Cornerstone Traveler

Writing in New Patlz


Hi all and welcome to another exciting and thought provoking issue of this bi-weekly newsletter, The CORNERSTONE TRAVELER. I am sorry that this issue is a month late. But it couldn’t be helped because I was in ICU in Vassar Hospital because of a nasty bout of ulcers.

mid-Hudson valley news: The organizers of Rockefeller Center chose a seventy eight foot Norway Spruce from Gardiner, a nearby town. The Spruce is over eighty years old and weighed ten tons. The Spruce grew in the front yard of a couple in Gardiner. It is quite the honor to have a tree to be chosen to be the center of attraction at Rockefeller Center.
Rte. 97 on the new York and Pennsylvania line was chosen as one of the most beautiful roads in the Northeast. I have never driven on this road, but would like to check it out sometime soon during the fall foliage which is probably too late this year.
Thanksgiving is arriving shortly and I wish everyone a safe and fun holiday.
The mid-Hudson Valley is still over nine inches low in the rain bucket. I have often wondered how long it takes for rain water to reach my well which is seventy-five feet below the surface.
Deer hunting season started this past Saturday. The southern area of New York State is considered the prime area for deer hunting. Why? Probably because the Catskills and Shawngunk mountains is as close as two hours away for the New York City, New Jersey and Long Island hunters. It is estimated that over 4,000 deer will be taken in this years hunt wth equal number of bucks and does.

observations: On Wednesday, November 11, Veterans Day, I saw the main news media broadcast the many ceremonies of Veteran Day. But all Bill O’Reilley could broadcast was his criticism of liberals, Democrats, President Obama. Could it be that like Limbaugh and Hannity, O’Reilley thought serving in the American military was beneath him? And therefore couldn’t be bothered to recognize and honor American veterans? It is a legitimate question don’t you think?

sports: NFL: The jets are in 2nd place in the AFC East with a record of 6-5.
The Giants slipped to 2nd place in the NFC East after their loss to Washington. Their record is 5-6.
NBA: The Knicks are in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division of the NBA with a record of 8-10.
The Nets are in 4th place in the same division with a record of 5-13.
NHL: The Rangers are in 1st place in the Metropolitan division t the NHL with a record of 17-6-2.
The Islanders are in 4th place of the same division with a record of 13-8-4.

other: As with all previous issues of this newsletter, everything printed here is either copyright protected or copyright pending.
The history of P&G’s follows this newsletter from 1900 when the building was first constructed to about the mid 1930’s.
The final part of the short story I wrote called Immortals, Vampires and Werewolves follows this history. I hope you like it.

Thank-you – Rik McGuire

The History of P&G’s from the Beginning

Travel back more than a century to the spring of 1900 as builder John H. Hasbrouck and his men construct a 50′ by 28′ building on the site of the current P&G’s Restaurant. Look around and begin to imagine.
The first floor features a fountain with water softly falling into a cobblestone basin. The exotic effect is enhanced with darting goldfish and blooming water lilies. Palms set liberally throughout the room, provide an air of privacy for those seated at the groups of small tables. Patrons, dressed in their finest, sit chatting, sometimes courting and enjoying the establishments fine refreshments.
The upper story is a promenade, opened to a full view of sunset over the Shawngunk Mountains. Live music gently eases you from afternoon into evening. Welcome to the ambiance and hospitality of the Casino.
The Casino’s owner, Mr. Steen, had correctly envisioned the areas many tourists, summer boarders and trolley passengers stopping to enjoy the unique features of his establishment. The terminal station for the trolley line from Highland was located just across Main Street. It is said that Steen patterned the Casino after the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
On June 1, 1900 the Casino was officially opened. That evening “a large number of people enjoyed the ice cream, music and the lovely mountains views.” According to the New Paltz Independent newspaper. Music was provided by a band which included a piano and several other instruments. The Casino soon became famous for Saturday night dances held on the second floor of the open pavilion. It was decorated with flowers and vines suspended from the rafters. The crowds were so large that special late trolley cars were run to accommodate the guests and take the orchestra back to Poughkeepsie.
The electric power shut down at midnight, according to Independent writer Delia Shaw “…the time of closing and the departure of the last trolley (run by electricity) had to be reckoned with, but as was often the case, several folks ‘Missed the Last Trolley’… seems between intermissions the fellows would walk their girls down the street where numerous straw thatched summer houses were located on the banks of the Wallkill River and they were so preoccupied with making love by the light of the silvery moon that they forgot everything.” Shaw continued. “Saturday Nights In New Paltz Became A Legend! There was not a single hitching post available, nor an inch of space under any of the sheds of the five local hotels. The Casino drew people from surrounding towns and they came via hay loads and 4 seated carriages, while some men even walked and carried their dancing shoes. ‘Little Larry,’ the shoeshine fellow, did a landslide business on Sat. Nights! As did all the merchants and the stores open ‘til 9 p.m.”
By 1921 the Casino had changed hands and names, becoming the Blue Crane Inn. Ads of the era read. “The big Night at the Blue Crane Inn/Dancing Every Wednesday and Saturday Evenings/ In the Chinese Hall-Good Jazzy Music.” The cornerstone of nightlife in New Paltz continued to thrive.
In 1925, after 28 Years of service, the Highland to New Paltz trolley company folded. The demise of the trolley business and the afford ability of the automobile meant peoples outings were no longer confined to the trolley’s narrow corridor. They could drive to any village hotel, restaurant, or scenic spot that caught their fancy. Indeed, New Paltz and the Blue Crane Inn lost their captive audience. The Inn, however, continued to accommodate people well into the 1930’s. Other establishments came and went until 1947 when it became Pat and Georges and ultimately was nicknamed the P&G’s that welcomes everybody.

