Come In! Exploration of the Salvation Army's Seniors Program and Church Building

Come In! This article explores in pictures the Salvation Army's Seniors Program and building in Beacon, NY.

Right around Thanksgiving time last year, a feeling of panic rippled through Beacon. The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that the soup kitchen at the Salvation Army in Beacon, located in the large church near the Beacon Pantry, had mostly closed its doors and was only operating for seniors. As a result, Beaconites rallied and  created a new soup kitchen down the road in the Tabernacle Church of Christ, near the Howland Cultural Center. It became the newest in a list of other soup kitchens that had been operating, including the First Presbyterian Church on Liberty Street just over the Fishkill Creek, and the Springfield Baptist Church's Seniors Feeding Seniors program on Mattie Cooper. But what of those seniors who were still being fed by the Salvation Army twice weekly, which seemed a detail lost in the shadowy corners of the article? Major James C. Kisser Jr., Commanding Officer and Senior Pastor of this branch of the Salvation Army, cited the growing population of elderly people in Beacon as the reason for the shift in his already low budget, to have more of an impact on a narrower group of people, that still may grow within the program.

Curious, and never having stepped into the Salvation Army's building, we dedicated a "Come In!" article to this group, starting with an RSVP of "Yes" to one of their Tuesday/Thursday meals that was holiday party-themed. It took a few trips around the building to find the right door, but once opened, wafting aromas of a holiday meal cooking in the kitchen were abundant. A group of elderly folk gathered around a table, listening to a retired pastor recall the lessons he learned from his days of leading a Salvation Army ministry far from here, while other attendees finished craft projects and decorated the table in between tea cups and cookies. 

A special Tuesday/Thursday gathering dedicated to the holiday party for the Senior Program.
Photo credit: Rhode Lopez Northrup

Seniors enjoying tea and cookies at holiday time.
Photo credit: Rhode Lopez Northrup

Rhode Northrup, Ministry Assistant and Seniors Program Director at the Salvation Army with Beacon Mayor Randy Casale.
Photo credit: Rhode Lopez Northrup

From left: Captain Deborah Kisser, Mayor Randy Casale, Major James C. Kisser Jr.
Photo credit: Rhode Lopez Northrup

When there is not a holiday party, what happens on a regular Tuesday/Thursday for this elderly group? What kind of people from the community are served? Not much can be seen from the outside of the building, so ... What goes on inside? How much of the building is actually used as a church, and how much is blocked off by odd structures built inside? A Little Beacon Blog explores...

About the Senior Program at Beacon's Salvation Army

Every Tuesday and Thursday, the kitchen at the Salvation Army is lit up. The head cook whipping up a meal from their food pantry is Rhode Lopez Northrup, Ministry Assistant and Seniors Program Director at Salvation Army in Beacon. This particular Thursday, she prepared "Pale Pie," which upon making in my own home has been dubbed "Potato Skin Pie" or "Mashed Potato Lasagna" (recipe below). A donation of potatoes came in to the Salvation Army kitchen that week, and Rhode needed to cook them all to serve the group.

The Salvation Army has been in Beacon for over 15 years, and had a Senior Program that had been put on hold for budgetary reasons. Rhode was hired in 2014 to lead the Senior Program and develop its programming. Anyone over 50 years of age can come to any Tuesday and Thursday meal, where Rhode makes lunch and provides quizzes, games, songs and a crafty project. Says Rhode, "Education and service make a difference in someone's life."

Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
Craft projects at Salvation Army can be just as fun as those you'd pay to attend, like a paint party at a local wine shop or another venue changing things up for its patrons. An opportunity to paint on canvas may be the first time any of these seniors picked up a brush. Sometimes the Tuesday/Thursday activities rekindle an old passion, hobby or trade in them. Says Rhode: "I have been to their homes, and they have hung the paintings on their walls and displayed the craft projects we make."

Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
Likewise, Rhode's office displays paintings from the group as well.

Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
The cement block walls may seem bleak, but decorations and live music warm hearts all year round. Some days a guest might bring a musical instrument like an accordion and take requests for performing old songs, like "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Photo credit: Rhode Lopez Northrup
Socializing is very important to the Salvation Army's mission. These seniors regularly attend Tuesday/Thursday meetings for a hot meal but also craft or color together. Craft projects vary every week. Materials can be donated directly to the Salvation Army's building on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Photo credit: Rhode Lopez Northrup

Winter snowmen craft projects that each person put together and took home.
Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth

About the Salvation Army in Beacon, NY 

Two different components make up the Salvation Army: a worship center, and a social ministry. They are different programs within one organization. The room pictured below is the worship center, and is actually a small room located off to the side of the main sanctuary. It might normally be used as a reception area for coffee and donuts. Why does the congregation not worship in the sanctuary? Good question...

Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Years ago, this building was rented out and used as a mental health care facility. Within that capacity, watchtower-like structures were built in the center of the church sanctuary. The structures are unused today, yet have not been removed because tearing them down and removing the material is too expensive a project for this branch of the Salvation Army to take on.

Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

So the staff operates within narrow quarters tucked inside of these looming structures that occupy the most beautiful part of the building. For all of the reclaimer artists in Beacon, this looks like a tempting tear-down project for materials, or even pieces and parts for a theatrical stage.

Photo credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

How to Donate to Beacon's Salvation Army

Says Rhode of Beacon: "I have never seen a community as generous as Beacon. I can't figure out why. All I know is that I have never seen anything like this."

Physically donating food to the building can be challenging, because operating hours are limited, and someone needs to buzz you in at just the right time from just the right door. Those who are hip to correct doors and times can deliver the right kind of donations. Normally nonperishables are accepted, but if potatoes or uncooked turkeys are delivered at just the right time to be cooked that day or the next, these special items can be accepted. Oftentimes, used items are donated or left outside of the building. Due to state and federal regulations, cooked food and used items are not accepted, no matter what kind of pristine condition they are in.

Donations can be made in a number of ways:
  • Deliver nonperishables or new items still in their packaging to the church at 372 Main Street on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, between the hours of 1 and 4pm. Use the very back door in the very back of the building. Not any side doors, but the back door. There is a small parking lot in the back if you are driving. Or, if you are walking or parking on Main Street, walk up the path on the right side of the building. Simply step over the chain that is there to prevent cars from using the path as a shortcut to avoid the light and get on Rt. 52 (yeah, it happened! hence the chain).
  • Drop change into the red kettles that are located at the nearest Walmart, Key Food, Sam's Club, Stop n Shop or Shop Rite. All of those are connected to the Salvation Army located in Beacon.
  • Donate clothes to 1-800-SATRUCK if you have used items.
  • Write a check.
  • Maybe tear down those walls inside of the sanctuary...?


Recipe for "Pale Pie," "Potato Skin Pie" or "Mashed Potato Lasagna" 

So good. So good. Rhode calls this "Pale Pie." When I made it it, it felt like I was layering food like lasagna. When I ate it, the dish tasted the way it might if loaded baked potatoes were a pie. The recipe is easy to alter to fine-tune to your tastes. I've included a few ingredients I used to tweak it.

Potatoes - 6 medium potatoes
Butter - 1 stick + 2 tablespoons, softened
Milk - 1 cup
Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
Salt - a lot...
Garlic - 1 clove
Scallion - 1 stalk
Grated mozzarella, cheddar, and a third cheese if you want - havarti dill would be tasty!
Cooked ham, cut into pieces (or substitute pan-cooked chicken grilled in butter with garlic powder)

Mashed Potatoes
Cut the potatoes into halves or thirds and boil in a large pot until soft.
Chop the garlic and scallion and in a pan, melt the butter and pour the garlic and scallion in to soften over low heat and lightly brown. 
Drain the potatoes and keep in the large pot.
Put the cooked garlic and scallion into the potatoes, followed by the stick of butter, and a third of the milk.
Mash the potatoes and continue pouring in the milk and heavy cream.
Add the salt and pepper as you beat, tasting as you go.

The Pie
In an oven-safe dish, layer the following items:
1- A layer of mashed potatoes
2- A layer of cheese (combine the different types)
3- A layer of meat
4- A layer of mashed potatoes
5 - Repeat.  Be sure that the last layer on top is the cheese layer!

