Cornerstone Traveler

Writing in New Patlz


Hi everyone and welcome to another exciting and thought provoking issue of this

bi-weekly newsletter, The CORNERSTONE TRAVELER.  Also available online at


Mid-Hudson Valley news:  This year the snow fall was greater than last year, where the mid-Hudson valley received maybe three inches of snow fall.  This year we in the mid-Hudson valley have received more than three inches of snow and it is the first of February.  I have to feel sorry for the ski slopes they still haven’t received the needed snow fall to make them profitable.  But at least the temperatures have favored the ground so they could make snow.

I still feel sorry for the private snow plow operators.  They have invested in snow plows and needed to plow driveways and parking lots.  Yet they still have not gotten the needed snow fall to plow driveways and parking lots.


observations:  As I have written in an earlier newsletter, I had become concerned I see s many people walking around with either i-pods or cell phones pressed against their ears.  These i-pods and cell phones make them totally unaware of what is happening around them.  It is disturbing and to see and witness this.

Then I see ATT and Direct TV ads about using ATT smart phone to see shows from either Direct TV or their DVR.  This is very disturbing to me because the people using this app will be totally unaware of what is going on around them.

Is a TV show or movie that important, you just can’t wait to get to your home and see it on your DVR?

I know many people will not agree with me, but a TV show or movie is not more important than what is happening in the real world.


sports:  It has been decided, Super Bowl LI will be between the Patriots and the Falcons in the Houston Super Dome.  The Patriots beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game by a score of 36-17.  And the Falcons beat the Packers in the NFC championship game 44-21.

Considering I lived in Massachusetts for 26 years, I guess you know who I will be siding with?  The Patriots are favored by 3 points and it will be a high scoring game considering the over/under line is 581/2 points.


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

Following this history is the second part of the multi part short story I wrote called The BOOK.  I hope you like it.


Thank-you  -  Rik McGuire















                               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 all full view of sunset over the Shawangunk 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 is located just across Main Street.  It is said that Steen had 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 and the lovely mountain 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 forget 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 Saturday nights!  As did all the merchants and stores open till 9 p.m.”

By 1921 the Casino had changed hands and names, becoming the Blue Crane Inn.  Ads of the era read.  Big night at the Bleu Crane Inn Dancing every Wednesday and Saturday evenings.  In the Chinese Hall-Good Jazzy Music.”  The cornerstone of night life 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 and the affordability of the automobile meant peoples outings were no longer confined to the trolleys 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 was nicknamed the P&G’s that welcomes everybody.
















The BOOK  The present?


Cliff stayed at his townhouse in Boston for over two months working almost tirelessly on compiling his notes.  He slept for four or five hours each night and only left the town house to buy groceries and other essentials or he would spend every morning at a local Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts for much needed boost of caffeine with a double or even quad espresso.  He went to the university to check in with the Archeology Department and his sabbatical.  He decided it wouldn’t be wise to tell anyone of his find of the fabled book.  He wanted to have everything written and ready for conjecture and criticism when he finally released what he had learned from The BOOK.

He was certain that there would be many who would wonder of The BOOK’s authenticity and even its relevance to history and the present.

He knew religious leaders throughout the world would come down on him hard with criticisms’ condemning The BOOK as heretical and blasphemous.  He couldn’t be concerned because he knew that what was written in The BOOK would diminish their standing as religious leaders.  Like he should care.  All he wanted to do was finish the compiling the numerous notebooks he had accumulated and then go back to the church in the Pyrenees.

It would be a lot easier this time because he knew when he had to go, Marcellus had arranged for peasants in the village at the base of the Pyrenees to take him by horse drawn carriage to the church so he wouldn’t, as he had previously, have to trudge for two months through the Pyrenees to walk because of the previously arranged transportation.

He said goodbye to everyone he knew when he knew he had to go to the church.  They all wondered what he had discovered in the Pyrenees that intrigued him so much.  He only smiled when questioned then shook his head.  “I can’t really reveal to you what I have learned until I have finished.”  He said.

