A Voice of Reason in our Current Reality

Volume 1, Issue 1
March, 1992 C.E.

Table Of Contents:

  1. The GWAM Report
  2. Notes on European Treasures...
  3. Castle Corps at the Brookdale Lodge
  4. The Incredible Newsletter Staff
  5. (Too Many) Notes from the Sub-GWAM: Should We Incorporate?
  6. Calendar of Events

The GWAM Report

by Lance McVay

elcome to the first, the foremost, the Original and long awaited CASTLE CORPS newsletter! Many of you may be wondering at this time, "WHAT, pray tell, is a Castle Corps and why does it need a newsletter, AND, more importantly, why am I getting one?" Well, that's what I'm here to explain.

The Castle Corps is an organized group of world citizens dedicated to the joy of life and a quest for knowledge with the intention of constructing facilities dedicated to these goals. In short; we're learning as much as we can while having as much fun as we can doing it.

You are receiving this letter because you approached me with interest, you joined, or I felt you would be interested because of some conversation we had in the past. The original "possible membership roster" was compiled solely from this last category. As of the mailing of this news letter, everyone on the roster is considered an honorary, associate, or active member (definitions of membership to come later). If, after reading this newsletter, you wish not to be a member, just let us know here at the homefront.

The Castle Corps is an organized group of world citizens dedicated to the joy of life and a quest for knowledge with the intention of constructing facilities dedicated to these goals.

The reason it is called the Castle Corps is because of its origins and intensions. This whole outrageous concept began because I wanted to plan my future home. I sat down and began to imagine it... my over-enthusiastic imagination did the rest. It grew very large. I did not want a place only for myself. I wanted the whole world to enjoy it as well, if they so desired.

I discussed the idea with friends who added fuel to the fire. It grew larger. Now it was not just a home, but more of a small playground. Then it became a sort of park, and based on the concept of a local science teacher (AKA: P.Q. LeBoom or Mr. Boomer) and his home, it became a castle, (as in "Boomer's Castle"). It became more than a dream to me and those involved. It became a goal, and again it grew.

I discussed it with anyone I met who asked about my life and my dreams. Many people who heard about it, from me or someone else, asked if they could help or at least be informed when it all got started. I finally understood that this would not be any ordinary dream. It became a dream that gave hope and sparked unbridled creativity, for this was no longer just a castle or a park. It was a facility. It was a youth hostel, a bed-and-breakfast, a small hotel, a campground, a picnic area with equestrian trails, hiking trails and picnic tables, a play-gound beyond imagination with catecombs, lost mines, hidden tombs, burrled treasure, castles with secret doors, dark tunnels, dun-geom, and towers; a place where one could play football, baseball, soccer, basketball, fris-bee; a conference center for scientists; an observatory; a youth camp; a recording studio; an animation studio; a library; a place where the only limits would be that of your imagination....and it's still growing.

There was discussion of organizing everyone into a club, but I was hesitant. I didn't know what I would do with all these people (without a place to meet, no base of opperations, no castle). Finally I realized the potential of such a large network of people with so many talents and in so many places. So I sat down and said, "I'll call it, THE CASTLE CORPS." and made a list of people to contact.

...And thus it came to pass that there was a meeting. And at this there was great discussion. All looked upon the discussion and said "IT IS GOOD". And so there was another, and another. And the members smiled at the potential, and it was good. Thus it came to pass that we would meet on the Tuesday following the first Tuesday of every month. That being the second Tuesday to discuss the future, past and present of this new organization.

So here we are. Our first meeting was on September 10th, 1991. We don't necessarily always meet on the second Tuesday, in fact, we really meet whenever we like, but we needed something official and we TRY for the second Tuesday, and often succeed.

You may ask, "What have you done so far, what can we do and what are we going to do?", in other words...what does it all mean to you and me? Well, much of that is up to you. What do you WANT to do? What do you WANT it to mean?

