Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bruce Molsky To Play Philipstown Depot Theatre

Event: Music Tracks Presents Bruce Molsky (guitar, fiddle, banjo)
"An annual favorite of Music Tracks events at The Philipstown Depot Theatre"
What: Concert
Host: The Philipstown Depot Theatre
Start Time: Saturday, January 17 at 7:30pm
End Time: Saturday, January 17 at 10:30pm
Where: The Philipstown Depot Theatre

To see more details and RSVP via Facebook, follow this link.

From Nancy Montgomery: "Bruce Molsky is a master. His performance on the intimate stage at the Depot Theatre brings audiences a thrilling and memorable night of traditional music."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Year-End Donations to Protect Hudson Valley


The Hudson River Valley has a number of groups working to preserve its lands, and they all depend on donations big and small to do their work. We're lucky to have this land around us -- this gorgeous, mysterious shot looking at Osborn Castle by Christine Ashburn reminds us of that.

One group is Scenic Hudson, which is working to protect 65,000 acres of what it dubs the most important land along the river -- the "must save" landscapes that meet New York State's highest standards for ecological, scenic and agricultural values.

Another is the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, which has been working privately with landowners since 1989, when local residents united to form an organization that would provide conservation options for individuals.

A third is Open Space Institute. OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, regional loan programs, fiscal sponsorship, creative partnerships, and analytical research.

Online donations are accepted for all three groups.

Here's a list of other organizations dedicated to the Hudson Valley and its environnment. Feel free to add others in the Comment section below.

Happy New Year...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Uncle Wade to Play Depot Theatre in Garrison

Event: Uncle Wade @ Depot Theatre
"More Simple Music for Complicated Times"
What: Concert
Host: Andy Revkin & the rest of Wade
Start Time: Friday, January 16 at 8:00pm
End Time: Friday, January 16 at 11:00pm
Where: Philipstown Depot Theatre, Garrison's Landing, Garrison NY 10524 // View map here.
Contact: membership@philipstowndepottheatre.org // 845.424.3900
Facebook RSVP: Click here (only if you're on Facebook.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Video: Morning at Guinan's

While reporting my book Little Chapel on the River, I spent most of 2003 at Guinan's Pub and Country Store. Since my "job" for that year was to spend time at the place I loved most, I occasionally helped out behind the counter and met most of the regulars passing through.

This video I shot captures one morning I was there. Several faces are longer with us: Ken Anderson and his red car; Tip Dain, one of the Fearsome Foursome golf quartet Jim Guinan played with, and Jimmy Delaney whose two Bud Lights at lunch routine was more dependable than the Metro-North trains.

You'll see what the Hudson River looks like coming awake, and how the commuters helped John Guinan carry papers inside at 5 a.m. You'll see John bust my chops in front of Murray Prescott, a long and loyal Guinan friend who has helped open the store for many years.

These were the best days I've known.

Monday, December 15, 2008

75 Items Under $75 at Antipodean on Garrison's Landing


Antipodean Books Maps & Prints in Garrison, run by David (a.k.a "The Bookman" in Little Chapel on the River) and Cathy Lilburn, has 75 items under $75 on sale for the holidays.

Some of the suggested gifts include a first edition of Joseph H. Adams' "Harper's Outdoor Book for Boys" from 1907 ($45), a steel engraved plate of a trout with named trout flies shown below it from Bunney & Gold, 1801 ($75) and an 2008 updated version of Frances F. Dunwell's fantastic book, "The Hudson: America's River" ($29.95), which I may buy myself if no one beats me to it.

Click here to see the entire list.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Garrison Yacht Club 2008 Holiday Party

Neil Bloch sends these photos from last Saturday’s party and says thanks to Jennifer O'Toole, club manager, and to Eric Gabrynowicz, executive chef, at Highlands Country Club.

Neil says highlights of the event included the playing of 13-year-old harpist Alexandra Dow and the singing of countertenor Nicholas Tamagna (both pictured here with Olivia Wade) as well as the huge pile of gifts that were donated to Toys for Tots.









The Communion of Saints

By johnmac

It’s Irish Night at Guinan’s
first Thursday after the full moon
and the place is packed.

And there is a harp
And a badram
And a few accordions
And a whistle
And a few guitars
And a few fiddles
And some singers
And a lot of beer

There are some writers
And plumbers
And a Governor
(with a State Police Guard)
And restaurateurs
And real estate agents
And professors
And whoever else walks in.

And there is much talk and gaiety
until there is a hush when
Jim is ready to sing
“I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen”
And we all listen

Kelly’s behind the bar
Jim’s in the kitchen
And we all take turns
putting the money on
the deli register,

Trust abounds, laughter is king,
joy reigns, and we are friends
with people we don’t even know.

And then it ends
And we all go home
We are a funny people.

Copyright 2006 John F. McMullen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Drink Did Benedict Arnold Imbibe Before Fleeing West Point? (Find Out Saturday)

While researching Little Chapel on the River, I spent hours at the Putnam County Historical Society museum researching Philipstown. Many towns leave their history stored in residents’ memories, and when these locals pass away, sadly, so do those tales. PCHS helps prevent that from happening.

Here are a couple of interesting events on the organization's plate this month:

This Saturday, Nov. 15th at 5 p.m., the group’s Young Associates will host an event called A Night of Historical Drama dedicated to the local villain (or misguided, misunderstood patriot depending on whom you ask) -- Benedict Arnold. According to an email from the group, Julie Heckert will lead a cast from the Philipstown Depot Theater in a dramatic reading of the play, "The General from America," which tells the notorious tale from the perspective of Arnold and his young British wife. The evening's bartender, Jim Young, will serve up the very same last drink that Arnold had before he fled West Point. To get a taste, sign up.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple, and all proceeds benefit the museum. The event is sponsored by Valerie and Jim Young, and Heather and Neal Zuckerman.

On November 22nd, at 5 p.m., the PCHS will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of its annual Thanksgiving celebration. Father Brian McSweeney will lead a free, non-denominational candlelight service at 5:00 p.m. at St. Joseph's Chapel on Upper Station Road in Garrison. Beth Ailes will accompany the service on the organ. Dinner will follow at 6:15 p.m. at Highlands Country Club, on Route 9D in Garrison. Dinner is $60 per person, and reservations are required. The Elizabeth Todd Healy Volunteer Service Award will be presented to Robert A. McCaffrey. Please call the museum for tickets: 845.265.4010.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Garrison Yacht Club Holiday Party & Gift Exchange


From: Neil Bloch, Fleet Captain Garrison Yacht Club

Dear GYC Members and Friends,

‘Twas the month before Christmas and down by the river
The docks are now stacked, so it’s time to deliver
This missive to you, be you friend or a member;
Please join us this year for our fête in December.


