Cornerstone Traveler

Writing in New Patlz


CT-303                  CORNERSTONE  TRAVELER                           MAY 10  ‘17


Hi everyone and welcome to another exciting and thought provoking issue of this b-weekly newsletter, the CORNERSTONE TRAVELER.  Also available online at  I have great news, my daughter gave birth to my first granddaughter, Wren, Meredith.


mid-Hudson Valley news:  The New Paltz volunteer fire department is having a fund raiser on May 13 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00  p.m. at  the Ulster County Fair grounds on Libertyville Road in New Paltz.  It’ is called Cars and Crafts Fair with food and music.  The cost for admission is 1$ and children under 12 are free.  I will report on what I see in the next issue of this newsletter.

I once tried to be a volunteer at the New Paltz fire department, but because I have to walk with a cane I failed the physical.  I am going to try again and maybe the doctor won’t make a big deal of my being forced to walk with a cane.  I am a volunteer at Marbletown First Aid Ambulance.  I do a weekly rig check on the monthly duty rig to make certain all the necessary medical supplies are on the monthly duty rig.


observations:  As I have written in a precious issue of this newsletter, there are solar companies wanting to install  solar panels on my house, but when I explained I don’t agree to anything over the telephone and wanted something mailed to me, they explained that was not the way they operate.  It was immediaelty obvious to me that they didn’t want a paper trail and I called them losers!

Then I got calls from outfits claiming they knew I had a roblem with my P.C. and they wanted to fix this problem.  I knew immediately that they only wanted access to my P.C. so they could get my pass words and bank accounts.  I naturaly said no and hung up.


sports:  MLB:  Yankees are first place with a record of 21-9.

The Mets are in second place with a record of 15-16.



The Rangers lost to the Senators in the first round of the Stanley Cupp playoffs 4-2


other:  As with pervious issues of this newsletter, everything printed here is either copyright protected or copyright pending.

The history follows this newsletter from 1900 when the building was first constructed to about the mid 1930’s.

The short story that follows this history is a story I wrote a long time ago called The GOLDEN ARCH.  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 Shawnagunk 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 GOLDEN ARCH


The driver guided the fully loaded flat bed truck carefully into the outdoor marketplace just outside of Baghdad.   Abdul Ayyabu was following the Sheiks instructions precisely.  Under all the fruit and vegetables on the flat bed was over one thousand pounds of explosive.  The Sheik had instructed Abdul not to ignite the explosive until just after noon when the marketplace would be the busiest.  Abdul knew he was only following the Sheiks and Allah’s wishes with his suicide bombing, but he was still concerned, so he fingered his prayer beads nervously as he looked at the clock on the dashboard and wondered what he would experience in Allah’s arms.

Ishmael and his two daughters walked past the flat bed almost overflowing with desirable fruits and vegetables.  Zali, the oldest, asked if they could get an orange to eat as they looked for the food their mother requested.  Ishmael said no.  They were only in the Marketplace to get bread and humus for the evening meal and maybe some grapes or figs.

Zali and Meta pouted as they walked past the flat bed.  Ishmael looked up to the cab of the truck and saw the driver sweating profusely and nervously fingering his prayer beads.  He wondered why the man was sweating so much when he heard and felt a mighty blast that tore at his body and he died almost immediately.  He thought of his two girls who were at his side when the truck exploded.  Could they have survived?  He thought before he died.

When Abdul pressed the button to ignite the explosives, he felt the explosion in his back as he was torn to bits and pieces of muscle and bone.  The next he knew, he was floating as a spirit behind hundreds of other spirits, who died in the suicide bombing to the heavens in the sky.

I’m going to be in Allah’s arms shortly.  He thought as he saw the spirits of the two girls and the father who were beside his cab when he pressed the plunger.

They turned to him and Zali said.  You are not allowed any further.  She admonished.

Because Allah does not allow needless deaths to be rewarded.  Meta nodded in agreement.  You killed us and for no good reason.  She reached up to grab her father’s hand and the father turned to face Abdul.

You murdered us!  He almost screamed wordlessly.

I was only doing what my Sheik commanded of me.  Abdul protested.

Your Sheik?  Ishmael asked.  What of our Sheik?  He is a Sunni Sheik.  Yours is a Shiite Sheik.  Our Sheik did not instruct us to die for Allah, but yours did.  Why?

For justice for the Islamic people.  Abdul protested, yet again.

So you thought it right to kill other Islamic people for the Islamic people?  Ishmael asked with disgust as they all rose to the arch separating heaven from earth.  Ishmael ushered his two girls through the Golden Arch then eased himself through.