Put in the oven at 350 until the cheese is bubbly.
Right before serving, sprinkle thinly chopped green onions or parsley on top.

The Scoop on Stock Up, The Sandwich Shop That Replaced The Copper Roof Deli

O, heavenly days... Those are words you just may sing to yourself once you walk into Stock Up, the new sandwich shop and eatery that replaced The Copper Roof Deli at 29 Teller Avenue. Music wafts from an old-timey radio outfitted with a modern USB port, playing rockabilly and other genres you'll enjoy while kicking back and eating a turkey sandwich with a side of the BBQ Carrot Salad, dotted with such goodies as purple pickled onion and sprouted quinoa.

The new front counter at Stock Up, formerly The Copper Roof Deli.

Brought to you by the owners of Marbled Meat Shop in Cold Spring, Stock Up is a casual eating experience with a very deeply healthy and meat-intense menu that has plenty of vegetarian, or green-eating options. Says Lisa Hall, co-owner with her husband Chris Pascarella: "When I go to a smokehouse, I don't find anything green." That issue is certainly rectified at Stock Up, particularly with the refrigerated case in the front filled with prepared side options, like the "Greek and Grain" tomato salad, "BBQ Carrot," "Dirty Potato Salad," and the "4 Bean Chow Chow."

The front case, with your choice of sides.

Let's zoom in on those side dishes...

Regulars familiar with the former Copper Roof Deli space will notice a change in the interior. It remains cozy and friendly, yet has a redesigned counter, seating, and plants hanging in sunny windows. For the moment, morning regulars will miss the egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, which is ever the quest for morning people who need a pop of protein, as Stock Up opens at 11am, but folks could enjoy a new dish of yogurt and house-made granola instead. With late-ish hours already, Stock Up is open until 8pm daily, which is perfect for quick dinner pickups (post-train, even!) or lounging with friends inside or outside on the back patio.

Patrons will not go hungry at Stock Up. As professional butchers and picklers, the owners make sure the choice of meat sandwiches is extensive, with creative sauces - which, as any connoisseur of a sandwich knows, can be key to a crave-worthy sandwich. Equally important and creative are Stock Up's meat options, including jowl bacon, smoked pork, rotisserie chicken, and more. And sometimes when available, you can get turkey wings prepared in a bourbon maple brine.

Executive Chef and Partner Adam Sternberg, who you may know from "36 Main" in New Paltz and from O2 right here in Beacon years ago, is passionate about the taste of and nourishment from food, and has veggies pickling and grains sprouting in the basement.

Wait - "sprouting," you ask? Yes, answers Adam. He is happy to educate you about the health benefits of eating sprouted quinoa, which involves rotations of soaking and rinsing the quinoa for hours and hours to make it easier to digest and get a few more vitamins and minerals out of it.

Sprouted quinoa can be found in the BBQ Carrot Salad, with watermelon radish, pickled purple onion, and smoked and roasted carrot. This combination understandably may never have been on your radar, but it could become a fast favorite.

Partners (from left): Adam Sternberg, Chris Pascarella, and Lisa Hall.
A family-friendly atmosphere is very important to the team at Stock Up. Lisa and Chris are parents of little ones, and value such things as a changing table in the bathroom, which (as of this publishing) is coming soon. Lisa, a former teacher, and Chris, a former commuter into the city, had been thinking about what business they wanted to create in order to live in Cold Spring with less commuting. Past residents of Brooklyn, they were big fans of their local grocer/restaurant, Court Street Grocers. After dreaming of opening their own business for a long while, Lisa and Chris took the plunge to open Marbled Meat Shop after Chris was unexpectedly laid off from his job, like so many others, thus giving them permission to open the business of their dreams. With Stock Up, Beacon is home to their second business, and on the first day of opening, several of their Cold Spring friends had come up to experience the new addition.

The drink cooler has delicious options from Salud, Blue Sky and others.

The beer will be flowing from taps on the outdoor patio as soon as the liquor license comes through, but in the meantime, you can benefit from the team's possible obsession with a variety of brands of deliciously sweet soda, like two kinds of orange soda, two kinds of ginger ale, and more from brands like Blue Sky and Salud Refresco. There's even coconut water!