As change is in the air, we are going to do this a bit differently this year. Although many of you have already bookmarked this date (thank you), here are the particulars:

Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 13:30 to 16:30

Highlands Country Club, 955 Route 9D, Garrison, NY 10524

$55 per person – checks should be made payable to Garrison Yacht Club

Hors d’oeuvres, beverages and music

Awards presentation

Each attendee should bring a wrapped gift for our annual holiday gift exchange.

As we’ll again be participating in the U. S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, please bring an unwrapped gift as well for donation to this worthy cause.

We need to get an accurate headcount (for which we will be billed) to Highlands Country Club by December 1, 2008. Please RSVP no later than this date to neil@thedowcorp.com and send payment to Garrison Yacht Club, P. O. Box 176, Garrison, NY 10524.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

John Guinan "Mustache" Tribute...


Thank you all for your emails asking for a report on Team Guinan. We are all back safe and relatively sound, except for a few knocked up knees. It was a rain-soaked 3 days coming from Gettysburg to NYC -- a pretty far cry from last year and our sun-filled 275-mile Braking the Cycle ride.

Everyone rode long and hard, despite the soggy conditions, and we were supported by Quinn Chastant in our Team Guinan sweep van.

This photo was taken at the end of Day One, after a 92-mile stretch. We are sporting mustaches in honor of John Guinan -- they were given to us courtesy of Mary Ellen Yannitelli. That night, BlackWatch Productions played an emotional video tribute to John after dinner. BlackWatch's Monica Anderson and John Anderson also provided arm bands with John's photo for every rider. The leaders of Braking the Cycle designated John as the honorary Rider Number 1.

From left to right are Team Guinan members: Chris Robinson, Dean Bradshaw, Kelly Guinan Preusser, Ed Preusser, Christine Ashburn, Quinn Chastant, Wendy Bounds & Lisa Bernhard.

The members of Team Guinan are so grateful for your support and your donations. We couldn't have done this ride without you, and with you, we met our fundraising requirements. We'll have an update on how much was raised soon. But for now, a heartfelt thanks.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Team Guinan To Ride On...Even in the Rain


View Larger Map

Tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m., Team Guinan will gather near the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pa. to mount our bikes and ride 275 miles to Manhattan. Forecasts say it will be raining with thunderstorms much of the three-day ride, but as they say, we'll ride on... until they won't let us.

We're part of a larger group -- Braking the Cycle -- but the seven of us are riding for someone you all loved well: John Guinan who did this ride on behalf of his wife, Mary Jane, and brother-in-law Tommy. And we're riding with John's daughter, our team leader, Kelly Guinan Preusser.

Other members include: Ed Preusser, Dean Bradshaw, Christine Ashburn, Chris Robinson, Lisa Bernhard and me.

This map above shows you our terrain. (It's mostly uphill. Seriously. Or at least it feels that way.)

We owe many of you in this community and in our larger out-of-Garrison community a great deal of thanks for all you did to help us raise funds; we each needed $3500 to ride. So many people donated -- and we are particularly grateful to Don Abel for his inordinately generous and heroic efforts on our behalf collecting a whopping $950.

Also, a huge thanks to Quinn Chastant who ferried a large segment of Team Guinan to Gettysburg at the last minute. Now we have our own bodyguard.

We'll update as we can from the road.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alumni To Gather This Weekend for Garrison School's 100th Anniversary


While Team Guinan is away on our 275-mile bike ride this weekend, alumni from around the country will gather to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Garrison Union Free School.

Anita Prentice writes to say there will be people returning to Garrison for the festivities from California, Minnesota, and Colorado, as well as all over the East Coast.

Organizers of the event have put together a pretty slick social networking Web site here on Ning that links alumni and hosts videos, photos, links to local businesses and community institutions as well as details about this weekend's events.

Given the weather report, I expect we'll all be pedaling in the rain wishing we were there for Jeff's Dain's grilling Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Board Rejects Public Appeal for Cafe in Old Guinan's Spot

The board of the Garrison Station Plaza has rejected proposals for a new cafe or similar gathering spot at the building formerly known as Guinan's.

Today's Journal-News story by Barbara Livingston Nackman quotes several board members, one of whom says the board is now considering proposals for offices and a rental apartment. People familiar with the board's plans say it is close to or has already signed a contract with at least one new tenant.

The board's decision comes after several months of lobbying from many parts of the community for a general store or other enterprise that would serve the needs of commuters, tourists, cadets, boaters and residents. More than 1,000 people from this community and around the country signed a petition urging the board to "preserve our community's center and vitality and permit a new store."

The board cited liability concerns but said little more.

In the story, board member Hank Osborn, whose grandfather once owned the property, stood apart from the board and said he disagreed with its decision -- calling it a "magical space."

I will write more about this later, but for now, this is the news.

Journal-News: "Owners reject new cafe at former Guinans"

Owners reject new café at former Guinan's
Barbara Livingston Nackman
746 words
23 September 2008
The Journal News (White Plains, NY)
GWP-Westchester and Putnam
1A
English
(c) Copyright 2008, The Journal News. All Rights Reserved.


GARRISON - Visions of a new café-bar at the former Guinan's Country Store and Pub were dashed this weekend when a property-owner group said it wants offices and housing instead.
Garrison Station Plaza expects to replace the former Guinan's with something totally different.

Mary Ellen Yannitelli, 42, a lifelong Garrison resident who knew and helped the Guinans run their family enterprise, had submitted plans for a café selling homestyle foods, drinks and convenience items at 7 Garrison Landing overlooking the Hudson River. Her plan was rejected, with the Station Plaza board citing liability concerns as the reason.

Instead, board members are considering proposals from two "well-established local businesses" for offices and a rental apartment, President Delmar Karlen said.

"We took everything seriously and I personally read every single comment we received. The decision was not made lightly. In this tough economy, it was a difficult decision," Karlen said.

Yannitelli said she was "crushed" by it. "It is such a slap in the face to the community," she said, referring to the widespread support she had received. She said she would consider not serving alcohol but was not given a chance to speak directly with the board.

For nearly 50 years, Guinan's had been a popular early morning deli and late-night watering hole. The family patriarch, Jim Guinan, closed the store in January and moved to Florida. Once a month, Irish music was performed in the pub. There are many fond memories of gatherings as well as a Web site and bestselling book dedicated to it.

Board member Margaret O'Sulllivan said she and her colleagues appreciated the Guinan's legacy.
"We all understood the emotional attachment to the old store, what it had been, and that it could never be duplicated," she said.

Hank Osborn, whose great-grandfather had owned the property and who is a current Station Plaza board member, disagreed with his group's decision. "I thought there was something important in having a store like that in town," he said yesterday. "It is a magical space."