It was especially hard to say goodbye to his love interest, Jessie.  He really wanted to marry her and would when his studies of The BOOK were competed.  He didn’t know why she remained loyal to him because he had been away for so long and was about to go away again, But she insisted she would be waiting for him.

He didn’t have much in his grant money, so he took the cheapest flight to Spain.  It was a long twelve hour flight from Boston’s Logan Airport to LaGuardia to London and finally to Madrid.  He found whatever transportation he could to the base of the Pyrenees.  He found the village at the base where he could be taken by horse drawn carriage to the church at the peak of the mountain.

But before the villagers took him to the church, he was given a feast and a place to stay for a few nights and where he could bathe.

The villagers thought that much of him because they knew he was reading the fabled book that they only whispered about among themselves.  Even the patriarch of the local church was there at the carriage to shake his hand and wish him well.

It was a half days ride up the rough trail to the church.  They left at sunrise and were at the doors of the church by noon.  The trail was rough and steep.  There were times when Cliff had to hold his breath as the carriage wheels neared a precipitous drop of hundreds or even thousands of feet.

When they finally arrived at the front door of the church, he breathed a sigh of relief and was met my Marcellus who welcomed Cliff enthusiastically.

“I knew you would return, but I didn’t expect you so soon.”  Marcellus said.

Cliff could only smile.   “There is something about The BOOK that intrigues me greatly.”

“And that is?”   Marcellus asked.

Cliff could only smile again and nod.  “There has been speculation of a first civilization of man before the modern Homo sapiens arrived.  And I have wondered if maybe they wrote The BOOK.  What do you think?”

Marcellus just nodded his head.  “I know who you are talking about.  And yes there has been speculation of their influence with The BOOK, but there is no definitive evidence of these early peoples, if they exist of existed.  So, I can’t give you a definite answer.  Just follow me to the dining room and we’ll have a lite lunch and discuss this further privately.”

“Sounds like a plan.”  Cliff agreed.

In the dining room they had a lite lunch of finger sandwiches of meat and cheese.  Cliff thought the mini sandwiches to be delicious especially with the offered horseradish mayo.  There was also iced espresso which Cliff downed cup after cup.

All during this lite lunch, he and Marcellus discussed the First Civilization beings.  Marcellus explained that the knowledge of these people had been born at the time of Charlemagne a European Emperor, who had brought what was a new civilization to Europe.  Charlemagne was a thoughtful ruler who thought deeply of these early, pre-homo sapien peoples.

“But we know very little of these peoples?”  Cliff asked.

Marcellus smiled.  “Actually they were written about in the Bible and were called the Nephilims or the holy ones.  But they were only mentioned once in the entire bible, in Genesis 6:$.  It has been speculated that instead of another name of God.  Moses used Nephlim just once.  Others speculated that Moses was referring to those magical beings from the sea.”

“Can they still live and exist?”  Cliff asked.

Marcellus laughed.  “If they do, they keep themselves well hidden from prying eyes.  I am under the impression that they will expose themselves when they think the time is right.”

I was Cliffs turn to laugh.  “Yeah.  The supposed apocalypse of the winter solstice, 2012.”

“You know much of that future day?  Don’t you?”

Cliff nodded.  “I’ve written a few articles in Archeology magazines and other like minded magazines of my thoughts of this date.”

Marcellus smiles.  “I know because I have read everything you have ever published.”

“How?”  Cliff asked.

Marcellus looked up to the ceiling and pointed.  “God and The BOOK.”

“You know, I have studied this future date quite extensively from the early Mayan’s to Nostradamus to modern soothsayers.  It seems no one can see past this date of the Winter Solstice, 2012 and I believe it to be as the Mayan’s speculated, it will be the dawn of a new age.  Cliff explained almost professorially as if he were lecturing at the university.  “Or it could be that the Mayan’s just didn’t create a new calendar.  So it won’t be an apocalypse.  Just as if we in the western world didn’t create another calendar for the new year after December 31.”  Cliff explained.

Marcellus nodded.  “Yes.  I have read everything you published and I agree.  It will be the dawn of a new age.”

