Friday, January 23, 2009

A Letter & Appeal from a Guinan's Fan in Australia

View Larger Map

This email recently was sent to savegarrisonslandingstore(at)

"I might be too late for this email to matter, as I've just found the news about Guinan's closing just a few minutes ago.

I think it is essential that a similar store is retained on that site as without such an establishment, the little Village of Garrison's Landing will simply fade....

I can appreciate the need to service commuters, tourists and the like; but the spirit of community that a place such as Guinan's represents is irreplacable and should not
be allowed to go the way of so many small, quirky places that used to be so much a part of the Hudson River Valley.

Guinan's was a very important part of my life and my mother's life for over 30 years. We used to drive up from Bergen County, New Jersey, either together, individually or with friends, to drop by for a cup of coffee and a chance to relax either out the front of the store or in the bar. Guinan's, along with Lulu the ageing basset hound, made those drives and visits a truly unique experience that allowed each of us to step outside of the usual and customary, and back to a much simpler, more reasonable time.

Please do you level best to not let this unique spot and the history it represents become yet another victim to 'alleged' progress. Banality and homogeniety are not progress; they're expedient and brainless. Guinan's represents a unique and special way of living life. To have anything else would be a very sad state of affairs, indeed.

As a bit of information: I currently live in Australia, in a little seaside town called Trinity Beach, which is north of Cairns in Far North Queensland. We're in the wet tropics and have been an area of unique homes, etc. not unlike the feeling one gets at Cold Spring, Garrison's Landing or even Nyack. Unfortunately, developers, greed and people with no clue have taken something very unique and, one by one, have managed to reduce something special to special rather ordinary and predictable. We've all paid the price for this stupidity.

The people who live around Garrison's Landing and that very special region of the lower Hudson Valley, are not stupid people and deserve the best that life has to offer. My partner and I are back in the area next autumn; and we look forward to having a cup of coffee or a beer at Guinan's carefully crafted predecessor.

Many thanks for reading this. I hope I am not too late in this effort."

All the best,

Rob Stahl
Trinity Beach, Queenland, Australia

Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter Programs for Families at The Desmond-Fish Library

Here is a list of upcoming events and programs for families at the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison.

Math Homework Help with Laura Meiselman– resumes Jan.6, 4-5 p.m. for
children in 4th through 6th grades. Ongoing except for school

Kid's Craft Hour–Tues. Jan. 13, 4 p.m. Make some snowflakes and
enjoy cocoa and marshmallows.
Jan. 20, 4 p.m. Edible and non-edible snowmen
Jan. 27, 4 p.m. Celebrate Chinese New Year with lanterns and Fortune Cookies.
Feb. 3, 4 p.m. Sew some Warm Mittens.
Feb. 10, 4p.m. Valentine Extravaganza. Cards and treats for all.

Preschool Story Hour -Wednesdays 1:30 p.m. Stories and a related craft
for children from 3 to 5 years old. Ongoing except for school

Parent-Child Workshop Play Group
Monday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:15 a.m. resumes Jan. 7 & 12. For
toddlers and their caregivers. Free play with circle time, songs and a
story. No PCW on Jan. 19th. To register for any of these programs, please call 424-3020

Jan 6 & 20 6-8 p.m.- Basics of Positive Parenting. Presented by the
Putnam County Department of Health's Maternal and Child Health
Program. For more information, please call Anka at 278-6558

Jan. 19th, 2 p.m. Children's Program for Martin Luther King Day.
Free and open to all.

Puppet Show– Jan 24th, 12:30 p.m. 4H Puppet Players will present a
show for all ages. Free and open to all.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Memorial Services for John Marcinak

Note: the window for Monday's calling hours is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; the times in the Journal News are incorrect.

The Journal-News ran this story today about John Marcinak's death. Police are still looking for help resolving the circumstances his death.

Calling hours will be held at the Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrott St., Cold Spring, from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday. A memorial service will take place at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Family and friends are making memorial donations to the Garrison Volunteer Fire Department.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Police Seek Help in Death of John Marcinak

Police are looking for anyone with information regarding the homicide of John Marcinak, owner of Garrison Garage. He was found with multiple gunshot wounds on the roadside in front of the garage on Wednesday.

In addition to his wife, Janet, Marcinak is survived by two sons and a daughter. He was a longtime volunteer firefighter and a familiar and welcome face to anyone in Philipstown who needed a tow. (He once towed me and refused to take a dime for his services.)

His garage was once used as a backdrop in scenes for a 1995 motion picture called "Smoke," starring Harvey Keitel, William Hurt and Forest Whittaker, whose character was a garage mechanic.

Memorial bunting was hung at the Garrison Fire Department station, a short distance from the Marcinak residence, according to the Journal News.

Anyone with information concerning the case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 845-225-4300. All calls will be kept confidential.

Suggestion and Offer of Donation for "Guinan's Memorial Marker"

Tom Brennan of Garrison wrote this week to say he and his wife Ann had been hiking in Bear Mountain Park this fall when they stopped on Garrison's Landing to see the now-gutted Guinan's.

Says Tom: "I tried to visualize the bar in the back and where Mr. Guinan sat in his chair in the living room. The thought came to me that I was in a cemetery. But then I also thought that at least in cemeteries they have grave markers and memorials."

Tom suggests a memorial of some sort to be placed near the walkway to the store near the train station ramp and has offered to make a contribution toward that. The Garrison Station Plaza, which owns the building that was Guinan's, has said it plans to put a plaque there commemorating the store.

Here's Tom's idea for a memorial:

Guinan’s Store

1959 – 2008

Also Known As

The Little Chapel on the River


On the Rising of the Moon

Strangers who gathered

Were only friends

Who never met.