More than 1,000 people signed an online petition urging the Station Plaza board to "preserve our community's center and vitality and permit a new store." Garrison resident Gwendolyn Bounds hoped the board would find a "balanced solution" for the space that would also accommodate the public's best interest. A Wall Street Journal columnist, she first came to Garrison when her downtown Manhattan apartment was rocked from the 9/11 attacks. She quickly felt at home and safe at Guinan's and wrote of her experience in "Little Chapel on the River."

"It will be a big disappointment if there is not a café/gathering spot of some sort at Garrison's Landing to serve the commuters, tourists, cadets and residents," she said yesterday of the store that drew Metro-North riders, West Point cadets and homegrown customers.

"Liability issues can be resolved, as they are for plenty of similar establishments operating each day across this country," she added. "I'm certainly biased, but how many towns can say they had something as special as Guinan's serving their constituents? Seems you'd want to go to every length to preserve that legacy in some form."

She and others contend a store should be there, though not an exact replica of Guinan's and not necessarily a liquor-serving bar. Guinan's sold only beer, no wine or hard liquor. "None of us would want the same thing," said Margaret Guinan, a police office in northern Westchester who worked there in the mornings to help her father. "I really think it is something that is needed. It is good for the community - the commuters and the locals," said Guinan, who was raised in the upstairs apartment with her three siblings. "We never had any liability issues - and I grew up there."

The current space is now devoid of its beer signs and old-time food cases. From the front windows one can see directly through to the back windows. Counters and kitchen equipment are gone. "I have been around several times. They have gutted everything," Margaret Guinan said. "It is a sign to me they had made a decision about what they wanted there and didn't want there a long time ago."

Reach Barbara Livingston Nackman at bnackman@LoHud.com or 845-228-2272.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thanks...

Today marks seven years since the chain of events began unfolding to lead me to Garrison and to Guinan's. Each year on this day, I pull out Rev. Frank Geer's wonderful book -- Where Was God on September 11th? -- that he co-authored with John Horgan and turn to a specific passage. It reads:

"... the disaster itself had a ripple effect. The pain and the horror and the tragedy of it spread through the world like ripples on a pond when a pebble's been thrown in. But the healing travels back the other way, like the same ripples coming back towards the center after they've reached the shore."


A lot of healing of all sorts happened throughout the decades in a little green Irish pub nestled against the Hudson River. Later today I'll drive down to Garrison's Landing and stand on Frank's proverbial shores to give thanks in the spot where where the burning barrel once sat. It's there I can still hear the Little Chapel's heart beating strong.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tugboat Roundup, Fireworks, and Yes ... a "Line-Throwing Contest"





Mike Koutsourades, who runs The Hudson River Shop, writes:

"The Tugboat Roundup is September 5-7 at Waterford, NY. It's one of the largest tugboat gatherings in the Northeast. This year they are expecting over 30 tugs. What may be interesting to your readers is a lot of the tugs will be making their way up the Hudson the week of Sept. 1st. This is really a great event with historic boats, music, food and fireworks on the Erie Canal.

Also, check out some great shots of tug parade."

Thanks to Mike for this tip. I watched the promotional video above and in addition to tugboats (which you can ride) and fireworks, there is apparently a "line-throwing" contest. Presumably, this is the maritime equivalent of hitting the bell with a mallet at the state fair.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Uncle Wade To Play at Turning Point Cafe


Garrison's own Uncle Wade band will play the fabulous Turning Point Cafe on Sept. 14th.

If you haven't heard Uncle Wade before, this is a great venue to get your feet/ears wet as a listener.

Details and to reserve tickets:
Turning Point Cafe
Piermont, N.Y.
Sunday, Sept. 14th
7 p.m.
Cost: $20
(845) 359-1089

And the Winner is ...

Peter Collins of New Jersey is the winner of 4 tickets to see the Giants play the Patriots tomorrow night. His winning bid of $200 will go to Team Guinan.

Many thanks to Peter -- and especially to Ed Ashton who donated these tickets for the 2nd year in a row to benefit our team and Braking the Cycle.

Peter writes: "...We should probably leave out that I am a rabid-season-ticket-holding Pats fan who is married to a rabid won't-go-to-a-game-anymore-because-she-gets-too-stressed-out Giants fan and that we are trying to determine where the kids' alliances now lay football-wise...."

Go Giants! (Sorry Peter)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AUCTION! NY Giants vs. Patriots Tickets -- All Proceeds Benefit Team Guinan


UPDATE II: Bids will now close midnight Tuesday to give time to ship tickets.
UPDATE: The highest bid is now at $200. Thanks to all!



Here's your chance to support Team Guinan on our 2008 Ride in honor of John Guinan AND WIN 4 TICKETS TO SEE THE GIANTS PLAY THE PATRIOTS NEXT WEEK.

Bidding starts at $150; that's a steal.

It's a package valued at $390 -- thanks to the generosity of Ed Ashton -- and the game is between the teams that squared off in the last Super Bowl.

Here are game details:

NY Giants vs. Patriots
August 28th
7 p.m.
Game played in New York @ Giants Stadium

Click Here to View the Actual Tickets and Seats.

To place your bid, please email it to: email@gwendolynbounds.com.
I'll let you know where bids stand at that point and you can raise if you like.

New deadline for bids is midnight, Tuesday, August 26th. [changed from Wed.]


Please be generous -- we're only a month away from the ride.


THANK YOU!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

"The Last Bar in Heaven"

"I'm hitchin a ride to redemption
On this dark, hot July night
The quarter moon's three nickels short
The neon's not much light
Townes and Zevon feed the engine
Newbury's driving this old train
I find myself smilin a bit
As the sky begins to rain

It seems the rails end up ahead
But Mickey only smiles
He's made this trip many a time
His soul's walked evry mile
So many times I needed an ace
But only drew a seven
Tonight's the night I win the pot
Headin for the last bar in Heaven


At the last bar in Heaven
The shows they never end
At the last bar in Heaven
You can always find a friend
At the last bar in Heaven
There's no one getting stoned
At the last bar in Heaven
It always feels like home


Seems the old friends always find me
When the darkness fills my soul
It doesn't take but a song or two
And I'm feeling almost whole
Forgiveness and redemption's
What my old heart needs tonight
This train I'm on will carry me
From the darkness to the light


At the last bar in Heaven
The shows will never end
At the last bar in Heaven
You can always find a friend
At the last bar in Heaven
There's no one getting stoned
At the last bar in Heaven
It always feels like home


At the last bar in Heaven
The shows they never end
At the last bar in Heaven
You'll always have a friend"


Hank Beukema revbuckmanmusic 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Deadline for Guinan's Space Passes; Snippets from Proposal for "Lou-Lou's Café"


The deadline has passed for proposals to start a new store/public venue at the old Guinan's spot.

