July 4th weekend was all Phish, all the time for me.

Well, maybe not every minute. But each day I dutifully showed up at the gates to have my car searched, then the trunk of my car searched, then my camera bag searched, before I entered the inner sanctum of the Watkins Glen International Race Track where the band Phish was holding a three-day festival called Super Ball IX.

The 'welcome' sign at the Phish festival
The promoters said they would hold the number of tickets sold to 60,000 - a number that was still kind of frightening to local residents who remembered a rock festival called Summer Jam in 1973 where 600,000 people showed up and overwhelmed several counties.

The Phish festival drew maybe 30,000 - and that's being generous.

It was fun for me because my job was to find four or five weird things going on and write short news briefs about them for the Elmira Star Gazette.

Weird things? At at rock concert populated largely by people who seemed to only own tie-dyed clothing and speak in a 1970s hip dialect? It was not tough duty.

But in the midst of doing that every day, it was July 4th weekend and the Valois/Hector/Watkins Glen world was rocking.

It started at a fund raiser/party at Village Marina in Watkins, leading to another party at Mike and Karen Schamel's on Saturday. And by July 4th, even the Valois Point Yacht Club was partying with a visit from new yacht club members Joseph Campbell and Yvonne Taylor.  Their 30-foot Sabre sailboat is the largest boat ever to dock at the VPYC. Erik and Tina Hazlitt previously held that record.

Monday, while Joseph and Yvonne were visiting, Erik and Tina made a sweep by on their boat to say hello (see photo below), while another amigo, Brad Phillips came by on his ski boat.

The VPYC really needs to expand its docking capacity.

VPYC dock on July 4, 2011
The lake is quiet today with most people headed back to work. And it could be that Adm. Fox and I will not go out to yet another party tonight. We do need to rest up. I have a high school reunion next Friday night and Saturday, there is a huge party set for the Fitch mansion at the bottom of the hill. And Sunday is a doubleheader: the Hector Volunteer Fire Department's pancake breakfast (which I never miss when we are in the NY) and my birthday.

I never miss that either.

Here's a short video from the Village Marina fundraiser held last week for Kathleen Schamel's Team Reckless Abandon, soon to launch on a road rally from Prague to Mongolia to raise money for charity.

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