So without further ado, you have much to enjoy this lunch or dinner hour. And I'm going to wrap this article up, because a new craving for sprouted quinoa must be answered...

Photo Credits: This lovely photography has been taken by Leigh Baumann, a social media photographer for A Little Beacon Blog and a talented designer.

Come In! Audioccult for Records, Oddities and Pop Culture

True to their name, Audioccult is a place for records amidst the strange and unusual collectible items, many of which hail from the '80s. Located at 267 Main Street, next to American Gypsy and across from Max's on Main near Key Food, Audioccult is a record shop run by proprietor Sean Congdon that is as much a place to buy and sell records as it is to have a friendly experience buying those records. But records are not all that you will find in Audioccult. True to their mission of making you happy, you will find long-forgotten items from an '80s childhood, like a bright green Glo Worm (since sold), the Rainbow Brite horse, Care Bears, and G.I. Joe.

If you have never heard of the word Audioccult, that is because Sean made it up. "Audioccult is a term that encompasses our three primary passions - records (Audio), the strange, obscure, and not easily defined (Occult), and '80s pop culture (Cult)."

Normally very shy of record stores, not being a record collector or owner of a record player (yet), I challenged myself to go into the store to investigate. What I found was a delightfully playful shopping experience, which is exactly what Sean intended. "We're music and art geeks, not music and art snobs - it is our goal to make everyone feel welcome and respected, and hopefully leave the shop with a smile."

So in order to write this post and arrange these photos for your virtual walk-through of the store for A Little Beacon Blog's "Come In!" series, I unabashedly turned on Belinda Carlisle's Heaven on Earth album, and started typing.

Organized in a way that makes record browsing enjoyable, Audioccult also has a designated spot for new arrivals that just landed in the store. This is a much appreciated section for regular record crate diggers.

Vintage display cases line the wall and are filled with items that would be better for little hands not to touch, but are nice to look at.

Where else can you find a Rainbow Brite horse and original My Little Ponies on Main Street? And these might not even be here when you go into Audioccult, as things change in these white cases frequently.

Cheer Bear the Care Bear and an E.T. card game in the same shelf. Priceless.

Is your comic book collection complete without Starsky & Hutch or Dukes of Hazzard? Thought not.

Take a closer look at this are looking at collectible cards for Growing Pains and 21 Jump Street. These cards are some of the best sellers in the store.

Fievel. In his Fievel Goes West movie that can now be found in gas stations packaged with the original movie (and is a serious tearjerker), an American Tail. Available to you as a collectible card. Or pick G.I. Joe!

Back to the business of records. You can definitely listen to records while in the store.

If you wanted to take a moment to play Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, or whatever Audioccult has on hand at the moment, you could do so on their original Nintendo machine. Not that Audioccult is a store for gamers to stand around playing video games all day, but they do allow for some playing time.

Audioccult does have an online store that has a few unusual items, like a coffin key. As in the real-world shop, you just never know what you will find in there. Open from Wednesday-Sunday, you can also find Audioccult on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @audioccult.

Enjoy your shopping experience! Please take a picture of what you bought and tag A Little Beacon Blog in Instagram! @alittlebeacon. 

Come In! Painted Furniture at HudsonGold Pop-Up Shop in Zora Dora's

Enthusiasts of reclaimed and painted furniture are rejoicing to find HudsonGold open for the holidays in Zora Dora's space on the west end of Main Street, which has become well-known for housing temporary pop-up shops during the winter season.
Painted mason jars hold roses on top of custom fabric.

Recognize the book on the table? It is one of many from Annie Sloan Home, who shares her techniques for painting furniture and even fabric.
Proprietress Laura Klehr Keyes is a furniture painter and an expert with the much-adored line of paint from Annie Sloan Home. If your heart just went pitter patter, then just wait, it gets better. If Laura finds a permanent storefront in Beacon, and if she becomes an official carrier of the line, then she intends to hold furniture-painting classes in brush, wax, sanding and painting techniques. And sell the paint! I know!!