Many of you around the country who read Little Chapel have emailed asking about the status of Mary Ellen Yannitelli's bid to reopen a cafe in this historic space. Thanks for your continued interest. She says she has turned in her business plan and is hopeful the board of directors of Garrison Station Plaza will be receptive. (She's calling it Lou-Lou's Café after the chapel's most loyal 4-legged parishioner, pictured above.)

Here are a few snippets:


"...My café is in keeping with the Garrison’s Landing Association’s founder’s original mission of '…making Garrison a better place to live.' The cafe increases our community’s self-reliance, local empowerment and a continuation of the Landing’s original use as Garrison’s traditional commercial district, therefore the most visible indicator of our community pride, along with its economic and social health.

It will serve the residents and tourists to our town and is a viable business that will add to the vitality of the area and encourage visitors to come, linger and enjoy simple pleasures in a setting that is as beautiful now as when it was established so long ago.

It meets the already existing need and established market on the Landing. In accepting my proposal, the GSP Board would demonstrate forward-thinking economic development in a historic preservation context so this community asset and legacy can be passed on to future generations.

Lou-Lou’s Café is one of only two riverfront eateries in all of Philipstown. Over a thousand people have already demonstrated their support of my business; by accepting it the GSP Board will achieve improved public image and goodwill. I am the only one who can offer 24/7 eyes on the street, because I also live on the Landing."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

August Events at Garrison Yacht Club



There are two more upcoming events at the Garrison Yacht Club docks. It's good to support the Landing, so check them out if you are in town. (Note: the above photo was shot by Christine Ashburn on the banks of Guinan's adjacent to the Yacht Club.)

Friday, August 15, 2008 Peter Calo and Friends
Carly Simon says, “Peter should be heard and appreciated. What a find!”
GYC Dock 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.**
Complimentary gift certificate for Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill.
$15 per person

Saturday, August 23, 2008 Ivey’s In My Kitchen
Presentation, hors d’oeuvres and steak dinner with Ivey Levy of Boating on the Hudson fame. Magic oil too! Bring your choice of beverage. Headcount due by August 15th.
GYC Dock 6:30 – 9:30 P.M.
$20.00 per person

* Payment may be made to Garrison Yacht Club, P.O. Box 176, Garrison, NY 10524 ** Whereas these are not potluck events, feel free to bring a picnic dinner if you like.

Photo by Christine Ashburn. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Update on the Highland Harper



This story appeared last weekend by Tabitha Lucas in The Voice Ledger about the Highland Harper, Candace Coates.

Candace was a regular at Irish Night at Guinan's. For anyone who wants to catch up with her and find out where she's playing next, the story is a good guide.

The story notes how Candace taught herself to play from a book and a tape. Says the harpist in an email: "As of August of this year I have been playing that small harp for 15 years. Somehow it doesn't feel like it's been that long."

The Great Hudson River Paddle

The eighth annual Great Hudson River Paddle (GHRP), a 144-mile kayaking and camping trip from Albany to Manhattan just finished up last weekend. You can read about it here and start thinking about next year.

The paddle group passes right under our noses in Cold Spring/Garrison and keeps going all the way to the city.

The event is held to celebrate the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail, the improvement of public access to the Hudson River, and the diversity and heritage of the riverside communities of the Hudson River Valley.

There's a good blog at YackMan.com about the event.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Helping Find Lost Local Pets




This New York Post story today is amazing. It's about a dog returned to his owners 5 years -- yes FIVE years -- after getting lost. All because of a microchip.

I was on the fence about this technology. But not long ago, I was driving down 9-D and saw a dog limping in the middle of the road near the field below Castle Rock. Cars were weaving dangerously around the pup, so my girlfriend Lisa and I got out and coaxed the pup to the side of the road.

He looked dehydrated, had a cut on his paw and no tags on his collar. So we took him to our vet. The vet, after making sure the dog had no internal injuries, scanned the back of his neck for a microchip. Sure enough, there was one.

They dialed in and located a shelter where the dog was registered. The shelter gave us the name of the new owner: Chip Marks, my friend and the protector of Osborn Castle. Chip and his dog, who'd wandered off playing, were soon reunited.

Yesterday, because of this, my dog Dolly got chipped.

If anyone is ever missing a pet in this area, feel free to email me, and I'll post your pet's picture on this blog and your contact info.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Uncle Wade Plays Garrison Docks Saturday


Garrison's own "Uncle Wade" (rustic blues roots band) will play at the Garrison Yacht Club docks this Saturday (7/12) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The music is open to the public and the charge is a very reasonable $10 a head.

Bring a picnic dinner if you like. Organizers (led by Neil C. Bloch) will also have two grills going if you want to cook while you're down there. Attendees will receive a coupon redeemable at Riverview restaurant in Cold Spring.

Band members include: Jerry Krenach (record producer, session drummer, arranger) on guitar, percussion, vocals. Art Labriola (Grammy-winning composer, keyboardist) on dobro, pedal steel, accordion. Andy Revkin (prize-winning NYTimes reporter by day) on fiddle, guitar, mandolin. Peter Rundquist (Clio winning composer) on banjo, guitar, harmonica, and vocals.

The very cool video above of Uncle Wade playing was shot in June on board the Clearwater ship on the Hudson River.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

West Point Grad and Guinan's Patron Quoted in NYTimes on Religion & Military Controversy


One familiar face at Guinan's during its last few years was a West Point cadet named Brad Hoelscher. He came to Guinan's on his 21st birthday and continued to support the store both as a patron and as an extra pair of beer-slinging hands on several of the busiest nights during Guinan's final hours.

Brad is quoted in this New York Times story yesterday about the controversy over what kind of role religion plays and should play at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and other service academies.

It's an interesting piece, even if you don't know Brad. For those of you who do, he graduated on May 31st. I was lucky enough to attend the ceremony and spend time with his family and friends that day. They are an incredible bunch. As for Second Lieutenant Brad's next steps, I'll keep you posted here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Music from Liz Carroll & John Doyle @ Philipstown Depot Theatre Friday

From Nancy Montgomery:

This duo is on the Irish Echo's top 10 list. Their last recording - In Play - "one of the best Irish traditional recordings of the year" - Earle Hitchner, The Irish Echo.
They play BIG venues, but because of a generous sponsorship from The Morton McGrath Group of RBC Wealth Management, they are playing at our tiny 1890's gem (the old stone train station at Garrison's Landing) on the Hudson - The Philipstown Depot Theatre:

Philipstown Depot Theatre
Music Tracks and Bull Hill Productions Presents:
Liz Carroll & John Doyle
Friday June 27th at 8:00pm
$30 by calling 845-424-3900


Note: John Doyle has been named to Irish America's Top 100 for 2008. His profile appears in the April/May 2008 issue of Irish America magazine, now on newsstands.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Salute to "Barkeep" John Guinan


The Poughkeepsie Journal published this nice tribute to John Guinan last week by Barbara Nackman. She talks a lot about his commitment to Braking the Cycle (aka, "The Ride") that he participated in every year -- and which his daughter Kelly now does in his stead with a group of us from Guinan's.