Final Conflict

Conor and Melody sat side by side on their couch sipping iced coffee because the night had grown hot and humid. Melody sipped from her cup, took Conor’s hand and said. “So. I will be meeting with your cohorts?”
“You nervous?”
She giggled. “It’s not everyday I get to meet a vampire and a werewolf.”
Conor could only laugh. “When you meet them, you won’t be able to tell which is which. Trust me.” He got up, went to the kitchen to make sure there was enough iced coffee. At least for Greydorian. He didn’t know how he could serve Bran, the vampire. Just then he heard a hard knock on the front door.
“I think they’re here.” Melody called.
“Stay seated and I’ll get the door.” Conor said.
Conor answered the door and there stood Greydorian and Bran looking like normal young men. They both smiled when Conor opened the door.
“Come on in friends.” He said as he led them through the front parlor to the living room.
Melody had already stood up from the couch and smiled nervously as they were led in. She stepped forward and offered her hand.
Greydorian was the first to shake her hand. “Do not worry yourself about us.” He smiled. “In fact you are probably one of the best protected people in the village or anywhere.”
“I’m glad. Can I get you anything?” She asked.
“No. We’re both fine. Thank you very much.” Bran said.
Conor came out of the kitchen with a pitcher of iced coffee. “Can I interest you in some great Arabian iced coffee?” He asked.
“You know better than to ask me.” Bran said.
Greydorian laughed. “I could probably go with a side of moose, but if you have none than I’m all set.”
Conor laughed while Melody giggled. “Why don’t we sit and discuss your plan of attack against the bad vamps lair.”
“Sounds good.” Bran said as he sat on a chair opposite of Conor and Melody. Greydorian chose another chair, sat back with his legs stretched and with his hands behind his head. “Bran and I already mapped out a plan and you, Conor, are essential to the success of this plan.”
While they discussed the plan, Melody rose, went to the kitchen to prepare a dish of appetizers. She had no idea what Bran and Greydorian would like, so she just prepared a dish she and Conor favored.
When she came back into the living room, both Bran and Greydorian rose. She smiled sweetly. “Stay seated. I made a platter for you to nosh on. I don’t know what either of you like so it is as Conor prefers.
Bran laughed. “I don’t eat or drink. Being a vampire you know.”
Greydorian laughed. “I’ll nosh and I will try not to hog it all.”
Melody put the platter down that held a block of cheese, salami with crackers. After she laid the platter down, she used a small knife to cut slices of cheese and salami, but she cut
her finger slightly on a slice. She looked nervously at Bran as she held her bleeding finger.
Bran laughed. “Don’t worry. I already satisfied my hunger and thirst today.”

