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An Adirondack Utopia. It was as if The Creator grabbed a hunk of mountain, pressed a divine thumb into that lump of clay, and hid it where only a select, blessed few could find it. The residents of the secluded 700-acre forest retreat affectionately called their mountain utopia, "No Place"
Daughters of Utopia. A new novel set in Fourpeaks Adirondack Backcountry Camps. Author Moss Krupnick's fast-moving adventure story takes place in a Utopian nature retreat drawn from Fourpeaks Adirondack Backcountry Camps, and an insular Northcountry community very much like Jay NY. CLICK & GO! (9 Excerpts and full Synopsis on this page.) About "No Place," [=Fourpeaks] page 16. Cabin names, pages 25 and 26. Adirondack Mountain morning, page 29. Our Place [=Sugar Camp], page 32. The Cabin, page 33. Pickup truck gun racks, page 40 Cabin sex, page 51. Bears, and a big fella’ page 55. The Outhouse, page 109. A Synopsis. About Author RABBI MOSS KRUPNICK Back cover blurb. 350-word Synopsis of the story. On-line Order Form for Daughters of Utopia, 196 pages. Disregard $9.98 list price! Buy now (slightly used) only $4.90 More interesting pages in An Adirondack Miscellany. (On the next page.) 10 Best Visitor Information Pages. (Quick Index.)
It was as if The Creator grabbed a hunk of mountain, pressed a divine thumb into that lump of clay, and hid it where only a select, blessed few could find it. The residents of the secluded three hundred-acre parcel [=700 acres] affectionately called their mountain utopia, "No Place" [=Fourpeaks].
A necessity to keep their identities a secret forced them to create a permanent shelter as covert and camouflaged as their true selves. They built their cabins in a deep, beautiful mountain recess, accessible only by a long, narrow, unmarked dirt road [=Stonehouse Road] that lead to nowhere else but the majestic natural grace of their homestead.
Not on any map, it was impossible to drive past No Place on the way to somewhere else. Except for the man who drove the propane delivery truck, there were no regular visitors. Once, when Roberto Ramirez was buying a newspaper at the general store in MacMartin, New York [=Jay, NY], the cashier remarked that he had never seen him before. He asked him where he lived. Ramirez told the old man behind the counter that he lived a few miles down the road, by the turn off Route 7N [=Route 9N]. The cashier thought Ramirez must have been from out of town. He, the cashier, had been living in MacMartin all his life, and knew for sure that there was no turn off Route 7N a few miles down the road, in either direction.
Cabin names, pages 25 and 26.
All the cabins of No Place had names. Sara Bloom was making her way back from "Sugar Camp," where she, her husband Alter, and their two daughters lived. She had just sent out the exploration party when she heard an ear-piercing scream of "NO!" come from Our Place [=The Cabin]. In record time, she ran back to Sugar Camp, retrieved Johnny Boy [an antique rifle], and stood on the porch of Our Place.
"Claire?" Bloom said before she knocked on the door.
"It’s all right, Sara," Strassfeld said.
[ . . . ]
"All I did was ask if she wanted to go home."
"No, I think home is the last place she wants to be. Being home was what got her pounded in the first place. Jodi [battered girl being cared for at No Place], you can stay here as long as you like. Nobody here will ever ask you to leave. You are safe now. I will stay here and sleep in the bed near the door. If anyone who doesn’t belong comes calling, we’ll be ready."
[ . . . ]
Both Jodi and Sara Bloom were asleep when the reconnaissance party returned. Strassfeld had been sitting watch with a homemade revolver when they quietly climbed the porch steps. Otis saw the look of anticipation on Strassfeld’s face when she stepped onto the porch, and decided he should be the first to speak, "Sorry, mam. We didn’t see Harry’s car. Now, don’t you worry. He’s a doctor. Walton’s home. That much we know. There’s no message on your machine, either, but that doctor is a busy man."
"I let the air out of Walton’s tires," Alter Bloom said with a smile. [Walton is Jodi's father, an exploitive local industrial boss, the bad guy.] Bloom could see Strassfeld was in pain. He wished he could do more.
"I disconnected his propane. That should inconvenience the little bastard. He’ll freeze his ass off," Ramirez said. He, too, was trying to raise a smile from Strassfeld.