We're approaching the three-month mark for the ride. All the rain has kept a lot of Team Guinan off the road, but training has to begin in earnest soon. (Or we'll all be sorry.)

We're also entering into serious fund-raising mode. Please consider making a donation to help us meet our $50,000 goal at the Team Guinan link. It's a large amount in an economy that's got everyone watching their dollars. But it's for a very important cause that meant a lot to a man who meant so much to us. We're very appreciative of your help.

Photo by Kelly Guinan titled "I am my father's daughter." All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And 1,000 Names It Is...

Congratulations and thank you to all signers. We've just reached 1,000 names supporting a new store at #7 Garrison's Landing.

Please continue to forward the link to your friends and family. Remember, your voices have been heard.

Only 8 More Signatures To 1,000

Your enthusiasm for and commitment toward seeing a new store at #7 Garrison's Landing is contagious. We're approaching 1,000 names on the petition now, and the wonderful comments keep coming.

Here's to passing the thousand-name milestone today. Please encourage people in the area and who know about what Guinan's represented to this town and greater public good to read the mission statement and sign in support.

Again, thank you for all who've already done so. Everyone has busy days, and we're extremely appreciative that you spared a few minutes for this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Letter From LTC Kenny McDonald

Below, a letter from a U.S. officer recently wounded in Iraq:

Dear Station Plaza Board Members,

I would like you to consider Mary Ellen Yanitelli's proposal for the Guinan's Country Store and Pub. There is a great opportunity to keep "a warm and special place" in Garrison.

I am a career military officer stationed at West Point and have been attending the Irish nights at Guinan's since 1995. I just recently returned from two years in Iraq after being critically wounded. I was more hurt by the news that Guinan's was closed than I was with my physical wounds. One of the "things" I clung to during my recovery were memories of Garrison and Guinan's. You can not imagine how important this was to my recovery.

I believe there is something so very special about this community. This is an opportunity to keep the community together....

God Bless,

LTC Kenny McDonald
Deputy Commander
US Army Corps of Engineers
New York District

Photo by Gwendolyn Bounds. All Rights Reserved.

Garrison Station Plaza Board Formally Requests Proposals for ex-Guinan's Building

This ad was published in this week's Putnam Country News & Recorder soliciting proposals for new businesses to operate at #7 Garrison's Landing. As the ad notes, "many people have expressed hope that at least some portion of that building ... will continue to be leased to a tenant whose business contributes to community interaction and convenience."

Thank you to all who have signed the petition backing a new general store or similar venue in this spot. We're closing in on 1,000 signatures. Please continue to encourage new signers and throw your support behind those who might have a viable plan to serve our community in this space.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Journal-News: "Barkeep a giving person right up to his own death"

Barkeep a giving person right up to his own death
Barbara Livingston Nackman
666 words
17 June 2008
Poughkeepsie Journal
1B
English
(c) Copyright 2008, Poughkeepsie Journal. All Rights Reserved.

GARRISON - For a decade, Fishkill resident John Guinan each year rode his bike hundreds of miles to raise money to combat AIDS, the disease that took the life of his brother-in-law. Now, friends and relatives of the man whose family founded the legendary Guinan's pub will do the same to honor his memory this fall.

Guinan, 56, died June 3 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie after a two-year battle with brain cancer. Guinan first realized some numbness in 2006 during his last ride for Braking the Cycle, which benefits health services at New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

Garrison resident Gwendolyn Bounds rode with Guinan. A columnist for the Wall Street Journal, she wrote "Little Chapel on the River," chronicling how Guinan's pub became a welcome home along the Hudson and the regulars became an extended family for her in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks near her Manhattan apartment.

"It's rare to find genuine selflessness in a person, both in business and in life, but John Guinan embodied that more than anyone I've known," she said in an e-mail interview. "He helped continue his family's legacy of turning average or bad days into good days for those who passed through their store. All it took was a simple kind word, an umbrella to borrow or dollar lent on trust - gestures hard to find today."

"John gave all this freely and more, which is why his loss hangs like a cloud over the town," Bounds said. "He was singular."

Guinan's Pub and Country Store closed Jan. 31 after nearly 50 years, and there is debate in Garrison over one proposal to reopen it as a pub/cafe. Last week, in front of its padlocked and boarded-shut doorway stood formal flower sprays, garden cuttings and messages to John Guinan, whose illness prompted his father, Jim, 81, to close the family business and retire. Dozens turned out for Guinan's funeral services June 7.

In March 2007, the many people who knew and loved Guinan threw a fundraiser to help his family offset his medical bills. In an article published days before that event, he contemplated how hard it would be to thank them, saying, "It's going to be tough to get my emotions together and stand there in front of them."

Guinan was born March 10, 1952, in Birmingham, England to James and Margaret Curnyn Guinan, and came with his family to the U.S. in 1957, settling in Garrison. He worked as a paramedic, landscaper and golf course manager, but most recently, at the store. He coached youth basketball, football and baseball in Philipstown.

A sportsman, Guinan first joined the 275-mile Braking the Cycle ride with his brother-in-law Tom Caruso, who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1996 and died several years later. Last year, unable to ride, Guinan nevertheless met bikers at the finish at the center's headquarters on West 13th Street.

"His was the first face I looked for," said Blake Strasser, rider coach for Braking the Cycle. "He was part of our family and he will be so sorely missed."

In addition to his father, James of Lutz, Fla., he is survived by his wife of 32 years, Mary Jane of Fishkill; daughter Kelly of Garrison; two sons, Sean of New Haven, Conn. and Casey of Fishkill; a granddaughter; two sisters and a brother.

Reach Barbara Livingston Nackman at bnackman@LoHud.com or 845-228-2272.

In memory of John Guinan:

Donations may be sent to Braking the Cycle, c/o Global Impact Productions, 127 West 26th St., Suite 402, New York, N.Y. 10001 or go to www.gaycenter.kintera.org/btc.TeamGuinan08.

This year's trip is Sept. 26-28 and will go from Gettysburg, Pa. to New York City.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Garrison Station Plaza Agrees to Revisit Store Issue; But Outcome Still Unclear

Members of the Garrison Station Plaza board agreed this morning to revisit whether there should be a store or similar public venue housed in the building formerly known as “Guinan’s.” While this is a positive move to those of us supporting such an establishment, it remains unclear what direction the board will ultimately take.

Edward N. Preusser, a shareholder who is not on the board, presented the results gathered so far on a public petition started this week that calls for preserving such a store on Garrison’s Landing. To date, 910 people have signed both from the New York region as well as around the country and overseas.