Cliff took a sip of his espresso and said.  “A Mayan high priest or prophet thought a god like deity will appear before the people of earth and cast judgment on us all.”

Marcellus had to smile.  “The prophet was correct.  God will cast judgment on us all and God is not pleased that we worship greed.  I believe there will be a drastic shift in the poles of earth’s society.  Many people will suffer when they learn that their greed is counter to the will of God.”

Cliff finished his last finger sandwich, swallowed and said.  “Then you believe as I do that there won’t be an apocalyptic change in the values of the peoples of earth.  The wealthy on earth who essentially control everything with their wealth, will find themselves at the bottom looking up at the skilled craftsmen who build and construct our world with their skills.”

“Yes.  That seems to be a reasonable explanation of this future date.  But it would very well happen over a course of days, months or years.  So it will not be a sudden change, but gradual, over time.”  Marcellus explained.

“We agree” Cliff said as he rose from the table.  “I take it that my room is the same as before?”  He asked.  “I need to relax after the long and grueling trip here, especially the last six hours.”

“Of course.”  Marcellus said.  “You can find your way?”

“Of course.”  Cliff said as he left the dining room with his duffle bags of clothes.  But before he left, he gave Marcellus a ring binder of the notes he had accumulated from his first visit and printed from his lap top.

“You might want to review what I have written so far.  And you can offer some suggestions or changes”  Cliff explained.

“I will read them tonight after we have had dinner and I will give you my critique tomorrow morning.”

“Sounds good to me.”  Cliff said as he prepared to climb the stairs to his room.  “I’ll see you for dinner.”

Cliff got to his room and was pleased to find a fire in the fireplace.  The room was warm enough that he could strip down to his shorts and t-shirt and lay on his bed to rest.  He started to doze almost immediately, he was that tired.

He woke two hours later, feeling completely refreshed.  He went to the bathroom to splash water on his face and comb his hair.  He then walked down the stairs in his jeans, flannel shirt and knee high moccasins where he was met by a smiling Marcellus.

“I read what you have written of The BOOK, while you rested and I am impressed with your insight into the meaning and value of The BOOK.”

“And?”  Cliff prodded.

“You should have written of the Nephilim and of their influence.”  Marcellus instructed.

“How?  There is nothing written about them except for once in the Bible and a few novels.  What more could I write because there is not much out there about them?  I only learned of the Nephilim in my first year of undergraduate school.  Previously I just referred to them as the First Civilization.”

Marcellus waved for Cliff to sit down.  “You might stress that the Nephilim or Holy Ones are a precursor of the human civilization and they could very well help God judge us, if they still exist.”

Cliff nodded.  “I could.  But what I write would be pure speculation and nothing more.  Very few people would take what I will write seriously.  In fact they could very well condemn everything I write as fanciful theories and nothing more.”

Marcellus nodded.  “Yes.  You are probably correct, but you must write of The BOOK and you will because you have already written it according to The BOOK.”

“So.  I will write more of these people, the Holy Ones, because it is written in The BOOK?”

Marcellus smiled.  “Yes.  Because it has already been written.  You only have to fulfill your obligation to The BOOK.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will.  Trust me, because The BOOK has already written that you will.”

Cliff stood back, rubbed his chin and thought.  “Are you trying to tell me that my actions are like the pre-destination of the mid nineteenth century preachers.  That everyone is pre-destined to be who they are because of the will of God?  I hope not.  Because I rejected that theory when I was in high school.  So am I pre-destined to write of these people, the Holy Ones?”

Marcellus shook his head.  “Of course not.  You are not pre-destined to do anything.  But you will write of the Holy Ones because it is in your nature to do so and The BOOK is cognizant of this.  Trust me.”

They had a lite diner and after he finished, Cliff went directly to the library without asking permission from Marcellus.  Marcellus could only smile when he saw Cliff enter the library with determination.

Cliff went through the library door and saw the ancient leather bound book on the dais where he had left it many months earlier.  He walked deliberately behind the dais to read The BOOK.  He opened the over and on the first page, in long hand and calligraphic like script was written:  The Present as it is Today!!