[ . . . ]
The sound of tears coming from the porch woke up Sara Bloom. When Ramirez finished his sentence, Bloom quietly stepped outside and put her arms around Strassfeld.
"Claire and I will share a bed here. You two gentlemen mind bunking in The Nest [=Wolf's Nest] for the night?" Sara Bloom said. Otis and Ramirez nodded that they did not care about spending the night away from home. "The Nest," where Strassfeld lived after Life in the City, was the first place where she and Harry Bianchon made love. Now, the empty cabin was used as a guesthouse, though guests at No Place [=Fourpeaks] were as common as a lunar eclipse. Alter Bloom kissed his wife goodnight, and joined the search for Harry Bianchon, MD.
Adirondack Mountain morning, page 29.
Nature possesses few marvels that can match the majesty of an Adirondack mountain morning. There is life in it. The splendor of the sun mirrored in the freshly fallen shining snow is enough to raise one’s spirits higher than the gentle peaks of the giant glacial mountains. The air, that cool, pure air, is sweeter than the sap flowing through the sugar maples, and tastes twice as refreshing. There’s a smell to it, the quiet, motionless morning as intoxicating as potent liquor. It frees the soul from its corporeal home and suddenly that breath of life is soaring with an eagle flying over head. The subtle scents of pine and cedar leave one with a sense of well being more profound than the sensations induced by anything that can be smoked or swallowed.
Our Place [=Sugar Camp], page 32.
In the ensuing opiate induced ataraxia, Jodi felt as if her father had blown her deep into the nineteenth century. She looked around with glazed eyes, but could not find a single light bulb, either fluorescent or incandescent. There were no electrical outlets. For that matter, there were no electric appliances of any kind. There was no television, telephone, or even a portable radio.
From her brass, full-size bed, she could see that light was provided by the sun and the propane gas mantles mounted on the cedar log walls. There was a small kitchen sink and drain board in the corner opposite her bed, yet she could see no faucet. Next to the drain board stood a red, stout little hand pump whose spigot emptied into the tiny, stainless steel sink. From where she lie, she could not see a refrigerator. Crammed next to the sink there was a tiny wood-fueled potbelly oven, though it was only for cooking. The cabin was heated by a small, oblong, black cast iron stove opposite the bed. Its chimney pipe penetrated the vaulted ceiling. Following the pipe with here eyes, Jodi saw the cabin’s graceful, hand-hewn beams, which, even in her stupor, she accurately assumed to be carved from oak.
Suspended from one end of the cabin ceiling to the other was a single, untreated paper birch log with its bark intact. From this log hung a stained glass kerosene light fixture. Judging from the absence of a wick, Jodi thought it was more for decoration than utility.
The Cabin, page 33.
Bloom waited for Roberto Ramirez to return from breakfast before she herself had something to eat. When Ramirez comfortably sat down next to Jodi, a shotgun in his lap, Bloom headed for "The Cabin," the largest single structure in No Place [=Fourpeaks]. The first section of this long rectangular log building housed the homestead’s communal kitchen and dining room. In it were a large range, an oven, and a full sized refrigerator-freezer. As were the light fixtures that were secured to the walls, these appliances were powered by propane. An immense stainless steel sink was set flush to the right of a large, red hand pump that drew water from the well underneath the foundation.
A massive breakfront that faced the kitchen served as the divider between the dining area and the living room. Among the contents of the later were a sofa, rocking chairs, shelves filled with books, a dry sink, and an enormous stone hearth. On the left side of the living area was a heavy wooden door that opened onto a covered porch, which afforded a breathtaking view of the unspoiled wilderness of the Au Sable Valley.
Pickup truck gun racks, page 40.
The explosion sounded so distant that neither Marvis Otis nor Alter Bloom thought it any concern. They had no idea that a sniper may be aiming for their skulls. After all, this was the Adirondacks. A gun rack was standard equipment in most pickup trucks. Should a State Trooper search the average glove compartment, he or she would be more likely to discover a shotgun shell than a road map.
Cabin sex, page 51.
She did not care that the door was unlocked behind them. She gently placed her left foot behind the tendons of his right knee, collapsing Bianchon to the upswept floor. She plunged her tongue deep into his mouth. She felt alive, as if she had just been born and was breathed her first breath. She wanted to taste Bianchon as if she were experiencing him for the first time. She tasted his mouth, his shoulders, and the nipples of his chest. She savored his flesh, all of it, and in doing so, she nourished her soul.