The board discussed how and where they might solicit proposal for such use of the space. (One such proposal has already been submitted and may still be considered despite earlier indications that it would not.) GSP board members agreed they would study the matter and make a decision about their direction in the near future.

Those who have not signed the petition, but who do support having a place to serve the public on the Landing, please visit the Web site and sign today. Every name matters.

Separately, the GSP board made a $100 donation in John Guinan’s memory to Braking the Cycle. Members also noted that they planned to place a plaque commemorating the Guinan family on the building at #7 Garrison’s Landing no matter what its ultimate use.

Your support has been recognized and is helping. Thank you to everyone.

Photo by Jim Donnery. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 13, 2008

823 Signatures and Counting..


Your support for a new public venue or store at 7 Garrison's Landing (the building formerly known as "Guinan's") is overwhelming. As of this writing, there are 823 signatures to the online petition with page after page of heartfelt, eloquent comments accompanying them.

Thank you. And thank you again. I'll keep everyone updated here -- as live as I can -- on the outcome of tomorrow morning's board meeting at 10 a.m. at the Desmond-Fish Library.

There have also been many people who have emailed their stories and reasons for support. Here is one:

My visits to Guinan's were primarily as a commuter getting coffee and a paper before jumping on the train for the last 15 years. That may not sound like a big deal, but when it comes with a friendly neighbor behind the counter sharing 15 seconds of the latest news, a joke or a commiseration about the weather or whatever, it is a big positive deal. You can understand why I, like most of the people who take that train everyday, felt Garrison had to be the best train station in the world to start a hard days' work. I regret now that I did not get to the store as often as I would have liked for a beer after work or an ice-cream with the kids on a weekend afternoon - but the times I was able to do that really make me appreciate what we had in the store.

The long lines at John Guinan's wake attest to how greatly he is missed by so many people in every corner of the Philipstown community. The Guinan family developed and nurtured a wonderfully diverse community at the Garrison landing. In my mind it would be rubbing salt in the wound which Philipstown suffered in John's untimely death if the Guinan's store were simply written off.

Garrison is a unique and beautiful place to live for many reasons. In my experience, the quirky, unassuming, friendly, out of the way store at the landing was cited as one of those reasons as often as the beautiful woodlands, views of the Hudson and amazing cultural institutions like the GAC, the Desmond Fish Library and Boscobel. And that was even before Wendy Bounds' book spread the news of Garrison's secret treasure world wide.


The value of a meeting place/general store/pub like Guinans to Garrison cannot be understated. We are only pretending to have country charm if we don't have a country store like that. I think your efforts to take on running that store, where so many people have had such great memories, will be quite a challenge, but everyone I have spoken with in Philipstown supports you. For the sake of everyone in Philipstown: Good luck!!

Paul Mackey

Top photo by Clemson Smith Muñiz. Second photo by Kelly Guinan. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Petition to Preserve the Spot Formerly Known as Guinan's Pub & Country Store



A petition is now online strongly encouraging the shareholders of Garrison Station Plaza, which owns the building formerly-known as Guinan's, to include a new store in their renovation plans.

While several members support this idea, the board is also considering converting the building into all office space and/or apartments or other configurations with no cafe or store, according to people familiar with the plans. The board already has turned down a proposal to build a new cafe from former Guinan's regular, Mary Ellen Yannitelli. No specific explanation was given. (See this Journal-News article by Barbara Nackman for more.)

Many residents, myself included, and tourists who've visited Garrison's Landing feel that to not include a public gathering spot here would deprive the town of a much-needed resource in a critical location for commuters, Garrison Art Center patrons and talent, cadets, tourists, boaters, Landing businesses and other citizens.

The petition is a move to persuade the board to consider these voices in their meeting this Saturday, June 14th at 10 a.m. at the Desmond-Fish Library. Already, more than 650 people have included their names and comments, including former New York Governor George Pataki and his wife Libby.

I am a member of the Committee to Preserve Community on Garrison's Landing, and I strongly encourage all who care about this historic strip on the Hudson River, to please sign.

There are no doubt renovations and potentially costly upgrades that must be done to this building, originally erected in the mid-to-late 1800s. However, before such work begins, it's important to take a deep breath and investigate configurations that would sustain both a public-use venue, as well as other spaces that would fulfill the board's stated desire to look at ex-Guinan's with a "fresh eye."

Again, please take a moment to sign the petition and cast your vote on the side of preserving a very symbolic piece of disappearing small town America.

Photos by Kelly Guinan. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"The Man Behind the Bar..."


Garrison resident, friend to John Guinan and morning commuter Dwight Garner wrote this fine tribute to John Guinan today on his New York Times book blog, Paper Cuts.

Last year Dwight posted about his commute from Garrison, and noted how Guinan's was one of the "Hudson Valley’s last great establishments."

No argument here.

In today's post, Dwight fittingly described Garrison's loss of John this way: "The town feels atomized without him." During John's battle with brain cancer, Dwight often sent John books he thought he'd shine to -- just another example of the small ways the morning commuters paid back the man behind the bar for his kinship.

Dwight lives here with his wife, author Cree LeFavour, who writes this interesting, visual foodie blog called On the Plate.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NYTimes on John Guinan; Community Donates Graciously to Weekend's Memorial Services



New York Times "Our Towns" columnist Peter Applebome Friday penned this tribute to John Guinan and the Garrison's Landing store his family ran from 1959 until 2008.

Peter has written two other stories about Guinans, one in 2007 and another this year.

In his most recent post, Peter included a moving quote from John about what the store meant to him all these years:

“I’m not sure exactly how, but we became a comfort zone for people,” [John] said, “a place that reminds people of a place they went to when they were young, something that makes them think good thoughts. People need a place like this, but the reward you get for the kindness you provide is worth much more than whatever you give out. It blows me away to be a part of it.”


John also would have been blown away at the generosity of the community during his wake, funeral service and memorial reception at Garrison's Landing. One of his dear friends, Mary Ellen Yannitelli -- who has proposed opening a new store to carry on the Guinan's tradition -- helped spearhead the reception, where local vendors who worked with the Guinan's, as well as friends, donated or provided discounts on food/drink and sundry items--as well as offered their time.

Here's a rough list of donors from Mary Ellen. Apologies from both of us for any who are missing or any misspellings. Please send any corrections or add names to the comments section at the end of this post:

Libby Turnock & the Garrison Art Center
Bill Burback/Peter Hofmann
B & L Deli
Peekskill Beer & Soda
JAC Baked Goods Inc.
Peekskill Ice
Tom & Sandy Endres
Tom Whyte
Donny Yannitelli
Yorktown Police
Putnam County Sheriff's Dept.
Christine & Ed Ashburn
David & Cathy Lilburne, Jeff Lacko & Katie Mayo
Various neighbors/friends-homemade desserts

Photos by Gwendolyn Bounds; All Rights Reserved. For permission to use, please contact email@gwendolynbounds.com.