“On who. . . what?” She asked apprehensively.
Bran laughed again. “A wild buck stag.”
“Did it die?” She asked.
“No. Of course not. I just drained it of some of its blood. It should be fine, just a little bit woozy from the loss of about two pints blood.”
“Did it feel any pain?”
“No. I can run faster than any deer and I have enough strength to use one hand that I can knock it out before I feed.”
“I would have liked to see that.” Conor said.
Bran shook his head. I generally don’t allow others to see me feed. I am that self conscious about it. In fact the only person who has seen me feed besides a vampire is Trizackle And a Watcher has never seen me feed in my seven hundred years of existence.”
Greydorian reached for the platter and prepared a couple of crackers with salami and cheese that he promptly popped into his mouth. “Let’s go over the plan one more time.” He said after he swallowed the crackers.
Bran spoke up. “Conor will make his presence known in the village of the vampire’s lair. Then he will go to a secluded spot to do his archeological studies and there the bad vampires will most likely try to attack and kill him.”
“But you will protect him? Right?” Melody almost cried.
“Of course.” Greydorian answered.
“Our combined strength will destroy them.” Bran said.
“You are certain?”
“How?” Melody asked.
“Both Bran and I have the ability to hide in plain sight.” Greydorian explained. “It is an ability our masters and trainers taught us in order to survive.”
“When will the plan take place?” Melody asked.
“Tomorrow. We want Conor to work his archaeological studies into the village slowly so as not to arise suspicion.” Bran explained.
“Good. I want on more night of love with him.” Melody sighed.
“So it’s all set?” Greydorian said. “Conor, you will continue your ground studies tomorrow. We will keep an eye on you throughout the day and report what we have seen each night.”
“Sounds good.” Conor sighed as he nervously fingered his special sword.
Bran and Greydorian rose to leave and as they passed though the parlor to the front door, Bran said. “Hopefully you will not need to use that sword, friend.”
“I hope you are right.”
Later that night, Melody couldn’t seem to get enough of Conor.

The next day, Conor with his backpack of archeological tools and special sword left their home to do the ground studies Bran had suggested the night before. He deliberately took his time as he squatted at each patch of earth as he neared the village of the bad vamp lair. He make a show of picking up pieces of stone and bone and examined each closely.

By noon he was close enough to the village that he could grab a quick bite to eat at a diner. The hostess asked about him and what he was doing on the grounds leading to the village. He explained that he was an archeologist searching the areas past with his explorations.
“There were three strange and forbidding men in here earlier asking about you.” She said.
“What was strange and forbidding about them?” Conor asked.
“They wore long coats on a hot day and the fedora type hats they wore made it so you couldn’t see their eyes or faces.”
“Interesting.” Conor said. He thought that the hats shielded their faces and eyes from the sun and more importantly from facial recognition.
“Did they say anything else?”
“Only that they would be back tomorrow to check on what I learned about you.”
Conor nodded. “Just tell them what I told you. I am an archeologist living in the Peoples Village and I have been an archeologist for almost ten years.”

Later that night after Melody had made a sumptuous dinner of lobster and steamers, they waited in their living room for Bran and Greydorian to report. It wasn’t a long wait when they both appeared at the front door.
“The bad vamps are worried about you.” Bran said. “They know you are a highly regarded Watcher for the Immortals and that you have an uncanny ability to learn what should not be learned. They worry you will expose them for what they are in their community and that they will be forced to flee again.”
“So we will have to confront them and eliminate their evil from the world.” Conor said.
Greydorian pulled a map from his shirt, laid it on the table to point out where the bad vamp lair was located.
“Tomorrow you will move your archeological studies in the direction of their lair. And you must continue your ground search until well after sunset.”

That night, Constantin and his two close vampire cohorts met in the lair to discuss what they would do about the Immortals Watcher.
“He has to be eliminated.” Vallkill argued. “And the sooner, the better.”
“I agree.” Dredowl said. “Tomorrow might be the best time because we know the Immortals are in their village doing only the devil knows what.”
“What about the good vampire and the werewolf?” Vallkill asked.
“They must have left the area because they haven’t been seen since they last attacked us.” Constantin said.
“Good.” Vallkill said. “The werewolf took the head of a child vamp and he wasn’t even trying considering what he did to the other two child vamps.”
Just them a sixteen year old looking child vamp came into the room and whispered in Constantins ear.
Constantin nodded and waved off the child vamp to leave before he spoke. “That Watcher has changed his direction of study and nearing our compound.”
` ”What are we to do?” Vallkill asked. “Kill him? At least I hope so.”
“We can only watch and wait.” Dredowl said. “We need to be certain the good vamp and werewolf are nowhere near. Then we can eliminate him and drop his mangled body in the Immortals compound.”

