Day 15: Rochester, New York
Claire's house had ample room for the crew (minus McRage, who will continue to stay with his family while we are in the area). Molhy and I had shared the guest bedroom, the Captain and his dog had claimed the basement, and Magoon had slept on the large living room sectional couch. As I caught up with my documentation of the last few days, I heard the others with Claire and Zach waking up and talking in the kitchen. Megan's brother Jack also arrived, bearing donuts. Wary but curious Xena approached me a few times as I wrote. She would appear in the doorway, where I could not help but make fleeting eye contact, then walk away with feigned nonchalance. She would appear again, venture into the room, right up to the back side of my computer, then saunter nervously away. I enjoyed the slow progress of her growing confidence. By the time I descended, the smell of bacon, sausage, and eggs wafted from the kitchen.
We all breakfasted together, and the group filled me in on the plans for the day. There were a few parties that could optionally be attended in the early afternoon, with an opportunity to explore Megan's old stomping grounds in her nearby hometown of Brockport. During our leisurely chat, the Captain received an update on the event details for one of our Philadelphia shows, which I posted to the band's social media. We took turns showering, and Magoon and Molhy washed the dishes from the Tour Loaf. Claire has an amazing shower rod, the likes of which I have never encountered on my travels! It is convex for when the shower is in use, to make the interior space of the shower feel larger. Then, it can be repositioned to a convex shape to let the water drip neatly into the bathtub. What a magnificent invention.
Around 1400, the Captain and Magoon joined Claire at the party in Brockport. Meanwhile, Molhy and I opted to stay at the house with the Ugly Bear. Molhy rested while I updated the tour budget, wrote a few days of Captain's logs, and observed the dogs observing each other. The Ugly Bear perched on top of the sectional and followed Xena's movements in alternation with watching the door for the Captain's return. Xena skirted around the smaller dog with furtive glances, hoping for a chance to play. The dogs struck a truce when McRage rang the doorbell to retrieve some of our gear to transport to the evening's venue, the Honeoye Boathouse Grille. Xena and the Ugly Bear scarcely noticed each other's presence when they had a common adversary at which to bark.
McRage had enjoyed a matinee performance of the Lion King with his mother, and after collecting the gear, the two of them departed again, with plans to meet us later at the venue.
By 1700, Magoon and the Captain had returned with our host, and Claire drove us out into the country to the Honeoye Boathouse Grille, so that we could leave the Tour Loaf safely in the driveway rather than driving it home in the dark. We arrived with plenty of time to load in and sound check, while the crowd of Magoon and McRage's friends and relatives began to fill the restaurant. Like the night before, tee shirts were sold even before we began to play. For the first time, the Captain had remembered to bring his "bass towel" to dry the sweat from his face between songs, but the room was so humid and warm that it was woefully insufficient. McRage, positioned in the corner of the room with less access to circulating air, began to melt as well early in the set. I made a mental note to bring a pile of bar towels to future performances.
Our three hour set beginning at 1900 was met with continuous, boisterous glee from the audience. A relative of McRage, positioned directly in front of us, punctuated the music with high, nasal calls for him to smile for the camera. After a twenty minute break in the middle of our set, McRage and I accompanied Molhy on four of her original songs, so that Magoon could lengthen her break, and continue to network, socialize and sell merchandise. We closed the set with a rousing sing along of Take Me Home Country Roads.
Following the set, we returned home in two vehicles, so that one could pass by the Abilene Bar & Lounge (yesterday's venue) to retrieve the Captain's credit card. He had forgotten to close his tab the night before. There is one more item to add to our pre-departure checklist. As soon as we arrived back at Claire's residence, I made my way upstairs to sleep.