When Abdul tried to pass through the Golden Arch he was met by a force that did not allow him entrance.

Why?  He said to the guardian who guarded the arch.  I did what my Sheik said that Allah wanted .  How could I refuse?

You read the Koran?  Correct?  The arch guardian asked.

Of course.  Countless times.

Then you know that Mohamed commanded that needless death is against Allah’s wishes.

But I was only following my Sheiks wishes.  Abdul protested.  What of my Sheik?

He will be dealt with rather severely when he dies.  The Arch Guardian promised.

But what of me?   Abdul almost cried.


You have to serve your penance as required by Allah.

For how long?  Abdul asked.

For as long as Allah thinks is necessary because you took innocent life.  So.  It might be a long time.  A long time.

Suddenly before Abdul, appeared Ishmael and his two girls.  You took our lives because of a power hungry Sheik.  Ishmael admonished the spirit of Abdul.  As he said this Zali and Meta wagged their fingers at him in disapproval.


Meanwhile on the earth below where the truck exploded and killed hundreds of innocent people.  Ambulances and Iraqi police screamed to the carnage.  There was much wailing and crying for the murdered innocent men, women and children.

The Sheik who ordered the suicide bombing came to the marketplace with a feigned look of concern.  But inwardly he was happy that so much death and destruction had occurred.  He was pleased with the result of the truck bomb.  He hadn’t expected so much death and destruction, but it was for the better.  Already the Iraqi police, the American Embassy and the media were being informed that it was his group of radical Shiites that were responsible for the terrorist attack.  This attack would better solidify his hold on the Iraqi people.  He could control them with fear.  His attack was in a Sunni marketplace and he knew the Sunnis would retaliate shortly in a Shiite neighborhood.  He was not concerned because his home was outside the Shiite neighborhood that he knew would be inevitably attacked.

Back at the Golden Arch, Abdul was led to a shadowed doorway that he was ordered to pass through.  He was met by scores of repentant souls of many nationalities.  They all clamored to know what Abdul had done to be sentenced to the hell where they were all incarcerated.

I only followed my Sheik’s command to perform an act of valor with a suicide truck bombing.  He claimed it was Allah’s wishes.  He was wrong and I am condemned.

You were a fool.  One soul admonished.  Now you are condemned to this hell as we all were because we followed the supposedly religious orders of our religious leaders.

Are there only Muslims here?  Abdul asked the other spirits.

No.  There are souls from all faiths in this hell.  The soul explained.  If you committed evil against your fellow man for whatever reason, God, Allah, Jehovah or whoever condemns you here for the longest time.  You learn what you did wrong as a mortal.

For how long?  Abdul cried.

What year was it when you crossed over to this plane?  The soul asked.

It was the year 2007.  Abdul explained.

`Then I have been here for over five hundred years.

What was your crime against your fellow man?

I was an Assisi and very proud of my killing ability.  The soul explained.

So you have learned that you were wrong as a mortal?”

Actually I learned I was wrong almost the very instant I was thrown into here.  The soul explained.

Your wait here must have been mentally painful.  Abdul said.


Yes.  As it will be for you.  Only Allah knows how long you will be here.  But I can almost promise it will be for a long time.  A very long time.

Will I meet others from other faiths?  Abdul asked.

Yes.  But we tend to group around those of similar faiths for unknown reasons.  It was explained to Abdul by another voice.

Abdul turned to the direction of this voice and saw an aged spirit dressed in clothing of a thousand or more years ago.

Who are you?  Abdul asked the unknown soul.

I was under the command of a very evil man during the Spanish Inquisition.  He was called Torquemada.  It was explained to Abdul.

Yes.  I remember reading about him and how he tortured those of other faiths.  Is he here in this hell?”

There was a murmur from all the souls and it was explained to Abdul that Torquemada was several levels below where they all existed.  And it would a long time before he would be allowed to rise to their existence.


Behind the destruction of the marketplace and the wailing of the grieving friends and relatives were the smoldering remains of the dead.  It wasn’t difficult for the Iraqi police to determine the source of the explosion, as the flat bed was reduced to complete ruin with the body of the driver in the smoldering wreckage.

Many of the Iraqi policemen had tears in their eyes when they viewed the carnage of the


suicide bomb.  Especially the dead and dismembered bodies of the children.  Just then a convoy of five American trucks pulled up to the destruction.  All the American troops jumped out of the trucks, arms at the ready at their chests.

The Sheik who had commanded the terrorist act smiled beneath his full face beard.  “They are too late and they will always be too late.  They can never stop the actions I command.”  He whispered to himself.