A Celebration of John Guinan


Friends of the Guinan family gathered yesterday to celebrate the life of John Guinan at Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring, N.Y. and later on Garrison's Landing at a reception hosted by the Garrison Art Center. Bagpipers (from the Cold Spring Fire Co. Pipe & Drum Corps, I'm told) gave a wonderful farewell to him.

Several riders from Braking the Cycle came by train from New York to commemorate John, who has pedaled with them since the ride's inception. The organizers of Braking the Cycle, among them Eric Epstein, Blake Strasser and Steve Bratton, have graciously made John honorary Rider Number 1 this year.

This ride was enormously important to John. He rode every year to celebrate the life of his late brother-in-law Tommy. His wife Mary Jane often crewed; now his daughter Kelly leads a team of us from Guinan's who ride in his stead.

In lieu of flowers or other tributes to John, the family has asked that donations be made to Braking the Cycle and Team Guinan. (Any donations made to John Guinan, Rider #1 will also benefit Team Guinan.) This link will take you directly to Team Guinan's donation page, or type in:

www.gaycenter.kintera.org/btc/teamguinan08

Many of you are leaving wonderful messages and memories about John here at this spot on this blog. They are much appreciated by all who loved him.

Photos by Clemson Smith Muñiz

Saturday, June 7, 2008

An Irish Memorial for John Guinan


This is the outside of now-closed Guinan's Pub & Country Store yesterday, where flowers, dolls, photos and even a bottle of Harp are being laid in honor of John Guinan who died Tuesday night.

While the store has been gutted and is empty inside, it's still filled with the stories and souls of the people who loved it and the family who kept its doors open nearly 50 years. Today, we will gather to honor John Guinan both in church and later on the shores of the Hudson near the store where so many of us first came to know him.

Photo by Christine Ashburn

Friday, June 6, 2008

Garrison School Blog Spring Edition Launches


"Garrison rocks."
That's what 10 seventh-grade students have to say about their town. Today they launched their Spring edition of the "Cougar Times" online. [NOTE: I'm with them live-blogging from their classroom.]

Included in the edition are book reviews, stories about summertime, articles on school issues, photos and community news about where the 8th graders are going to school next year.

The students have been working for two months under Charlotte Rowe at the Garrison Union Free School District.

Journalists working on the project include: Lianna Culp, Richard Stiehl, Eryn Kelly, Nicklas Clemente, Simon Close, Lindy Labriola, Robby Schartner, Olivia Mennillo, Madison Freeman and Chloe Wareham-Gordon.

Congratulations to them all.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Poughkeepsie Journal Obit for John Guinan

An obituary for John Guinan ran today in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Many people know John mostly from his days behind the counter at Guinan's Pub & Country Store. But reading this testimony to his life sheds light on the many other facets of his character.

For details about the memorial services being held for John, as well as how to reach the family, please see this post.

Journal-News: "Yearning for a new Guinan's, but Garrison owners say no"

Yearning for a new Guinan's, but Garrison owners say no
Barbara Livingston Nackman
880 words
5 June 2008
The Journal News (White Plains, NY)


GARRISON - It's been more than four months since Guinan's pub and country store closed - and pining for a reopening has become something of a local pastime.

The old glass-fronted counters inside the Garrison Landing shop are gone, and the interior walls have been stripped bare and opened to the studs. No neon signs suggest beer varieties, and there is a clear view of the Hudson River from the front entrance.

There is no final word from the building's owners, Garrison Station Plaza Inc., on what exactly will replace the beloved Irish pub begun by Jim Guinan in 1959.

One resident, Mary Ellen Yannitelli, whose family is historically connected to the site, is hoping she can make it into Hudson Cafe.

"I don't want to do this for melancholy sentimental reasons. I don't have a claim on it," she said from her home, a short walk from the site. "But to capture some of Guinan's would be great."

Her husband Tony's grandfather owned the riverfront building before the Guinan family took it over.

Yannitelli, 41, a lifelong Cold Spring resident and mother of three children, ages 16, 14, and 6, has worked as an office manager at a construction company, helped her husband with paperwork in his custom cabinetmaking business, and served from behind Guinan's counters.

She said she envisions a modern business open from early morning to late at night.

Jim Guinan, 81, who retired to Florida to play golf, offered his approval of her concept.

"I think it is good idea. I'd like to think it will continue somehow," he said.

She is not assured of a chance.

Garrison Station Plaza Inc. has gutted the shop and attached apartment and said it needs new electrical wiring and other upgrades. The eight-member station plaza board has not committed to a new tenant and has rejected Yannitelli's offer.

"We need to make a substantial investment into the property at #7 Garrison's Landing, formerly known as Guinan's Country Store, in order to make it usable for anything," board secretary Margaret O'Sullivan wrote in a May 29 e-mail. "So we have started by gutting the building. We have received a conceptual proposal, with no financial details, from Mary Ellen Yannitelli, which we have reviewed and declined. The board has to look at the building with a 'fresh eye,' taking into account not only the recent past but back to when it was built, to try and bring it into the 21st century and still retain some of the past aura."

O'Sullivan said the board wasn't sure what would be the best use for the site or even what would be an appropriate rent to charge.

In 2007, property taxes on No. 7 Garrison Landing were roughly $5,600.

Garrison Station Plaza was incorporated in 1966 with a goal to purchase and improve properties along the Garrison waterfront.

In descriptions from 1969, GSP cites Guinan's as an essential institution, according to documents Yannitelli discovered while researching the site.

"If there wasn't a Guinan's Country Store, we would have to invent one. Where else can one get the many little things that are so necessary for daily living. The 'Country Store' has always meant 'accommodation,' but surely the Guinans have enhanced the meaning of the word. As our leading delicatessen and the only Pub in Depot Square, everyone in Garrison should give them support," reads a description.

Garrison Landing Association, a separate group, owns adjacent properties. The marina is leased to a boaters group and the station to a theater group.

Yannitelli said she was disappointed to be rebuffed so soon, but she hopes to resubmit her proposal and include construction plans and a descriptive business concept.

"I would hope the full board would review this and ask me questions," she said. Her vision is for a cafe with homestyle meals like meatloaf and roasted chicken.

Passers-by last month seemed to miss the old, comfortable spot.

Metro-North workers said they longed for some fresh coffee. Students heading into the city were upset they couldn't get a newspaper for the ride into Manhattan.

Taxi driver Arafat Alli of Alley's Way in Cold Spring said his customers would call from the store to be picked up and would have an area to wait. He said he would see the place busy, and to him it seemed clear that it filled a local need.

"It would be convenient for many people," he said dropping off a passenger who had expected to purchase a newspaper. "There aren't many places like this, and I figure something similar will open up. Won't it?"