Conor had nervously changed his direction of study to the vamp lair. He made certain that his special sword was within easy reach each time he moved his ground studies. He deliberately examined each stone and bone he uncovered closely so he could keep his eyes up and away from the ground he was scrapping. He saw no sign of Bran or Greydorian and he hoped they were as good in hiding in plain sight as they claimed.
Just then he saw two shadows crisscross the area of examination. He knew the shadows must be of vampires, child vampires, or so he hoped. He immediately drew his special sword from his backpack and rise almost instantaneously to confront his nemesis.
The child vampires stood back as he waved the sword in front of him. They turned to each other, smiled and rushed to attack a lightly armed mortal. Conor saw them move to attack and he immediately slid the secret switch forward to extend the blade of the special sword to five feet.
The child vamps were surprised by the magical extension of the sword, but continued to advance on the mortal, drooling of human blood.
When they had gotten close enough, Conor swiped his sword through the child vamps necks severing each head from the body. The child vamps died an unnatural death.
Constantin and his cohorts witnessed the deaths of the child vamps they had sent to confront and kill Conor, the new Immortal Watcher. They were astonished that he so easily dispatched their child vamps without so much as breaking a sweat.
They were angry and pissed. They knew they had to do away with that damn Watcher. They thought, incorrectly that he was unprotected.
They pounced from behind the trees onto Conor only to be met by Bran, Greydorian, Trizackle and a half dozen other Immortals
“Surprise!” Trizackle cried. “Bet you weren’t expecting us were you?”
Greydorian pounced upon Vallkill. “He’s mine. You get the other.” He called to Bran.
“Your call.” Bran called back as he pounced on a mid aged vamp. He knew it would be a tight fight because the vampire was as old as Bran and knew all the tricks of bring a vampire.
“I’ll supervise your victory.” Trizackle said loud enough that Constantin flinched and started to step back.
“You’re not going anywhere.” Conor said as he poked his sword in Constantins back. “You will stay and watch the destruction of your evil.”
Constantin knew he didn’t have a choice. He knew that the mortal could easily lift his sword and swipe it through his neck, bringing about his own unnatural death.
All the while as Constantin contemplated his death, Greydorian was easily crushing the head of Vallkill before he bit through the neck of the vampire. He spit the blood and flesh of Vallkill to the earth after he dropped the lifeless body down. He shook his head with disgust. “Vampire flesh and blood is so disgusting. I think I may puke.”
Bran laughed as he pulled a finger with a three inch nail through the neck of Dredowl, almost severing the head from the body. He dropped Dredowl‘s body down and examined the nail he had used to almost decapitate the bad vamp.
“I always wondered if I would ever use this heretofore unknown vampire weapon.” He said as the nail of his fore finger retreated back under his finger.
“What about this evil shithead? Conor asked. “What are we to do with it?”
Trizackle came to Conor and placed his hand on Conor’s arm. “Lower your sword and let him go.” He almost commanded.
After Constantin sped away like a flash, Conor turned to Trizackle. “Why did you let him escape? I could’ve taken his head without too much trouble.”
Trizackle smiled. “I want him to go to the other vampire lairs and report how we easily dispatched his lair here in Maine. In this way no vampires will dare set up a lair here and we can keep this area safe from vampires for countless years.”
“So this is the end of bad vamp hunting.” Conor said, hopefully.
Trizackle shook his head. “No. You may be required to travel to other parts of this continent to vanquish bad vamps. And most likely other continents or countries as well.”
Conor nodded reluctantly. “I’m game. I think. But can I go back to my love tonight
without any further interruptions? I don’t know when we’ll meet again, but until then, I’ll see you.”
Bran laughed. “Actually you will see a lot of Greydorian and me.” He said.
Conor looked perplexed. “Oh? Why?”
Greydorian smiled. “We both like it here in Maine. There are enough moose for me to feed on occasionally and enough wild buck stags for Bran to feed upon. And there are enough that the respective herds will not be depleted.”
Conor could only step back with surprise on his face. “Well until we meet on the flip side of this unusual and strange record, I will see you.” As he trudged happily to his car and eventually to Melody.

The final chapter

Constantin returned to his lair where he had already packed his black pants, shirt and cloak because he had been unsure of the outcome of that night’s confrontation with the immortals and good vamps. He knew if the final conflict did not go as they planned, he would be forced to flee to a vampire safe house near the Canadian border that was kept by Zanchou, the oldest vampire in existence. Constantin knew he would be safe there for there was no vampire stronger than Zanchou. Even immortals would have a hard time defeating him. He knew Zanchou had been existing for over three thousand years and the devil knows who created him.
Constantin was able to race back to his lair, grab his packed bag then race to near the Canadian border thinking he would be safe from immortals with the protection of Zanchou. He thought that no one could ever defeat Zanchou, for Zanchou was that powerful and secretive. Little did Constantin know as he sped to Zanxchou’s lair was that three immortals assigned by Trizcakle followed him with their own supernatural speed. Finally of the many centuries of research the location of Zanchou was located. Only maybe, just maybe he could be peliminated for all time from the earth’s population.

I am Conor Thomas reporting on this and I leave it to the reader if I, the immortals, the good vamps and werewolves were able to eliminate Zanchou from his immortal existence.
You should hope and pray that we did.

Conor Thomas
9:16 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *