On a whim, I went down Route 9 the other day to visit McGregor Pub, which was originally the Brown Log Inn. It is located in Gansevoort, NY. In my novel, The Burning of The Piping Rock, George King and Harry the Torch stop there as part of Harry’s plan to build an alibi and, unbeknownst the George, build a blackmail case against George.
I went into McGregor Pub and met one of the owners, James “Jimmy” Parillo. I told him I’d written a novel that included the pub when it was known by its original name, the Brown Log Inn. I said I knew a fellow, Bill Steele, who used to have a band that played at the Brown Log Inn back in the period the novel is set in, 1954. Jimmy Parillo knew him, too, although, he said, Bill had played there before his time. I asked Jimmy if the place had changed much since it had been the Brown Log Inn, as Bill Steele had so vividly recalled the interior that it inspired me to use it for a very vital scene in the novel. Jimmy showed me what changes had been made, all relatively minor. In fact, it was very easy to transport myself back to 1954 as George King and Harry the Torch are walking into the original Brown Log Inn, as Bill Steele’s band is playing and the place is jumping with people all dancing to the music.
My thanks to Jimmy Parillo for his hospitality in speaking with me about the history of the Brown Log Inn, now McGregor Pub. And thanks also to Bill Steele for sharing his memories.
I’ll be seeing you at Red Fox Books in Glens Falls on the evening of Thursday, June 16, for my book signing!