You will find many goodies in Hudson Gold to to make for a pretty home.
Finding gifts for others is easy in Hudson Gold, as the purchases come in crafty packaging. Pick a mason jar, the raised letters of which have been sanded off, painted in a variety of colors, letting a votive candle's light shine through. For $5 each, it is an easy purchase.

Need something quick with big impact for a sister-in-law? Hudson Gold carries products from other brands, like a line of Hudson Apothecary diffusers from Fifth & Madison in lavender, linen or spa water that include the jar and scented sticks. As for the furniture, the finished pieces don't last long in the store. The light blue, heavily sanded table pictured here was gone just a week after this photo was taken.

Open hours are limited and include Saturdays and Sundays, with a "sometimes" Friday and a random day maybe during the week. In other words, if you see the lights on as you're driving by, pull over and stop in.

Their lights will be on and the store open with a special drink for December's Second Saturday.

Hudson Gold is located at 201 Main Street, in what is normally Zora Dora's in the summer.

This article is part of A Little Beacon Blog's "Come In!" series which showcases the inside of shops, stores and businesses you may have been curious about but hadn't stopped into yet.

Accuprint Pack 'n Ship Comes to Main Street!

Beacon just got a lot more walkable, and business-friendly! Every town needs a bank, a grocery store, a cafe, a restaurant, and a shipping/printing/notary center. Yes, Beacon has the beautiful Post Office which offers plenty of packaging options and decorative boxes, but sometimes you want to walk into a store, see a friendly face, and say: "Hey - I need to ship this key." or "Hey, I need to ship this paperwork." or "Hey, I need to ship this giant sidewalk sign that weighs a ton. Can you help me?" or even "Hey, I'm selling my car, can you notarize this?"

To kick off our new series, "Come In!" where we walk into stores that you may have walked past a hundred times, we are highlighting Accuprint Pack 'n Ship at 242 Main Street on the same block as Homespun, Vogel Pharmacy, Isamu (sushi), Gerald's Seafood Cafe and Max's on Main. Accuprint Pack 'n Ship was opened by Elberta "Byrdie" Lynn Gaither in April 2015, in front of the accounting office run by her mother Denise Gaither, ERO, a professional tax preparer and consultant.

The mother/daughter duo running businesses out of 242 Main Street.

Elberta's shop is an authorized shipping center for FedEx, DHL, UPS and USPS, and even sells stamps. Whether you need to ship something tiny or large, Accuprint Pack 'n Ship can package it up for you, typing your address into the computer and spitting out a label. Forget hand-writing the address on shipping envelope off to the side on a table in the shadows while your kids threaten to run out the door, like at the Post Office. This is modern times and a regular shipping center with pricing options for all of the different shippers at the click of a button.

Shipping options include UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS.
Don't get me wrong - I love me some Post Office - and Priority Mail has proven to be a really fast and low cost way for me to ship - but I also love handing someone my stuff instead of worrying that I picked the right packaging box or envelope, brought my own tape to tape it up, and wrote everything in just the right spot.

Elberta "Byrdie" Lynn is cutting business cards for a customer.
Accuprint Pack 'n Ship is also a copying center, and can produce flyers, brochures, business cards, color prints, laminating, and can even staple booklets. If you can't stand to scan, Accuprint can do that too. Come tax time or if you are preparing documents for a mortgage refinance, you may want to give yourself a break and just walk those documents down to Main Street for a friendly scan.
"Black Lady Gaga" is sideways because she was photocopied that way.
With printing services usually comes graphic design services, and behind every graphic designer is a unique set of artistic skills. When you walk into Accuprint Pack 'n Ship, you'll see a color copy of something that you might think is an angel taped to the giant color copy machine. That would be "Black Lady Gaga", as titled by Elberta. This is a photocopy of a Barbie doll that Elberta took all of the hair out of, died it in Kool-Aid, teased it, fluffed it, and put the hair back into Barbie's head to make angel dreads. Elberta painted on the dress and all of the makeup, and actually sold this doll long ago. So you never know what you will find in Accuprint Pack 'n Ship, but chances are, they have what you need.
Accuprint is in the building with the Accutax Accounting sign
(mother/daughter businesses) next to Gerald's Seafood Cafe,
just down from Max's on Main.