Bears and a big fella’, page 55.
"So, I am looking through my scope and I see the cabins. I see my Jodi. I pull off a round, but you know my blood pressure. I missed. The bear got away, but I start calling out to Jodi. And, damn it! I’m only ten yards away when she sees me and runs into one of them cabins. They brainwashed her! "And from out of no where, a big fella’ points a gun in my face and tells me he is going to kill me if I don’t get off his land. The huge fella’ threatened my life! He’s a wild killer, that one is! I keep calling out to Jodi, but she don’t answer! God, what have they done to her?"
The Outhouse, page 109.
When the adults were seating themselves around the blazing fire in the large stone hearth, Marvis Otis found it necessary to excuse himself. He said he would "be back in just a few minutes." What he really meant was that he would return in the time it took him to sneak to the outhouse and smoke one of the stubby Cuban cigars he bought in Canada.
Finally, he would enjoy one of the few pleasurable sins left to him. Alone in the outhouse, he would be able to relish a robusto and relieve himself. He placed his lantern on the hook in the tiny wooden structure and dropped his pants. He groped for a match in his shirt pocket, and was about to curse himself for not bringing any when he felt one lone Ohio "strike anywhere" white-tip match. "This one better work," Otis said. If it did not, he would have to stand up and reach for the propane lantern to light the cigar, a possibility too messy and inconvenient to accept as a serious alternative. "Friend, it’s all up to you," Otis said as he struck the match against the zipper of his pants. He shouted profanities when it did not light, though he blessed it when it ignited on his second attempt. "Finally, Shangri-La," Otis took that first glorious puff on that sweet little Cuban cigar. He was at peace with himself, and everything seemed right with the world as he leaned back against the bare boards of the outhouse.
About Author RABBI MOSS KRUPNICK
Rabbi Moss Krupnick has been studying martial arts for fifteen years, and holds a blackbelt and instructor certification in Shoa Lin Kemp kung fu and jui jitsu. His specialty is the Japanese long sword, a weapon with which he has competed internationally. A graduate of Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Rabbi Krupnick is also a hospital chaplain, with extensive experience in counseling victims of trauma, domestic violence, and AIDS at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Overlook Hospital, both in New Jersey. His next novel, God's Will in the Time of AIDS, is expected in the spring of 2002.
Back cover blurb.
Daughters Of Utopia By Rabbi Moss Krupnick
If you knew whom the next victim of domestic violence was going to be, would you raise your fists, or even your voice, to stop the abuse? Teenager Jodi Walton is shot in the back while fleeing from the man with whom she lives. She runs deep into the dense Adirondack forest surrounding her home, and believing she will soon be with Jesus, rushes through the icy winter darkness to embrace a light she sees in the distance. Walton stumbles upon "No Place," the remote, matriarchal mountain retreat of a tiny band of aging fugitives. "The Cenacle," as the middle-aged reprobates call themselves, fled New York City ten years earlier, after fighting a small war against a vicious street gang known as "God's Will." A decade later, the women of No Place remain in seclusion with their families, praying the law and the past never catch up with them. The Cenacle adopts Jodi Walton and teaches Walton how to defend herself and her dignity. The skills she learns could save her life ....
Claire Strassfeld is a fifth degree blackbelt who understands that men will batter women because they believe they won’t fight back. That is why Strassfeld swears that if she knows who the next victim is going to be, she is willing to raise more than her fists to stop the abuse.
Three men then attack Strassfeld simultaneously an Adirondack supermarket parking lot [=Tops in AuSable Forks]. She makes quick work of her assailants, only to learn that the assault is staged by her sensei, who supervises the onslaught as part of her grooming to become his successor. Strassfeld asks her master if she passes this test, but the sensei only laughs. They both know that ultimately it is not her martial skill, but the budo of her students that determines whether she is ready to be a master.
When Strassfeld pays for her groceries, the sight of the cashier’s badly blackened right eye appalls her. Strassfeld tells “Jodi Walton,” as the battered teenager’s nametag reads, that she herself was once battered, and, if she wants the beating to stop, she can help. Walton answers that she does not know what Strassfeld is talking about.
Jodi Walton is shot in the back while fleeing from the older man with whom she lives. The wounded teenager runs deep into the dense Adirondack forest surrounding her home. Believing she will soon be with Jesus, Walton rushes through the icy winter darkness to embrace a light she sees in the distance. The light Walton sees does not shine from heaven, but an outhouse lantern. Walton stumbles upon “No Place,” [=Fourpeaks] the pristinely beautiful remote mountain retreat of a tiny band of fugitives. “The Cenacle,” as the residents the of the rustic homestead call themselves, fled New York City ten years earlier, after fighting a small war against a vicious street gang known as “God’s Will.” Not knowing that the women they sought to rape were highly skilled martial artists, the soldiers of God’s Will assumed their female victims would be easy prey. They were dead wrong. A decade later, the women of No Place remain in naturally splendid seclusion with their families, praying the law and the past never catch up with them. Jodi Walton’s father, Jimmy Walton, [An exploitive local industrial boss, the bad guy.] reports to the State Police that his daughter has been shot and kidnapped by a cult hiding out in the forest across from his home. When the State Police cannot verify her father’s complain, he hires a posse of his employees to murder not only his daughter, but also all the members of The Cenacle, before they can report his attempt on her life.
Jodi Walton is offered permanent asylum at No Place, and accepts it. During the long, isolated winter of her recovery, she occupies herself by studying the martial skills of her hosts. Though her adult teachers, with Claire Strassfeld among them, are patient, Walton spends countless hours practicing with the two, ten year old blackbelt daughters of No Place.
When she discovers that her father knows her whereabouts, Jodi Walton realizes that her life and the lives of her hosts are at stake. With nowhere else to hide, she departs the sanctuary of No Place to confront him.
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Strassfeld and her sensei purse Walton to rescue her from certain death, but arrive too late to stop Jimmy Walton’s attempt to kill his daughter. They can only watch as an elementary kung fu movement Walton learns from the daughters of No Place saves her life. The sensei, greatly impressed by Walton’s flawless technique, confirms Strassfeld as his successor. Jodi Walton, while attending the birth the newest daughter of No Place in a Plattsburgh, New York hospital, sees a pregnant woman walking the hallway of the maternity floor. She also notices the belt marks left when whoever it was last beat her. Walton tells the woman that if she wants the beating to stop, Walton can help. The woman replies she does not know what Walton is talking about.
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An Adirondack Miscellany Newspaper and Magazine articles, Books and lots more.
Ice storm of the Century Devastates Northcountry.January 1998
Town of Jay Happy 200th Birthday Party at the 1829 Southmayd Stone House May 1998
Natives and Outsiders at the Jay Old Covered Bridge. June 1998
Jane McCrae Murdered by Indians in Ft. Edward NY. July 1777
Adirondack Great Camps: Adventures in the Wilderness.
Miss P, the famous www.Internet web purrcat, interviews Tramp, our Fourpeaks barking cocker.
Ironman USA comes to Fourpeaks.
Chickadees In Winter
Flying Critters on your Adirondack Vacation.
Adirondack Letters: "Hints of Balsam and Pine from our corner of the Adirondacks."
AuSable River Swimming: Where the Pools Are Never Crowded, And Water Slides Are Nature's Own (New York Times)
A new novel about Fourpeaks: Moss Krupnick's Daughters of Utopia, 196 pages, $9.98
For your Adirondack experience--"Stay Awhile In Style!" Plattsburgh-Republican November 2002.
NATURE WITHIN REACH: Luxury Camping. (July 2004, Southwest Airlines SPIRIT (In-flight Magazine.)
Annual Jay Yard Sale. (First Sale August 19, 2006.)
Glamping. (Glamorous Camping.) (Jan-Feb, Nov-Dec 2008, Women's Adventure Magazine.)
"Imagine a place that preserves the charm of the nineteenth-century back-country dwellings . . ." ADIRONDACK LIFE, 2006 Collectors Issue.
Fourpeaks Outdoor Activities. A 700-acre private Adirondack wilderness right at your door. 20 miles of hiking/skiing trails. No traveling to get there. No crowds at the trailheads and summits. An unequalled nature experience with no people. River swimming and fishing at the nearby AuSable River. A wilderness lake. Lots more. Browse our 10 activity pages. [CLICK HERE for Fourpeaks Adirondack Activities.]
Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all. Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out! [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]
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