            He turned the page and started to read.  Cliff read the thoughts of western leaders who were trying to come to grips with the terrorist threat.  They all seemed to understand that they could arrest all of the known terrorists known by the intelligence agencies and fill the country’s prison to overfilling, but there still would be a terrorist threat.

After about ten pages he started to read the thoughts of the terrorists.  He learned that many if not most were frustrated that their views on the world at large were essentially ignored by the leaders of many mid-Eastern countries like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and a host of others.  They thought that they could make a powerful statement if they attacked a strong nation like the United States, hence 9/11.  The thinking was the best way to get attention was to cause murder and mayhem, very much like Timothy McVeigh at Oklahoma City.  Or groups like White Aryan Surpremists killing those they thought thwarted their aims or the newly resurfaced Neo-Nazis.  They all thought the same murder and mayhem will give them the recognition they so desired.

Cliff had to close The BOOK because his eyes were so tired and he needed to sleep and have a fresh go in the morning.

He knew he woke before dawn the following morning because the sun had not broken the eastern horizon.  He went to the bath and had a long hot shower.  He showered then dried himself off and dressed, then thought of what he had read the previous day and wondered when he opened The BOOK in the morning.  Would it be the same?

He went down the stairs dressed in his usual jeans, flannel shirt and knee high moccasins with a heavy jacket because he thought he needed to walk around the castle and think about what he had read the previous day.  He stopped in the dining room, spoke with Marcellus briefly and had an extra cup of espresso.  He then left the castle to roam around the grounds outside the walls to collect his thoughts about what he had read the previous day.  As he walked and observed the castle walls, the gardens and vineyard, he wondered what more The BOOK would reveal of the present.

He walked longer than he had panned because though it was somewhat chilly in the high mountain air, he was very comfortable in his heavy jacket.

He finally decided he had to get back inside the castle and read.  He hoped he would be able to read for four hours as he looked at his watch and noted it was only 100p.m.  He thought that if he read for four hours, he would have an hour to rest in his room before dinnertime.

Though he knew diner would be served any time he desired, but thought it better to have dinner at a time to better accommodate Marcellus, as he was the teacher of The BOOK,

He went to the fifteen foot door and wondered how he could open it without help from inside.  When he got to the door and was prepared to knock to announce his presence, the door opened with a smiling Marcellus welcoming him inside.

“How did you know?”  Cliff asked.

Marcellus looked to the ceiling of the night time sky.  “God.”  Was all he said.

Cliff nodded as he went to the library.  “I’m going to read for another three or four hours then go upstairs to rest.  Just come for me when diner is ready.”

“Of course.”  Marcellus said.

When Cliff got to the seat behind the dais he sat down, opened the ancient leather bound BOOK to the first page and read the thoughts of American politicians on both sides of the patrician aisle.

His first impressions of the thoughts of these political big wigs was that they seemed more interested in what was good for the party and what was good for America was a secondary concern.  It didn’t seem to matter which party, the good for the party was the top most concern.  Though the Republicans were most driven by what was good for the Republican party, that their top concern.  This was most relevant after they lost both houses in Congress and the Presidency when Clinton first became president.

Then he started to read the thoughts of the common people how they listened to radio talk even if they suspected or knew that the radio talk show hosts were lying to the listening public, but they listened anyway.  As Goebbels once said:  If you lie enough, it becomes the truth.

He closed his eyes after he closed The BOOK and let himself doze while seated behind the dais.  His eyes were that strained from reading and copious note taking.

When he open them and reopened The BOOK, he read the thoughts of many televangelists.  And the hidden thoughts of these televangelists made him realize that if Jesus ever appeared before them, he Jesus, would be ignored or blasted as a religious heretic or worse.  They knew from reading the bible that Jesus hated greed and taught that money did not gain entrance to heaven if you were rich and greedy.  He knew that Jesus saw how greed affected the society.  Cliff knew the present day televangelists couldn’t be bothered with worry of the under privileged as long as they, the poor contributed to their television ministry.

The reading of the thoughts of these televangelists caused Cliff to tire and he knew he needed to go to his room and rest, more importantly rest his eyes.

He bid Marcellus good night before he climbed the stairs to his room.  He noted that a fire was blazing in the fireplace, giving off enough heat that he could strip down and take a warm or even scalding shower.  After he finished with the shower, he dried himself off slipped into the warm caress of his bed.  But he couldn’t sleep because his mind was on the recent thoughts of present day people in The BOOK.  As he thought of this, his mind wandered to the First Civilization of Earth.  Those beings who brought science and thought to the new emerging homo sapiens.

His last thoughts before he lapsed into sleep was who these beings were and where they were or if they had become extinct.  And if so how did they become extinct?

He met Marcellus the next morning in the dining room and he had a couple of slices of toast with butter and jelly with his usual espresso.  They talked for almost two hours.  They discussed the First Civilization that pre-dated “modern man”.  And both wondered who these, people beings were and where they went.

Cliff explained to Marcellus how maps of Antarctica were found that predated any exploration        of the vast continent, and these maps showed a rocky shore line of Antarctica that had to be tens of thousands years old.  And considering no known explorer ever made it to Antarctica before 1820, it was wondered who designed these maps.  He also explained that there were maps of the oceans with latitude and longitude markings century’s before modern man devised such marking on maps.  And how the prime meridian , now through England went through Giza Egypt.

He also explained how the current Mayans, Incas and African peoples described a people emerging from the sea in flowing robes and taught the science and thought.  He taught of a Chinese philosopher and thinker who described these beings and he wrote his thoughts 2700 years earlier, this thinker, Lau-Tzu wrote the ancient Masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.  The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable, their appearance.  Watchful like men crossing a winter stream, Alert like men aware of danger  Courteously. Like visiting guest, like ice about to melt.  Simple like uncarved blocks of wood.

“Many scholars of the ancient world attributed these beings to be from the legendary Atlantis that disappeared those many years ago.”  Cliff told Marcellus, who just nodded.

Both Cliff ad Marcellus wondered if Atlantis had existed and produced the First Civilization or the Holy Ones described in the bible.  They were unsure because there was no evidence anywhere that Atlantis existed except for the almost identical pyramids shapes that were constructed around the world by primitive peoples.

These pyramids by the primitive peoples were not definitive proof that Atlantis once excited, but the ancient myths of Kings coming from the sea to teach the peoples was only more fodder of these Holy Ones.

“I guess I can only learn of these people of these people if I read the chapter in The BOOK, the future as it will be written.”  Cliff said with a sigh.

“Do you really want to risk that?”  Marcellus  asked,  “Remember what I have told you of others who have read and how they had to be hospitalized because they read of their own deaths?”

Cliff waved his hand.  “I have that covered.  If I see my name anywhere, I will skip to the next page.  Or maybe I will close The BOOK  and wait for what more is written I have to read.”

“If you are comfortable with that then won’t persuade you against it.”  Marcellus said.

Cliff looked up from his espresso.  “You read where I was to come here and read The BOOK.  So you know more than you are willing to say, such as my future death.”

Marcellus only shook his head.  “No.  I have only read to the point when you would arrive and write about what you have learned from The BOOK.

“That’s it?   Nothing more?”  Cliff implored.

Marcellus looked down to the table.  “Sorry.  I can’t read further because I feared for you.”

“Why?”  Cliff asked.

Marcellus said.  “I fear what you will learn of the future and how it will affect you and your new bride.”

Cliff looked up from his espresso.  “You know Jessie and I plan to marry?”

Of course.  It was written in the BOOK.”

“Then The BOOK must be accurate because I plan on marrying Jessie when I get to Boston, within the next week or so.”

“When will you come back to read the third and final chapter of The BOOK?”  Marcellus asked hopefully.

“After the honeymoon and we have established ourselves in a house near Boston.  By then she will know how I discovered something of great archeological and historical significance.   And I am sure she will wish me well when I return here to read the final chapter of The BOOK.”

“Only if you are so certain?”  Marcellus reminded him.

“I am.”

9:28 p.m.



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