We arrived at the Silver Springs Campground, in Stow, Ohio, on Sunday, the 22nd of September, sometime between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. As I mentioned in a previous blog, one of the features of the park is a dog park, called “Bow Wow Beach”. A couple of other campers told me that it is rated as one of the ten best dog parks in the nation. I don’t know who rates dog parks and assigns their value, but I can say that it is an excellent place for dogs to roam free. There is a pond that I am told was originally a swimming hole for humans, now given over entirely to dogs. Rufus likes wading in, although he hasn’t shown any interest as yet in swimming as such. Even so, he and I have visited Bow Wow Beach every day since setting up camp. At night, we have had a tired, more relaxed, and definitely more mellow puppy to deal with.
Wednesday night, I played the Uncorked Wine Bar, in Akron. At first, Rachel, the bartender, wanted me to set up outside on the back patio. I played my first set out there. But we are officially in the season of Autumn now, and the nights are starting to get chilly. Only one or two brave souls amongst the customers were willing to join me on the patio.
“I am braving the chill of the night air for my edification,” said one gentleman. He strolled about the patio while I played a song or two, then retreated back inside to the bar.
After the first set, it was agreed that I should move inside to better commune with audience there. The Uncorked Wine Bar is just that: a place that features a wide selection of fine wines. It is also an art gallery, however, and is presently featuring a collection from various local artists who had all submitted works for a local competition. As such, there were some edgy works on display. One of the winning pieces was a circular mural of sorts; a melange of images meant to comment on GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), and their effect on our environment and on us. I took a few moments during one of my breaks to examine it. The images were tangled into each other in a nightmarish way that effectively portrayed the artist’s feelings and intentions on the subject.
I met Jill, the owner of Uncorked. She and her husband make yearly pilgrimages to Colorado (to Estes Park, in particular), so we shared stories about the recent floods out there (sidenote: although I did not catch his name, Pony informed me later that the gentleman who had come out looking for “edification” was Jill’s husband).
Jill owns three dogs and a cat (the mirror of our own collection of pets), so we chatted for some time about dogs and cats and such. Jill is one of those folk who feels more like an old friend, even on meeting her for the first time. She bought a couple of CD’s for her personal collection, and we talked about the possibility of my returning sometime next July (at this point, a lot of the places I have played so far have asked about when I could return to play again; a very encouraging sign, that).
Pony made the acquaintance of a couple of the customers, including a gentleman (Ray) who teaches at the University nearby. The three of us had a conversation about academia, the exploitation of adjunct professors, and other issues of contemporary economics. These are the perks of my job: the chance to meet new and interesting folk.
And still, given our circumstances, each day stands out from the day before. It is an intoxicating experience, that.