Anita Prentice of Garrison said she hoped a new deli-pub would take over the spot. Her husband Nat's family are longtime residents, and she learned of Guinan's when the couple took up roots in the river hamlet.

"Garrison is a tiny place, but this was a center," she said. "It added something, a place to go and to gather."

Reach Barbara Livingston Nackman at bnackman@lohud.com or 845-228-2272.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

John Guinan: 1952 to 2008



John Guinan died last night after a long, and extraordinarily brave fight with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife Mary Jane, children Sean, Kelly and Casey, granddaughter Zoe, his siblings Margaret, Christine and Jimmy and his father Jim.

Your notes and calls to John over the past 18 months have meant more than you'll ever know. Rarely does someone hear such widespread affection from so many corners of the world. He deserved all of the love but took none of it for granted. And he changed many lives, my own included, in big and small ways.

The family will hold a wake from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday:
Clinton Funeral Home
21 Parrott Street
Cold Spring, NY 10516
(845) 265-3333

John's funeral will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday:
Our Lady of Loretto
24 Fair Street
Cold Spring, NY 10516
(845) 265-3781

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Braking the Cycle and Team Guinan. This link will take you directly to Team Guinan's donation page, or type in:

www.gaycenter.kintera.org/btc/teamguinan08

(You can read more about Team Guinan in these posts)

If you have messages and memories for everyone who loved John, you can leave them as a comment at the end of this blog post.

Cards and notes for the family may be mailed to:

7 Pulaski Road Fishkill, NY 12524

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Journal-News Story on Irish Night

Barbara Nackman of the Journal-News wrote a story today about the continuing tradition of Irish Night.

She called Jim Guinan, Irish Night's longtime former host, in Florida for his thoughts: "It's all about the music, love," he said from his new Florida digs, admitting that he misses New York just a bit, even though the golf is nice. "The old tunes remind us of old times. It is good, yes, to keep going, but as long as it continues in the right way."

Jim will be back for a visit toward the end of the week. He's said he might pop in to one of the new venues and sing a song or two. So keep your ears open ...

Photo by Gwendolyn Bounds (Irish Night @ Guinan's)

Journal-News: "Guinan's Irish music fest continues"

Guinan's Irish music fest continues
Barbara Livingston Nackman
908 words
17 May 2008
The Journal News (White Plains, NY)
GWPR
1B
English
(c) Copyright 2008, The Journal News. All Rights Reserved.

The Irish music tradition Rising of the Moon will be on Wednesdays at the Cold Spring Depot Restaurant in Cold Spring and on Thursdays at P.J. Kelly's in Peekskill every month after a full moon. The days of the week were reversed in an article Saturday.

COLD SPRING - Guinan's in Garrison officially closed its doors in January, but its monthly ritual of Irish music after a full moon still rings out along the bank of the Hudson River.

The Rising of the Moon observance has been resurrected in not one, but two local sites.

Spirited singers and musicians are giving new life to the lilting Gaelic tunes that elicited a smile from Jim Guinan and his friendly guests for nearly five decades in Garrison.

"It's just good to keep the tradition going," said Candace Coates, a professional harp player from Fishkill, who was the first to arrive at The Cold Spring Depot Restaurant late last month for a new Irish night.

"We all just have a love of the music, and the sound is better than ever," she said of the new setting, where performers sit around a large table in a well-lit room with features Guinan's never had - air conditioning, plenty of comfy chairs, and a full menu of food and beverages.

Two host restaurant-pubs have stepped up to give venues to the Irish music every four weeks.

On Thursdays it will be at The Cold Spring Depot, less than five miles north from Garrison but still along the Metro-North Railroad tracks.

"Most of us are used to pausing when the train comes by and are glad that hasn't changed," said Ann Dillon of Cold Spring, who organizes the musicians with John McAuliffe of Carmel. They also get help from Cold Spring music producer and promoter Joe Johnson, who has plans for a variety of music events at the popular train-side restaurant.

On Wednesdays, the event heads to P.J. Kelly's in Peekskill, which is tucked near that community's train station.

"It will still be right on the banks of the Hudson River," said the pub's owner, Matt Kelly, who is putting his version of the event together with Jack Murphy, chairman of the Peekskill St. Patrick's Committee.

Both men know Jim Guinan and the Guinan family, which decided to shut down the beloved Garrison institution after 50 years of operation. Guinan's served as a pub by night and a train-station deli by day.

Family patriarch Jim Guinan, 81, now free of his store, has since visited Ireland and settled near Tampa, Fla.

Guinan said he wishes the new and old minstrels well, but urged them to be true to the old tunes.

"It's all about the music, love," he said from his new Florida digs, admitting that he misses New York just a bit, even though the golf is nice. "The old tunes remind us of old times. It is good, yes, to keep going, but as long as it continues in the right way."

To Guinan, that means no microphones or amplifiers. There is some indication new technology might bend the tradition, because at The Depot, a small camera is positioned on the musicians, and their image is broadcast onto a big-screen television in the bar area. A soccer game from Spain and sounds of Jackson Browne's rock classic "Running on Empty" were turned off last month for the Irish tunes.

Ray Bermingham of Cortlandt sang some ballads. He came prepared with sheet music and warmed up with a tune about how beautiful the world seemed when a young woman named Nora espoused her true love.

"It's all about the tradition," Bermingham said as his wife, Bridget, hummed along and sipped wine, something she could not do at the beer-only Guinan's pub.

Jack Pendergast of Pearl River pulled out a box accordion his father brought with him from County Clare, Ireland.

"It is really the same. We are a bunch of people interested in Irish music," he said of the new setting. "There is no formality, just plain fun. You can be good, bad or indifferent, just join in with your heart."

Mary Lou Tully of Garrison loves the music and came just to listen.

"I love Irish music. I used to go to Guinan's," she said before calling it a night at 10 p.m. "It is good here, this can hold more people."

Sean O'Malley, a New York City firefighter who lives in Cold Spring, stood and listened for a while with friends.

"Guinan's was such a terrific place. It is good to keep this event close," he said.

The only thing missing, though, was hearing Guinan in person sing "Oh, Danny Boy," one of his favorites, which he sang to an appreciative audience on his last Rising of the Moon fest in January.

But, Guinan said he is planning to visit later this month, and who knows, he might just stop by and sing from memory.

Reach Barbara Livingston Nackman at bnackman@lohud.com or 845-228-2272.

Rising of the Moon music nights

- Cold Spring Depot, 1 Depot Square, 8 p.m. May 21, June 18

- P.J. Kelly's, Railroad Avenue at the Peekskill train station, 8 p.m. May 22, June 19

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

John Guinan Doing Well...

John came through a tough surgery very well. His family and several close friends were by his side yesterday when he woke up. As one put it, "he was talking a mile a minute."

That's John for you.

Please send letters and cards to the address in this post.