The commander of the American troops ordered his men to spread out all around the marketplace, now in shambles.  He instructed them to search for anyone who showed an unusual interest in the suicide bombing.

The troops looked into the faces of everyone in the area, seeing nothing but tears, shock and resignation.  The sheik who ordered the bombing was able to pass through the troops because he was so adept at hiding his emotions, the troops saw only concern on his face.

But there was one man in the crowd who knew the Sheik for what he was, the leader of the radical Shiite group who most likely ordered the bombing.  He climbed the stairs of an undamaged building with a sniper rifle strapped to his back.  He was absolutely certain it was the Sheik who ordered the recent suicide bombing that had killed his wife and three small children and he knew the Sheik could not live any longer.  He reached the roof of the building, looked over the parapet, spotted the Sheik and took careful aim with his sniper rifle.  He slowly squeezed the trigger as he was taught and the explosive cartridge was released from his rifle, hitting the Sheik square in the head for an instant death.

Just then an American helicopter was flying overhead and saw his sniper action.  A door


gunner was ordered to shoot the sniper and he did as he was ordered.  The shooter on the roof

top died instantly from a bullet through his heart.


The spirits of both the Sheik and the sniper floated up to the Golden Arch.  The sheik was expecting immediate entrance and was shocked and bewildered with denial.  The sniper was allowed immediate entrance and his spirit smirked at the Sheik.  I am allowed into Allah’s arms.  He crowed silently.  You will have to wait.

The Sheik was confused.  He knew he should have been allowed through the Golden Arch, yet he was denied.  The one who had killed him was allowed through, why wasn’t he?  He thought.

Because your actions ordered the deaths of many innocent men, women and children.  The Arch Guardian instructed.

I was only doing Allah’s will.  The Sheik protested.

No.  You were not.  You were only doing what you thought would make you that much more powerful.  The Arch Guardian admonished.

Where am I to go?”  The sheik asked.

Through that doorway.  The Arch Guardian said and pointed to shadowed doorway behind the Sheik.

I am frightened to pass through that doorway.  The sheik cried.

The Arch Guardian shook his head You have no choice.  That is your ultimate destiny.

The Sheik passed through the dark shadowed doorway and was immediately met by


Abdul and the repentant souls who were about to be released from the hell because they had

served their penance.

Abdul sneered when he saw the Sheik.  This hell is my sentence because I followed your command.

The Sheik saw the other souls behind Abdul nod in agreement.  How long will I be here?  The Sheik asked.

The first soul to speak to Abdul answered first.  You will not be here for too long.

I suspected that I would be in Allah’s arms soon.  The sheik said with hope in his voice.

No.  It is not Allah’s arms where you will go.  The soul said.  You are to pass through one more shadowed doorway that will lead you to the level below this level in hell.

How long will I be there?  The Sheik cried.

For as long as Allah wills.

I am afraid. The sheik cried as the shadowed doorway appeared before him.

Take your punishment as Allah wills it.  Abdul sneered.  By the time you leave that level in hell I will be in Allah’s arms.

The sheik passed through the shadowed doorway and the souls heard him scream as if he were falling from a great height.  They heard the scream get fainter as if the Sheik was falling a great distance.

Abdul turned to the other souls.  My sentence here has become more bearable, but only slightly so.


Back on Earth in a Sunni Mosque an Imam asked “Should we retaliate against this

outrage against our people?”

A hand slowly rose from a seat in the back.  When the Imam recognized him, a small, slender man stood and asked.  “You say our people.  Are we all not Islamic people of the same faith whether we are Sunni or Shiite?  Or even Kurd?”

The Imam nodded.  “Of course we are, but we are in a civil war with the Shiites for control of this country’s wealth.”

“Why can’t we just share the wealth?”  The man asked.

”We can and we should, but we won’t.  And I can’t say why.  I only know that wealth brings the demon and evil out in all of us.”

“Did Mohamed envision this problem with wealth?”  The man in the back asked.

The Imam thought for a moment with his hand stroking his beard.  “Yes.  I believe he did.  But he could not foresee how wealth would become such a mad dictator over mans actions.”

“This is sad.”  The man said.  “So more of us must die in this undeclared civil war to satiate the demon of wealth.”

“It would appear so.”  The Imam agreed.  “But what are we to do?”

“We could all lay down our arms and work together for a better and more prosperous Iraq.”  The man said.

Everyone in the mosque agreed and murmured their approval of his words.

The Imam held up his hands.  “Yes we should all strive for this if only to get the stench of what Hussein left in his wake and death.”




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