Rochester, NY

10:34 AM 7.23.04

Running late as I get the blankets, frisbees, shades, sunblock, hats, and clothes ready for a day of bands, food, and drink at the Ten Ugly Men Festival. This is a charity thing that has boomed into a major event in Rochester. $25 gets you bands all day, all the food, and all the drink (including beer) you want. Doesn’t get much better than that and when you top it off with a forecast of sunny and 82, perfect. Ugly time.

12:45 PM 7.24.04

I type this with a foggy head and a grumbling stomach. The Ugly Men met all of the expectations that I was told about. The weather was perfect. The crowd was huge. And the bands were excellent.

We arrived at about 12:30 and the cell phone was buzzing with people to meet up with. Rob P was there with a few folks. Big Mike had a crew. My sister and Bryan came later. My cousins Kyle and Morgan were there with their friends. It was a party.

We were armed with a blanket and a mini chair. Job one, even though we were starving was to find a spot in the shade. The party was in Genesee Valley Park, so there were some huge trees to shelter us from the cloudless day. Job one turned into job two, because once we handed our tickets in, we were given a big orange mugs with Ten Ugly Men scrawled across it. We did not want to let the cup feel lonely, so we found it a friend of a new beer I have a liking for, Magic Hat #9.

It was awesome. Bud, Bud Light, Magic Hat, Brooklyn Brown, Pepsi and water all for free. We had our toast and then found our spot. In respect to the stage, we were in centerfield, behind the last group of vendor tents, underneath a mega tree. We sprawled out the blanket and the chair. This became home base for a host of people.

We sipped and walked down to the volleyball area where Lu’s team was winning. I didn’t realize he was good as he is. There were masses of people everywhere. I am guessing they had 20 courts set up. They even had a keg of beer on golf cart driving around to “hydrate” everyone. That was a sight.

I can’t really write so much about sitting in the shade, taking walks to get beers or Sangria, eating, and socializing. I will say it was one of the better days of the summer. If I was the city, I’d do something like this once a month. At the same time, I bet they raised over $100,000 for charity. A win win.