So far, we have gathered to see the opening of a movie (The Adam's Family premier), gone out to eat (special thanks to Ken Laws for paying for EVERYONE'S meals!), watched a video on Belgian UFO sightings (any information from Europe is welcome), sent two members to Europe (both, I hear, have written articles), have one member from Ben Lomond now living in Germany (Hi James!), had two members from Chile and Germany visit over the summer (Pamela and Ulli) and bring a friend (Hi Siggi!), and we will have at least one local boy (Darin) visiting our Northern Ireland members (Hi Joanna, Sue-Ann and Alison!) in the Spring. We also had a wonderful turn-out at the local Brookdale Lodge to look for ghosts (we may write more on that later). The Christmas party and Boomer's Castle Christmas Carol Sing went well too. We are still looking for more to do and are always open for suggestions.

Recently, four of us explored a local canyon called "Deadman's Gultch." After two previous attempts involving extreme cold, poison oak, and lots of hiking, we discovered several beautiful, hidden waterfalls and some local history, all of which we hope to share at the next meeting.

So give us some suggestions. Come visit or ask someone to visit you. Exchange ideas, knowledge, culture, and dreams. If you have a friend visiting a country with a representative, ask them to look each other up. Give assistance. Help exchange ideas. What can YOU offer? We would love your help and suggestions. The Castle Corps can be as much or as little as you want it to be.

Currently, what we hope for is that everyone on the list will help anyone else on the list as much as they can when they are traveling on vacation. If someone knocks on your door or calls and says, "Hi, I'm in the Castle Corps. Can you help?", welcome them and do what you can. Share your country, city, college or town and ideas. (Special thanks to Joanna and Alison for already doing this). If you can't, that's okay too, just say so. We hope to give warning to everyone when someone is coming their way, so please try to give notice.

We are asking people to give $20.00 a year dues to help, ($10.00 if you're under 18) so we can mail the newsletter and so forth. We currently accept your dedication if you can't afford it, but please try, if you can, to give. It takes a lot of money to build a castle. For now we have an $800.00 shed we are turning into an office and two-person youth hostel (we affectionately call it "Shedquarters") and hope to have it fully fuctional for the upcoming summer, but we need more money to complete construction. We also need money to buy patches and pins to send out to you folks, but we can't yet. Patches run about $450.00 for 50 and pins about a $1.00 apiece for 300. My shed is currently shedquarters, plus Mr. Polson put in $300.00 worth of office supplies and others have donated time and money as well. So if you can help, please do.

We are more interested in you than your money (but we need both to make this work). $20.00 will get you a year's membership, a roster, if you don't already have one, the newsletter, access to any future facilities, a patch or pin (at a discount) when we get them and access to a chain and network of people you will know for the rest of your life. Too good a deal for you to pass up (Mr. Keane, we want your money!).

We will try to send out a list for those of you who have paid or we have given special consideration or honorary membership. If you're not on the list, talk to me. would sure like you to be (especially if you're on the current roster). We hope the dues list and the roster will eventually be identical. For those of you in other countries, we haven't figured out how to have you pay yet, so don't worry. Suggestions are welcome. We currently have $225.00 in our account.

That's about all I have to say for the moment. Welcome! I hope this answers a lot of questions, and if it doesn't, write and ask more. Send your money, questions, suggestions, articles and salutations to...

Lance McVay at Castle Corps Shedquarters
180 Woodston Way
Ben Lomond, CA 95005 USA

(Note: this is the old address for Castle Corps. To contact us, use our Feedback page)

We will respond as quickly as we can and send you information as you need it. We want knowledge as well, so if you have info on politics, science, unexplained phenomena, history, nature and the like, WE WANT IT! We are also compiling a library as well, so all you donate will be kept. Feel free to write anyone else on the list as well. Get to know eachother. We need Pen-Pals, especially from countries we don't have representatives from yet! So call your friends. We want to meet them. We eventually want every country in the world{ We have a long way to go and we need help. So... i bid you a fond fairwell. 'Til next time, we hope you have enjoyed our show and look foreward to visiting with you again! See you in a month. I Hope!

Your G.W.A.M. (Grand- Worthy-Administative-Minister or PRESIDENT)

Lance E. McVay

PS: Information on where to reach members can be found in the roster at the back of the newsletter.


Notes on European Treasures...

by Kusum McPherson and Spring Gordon

hile adventuring through Europe, we saw many magical and awe-inspiring sights and displays. They included several striking weapons and armor exhibits. An example of these "toys" was a sword of the exact same make and design as the one wielded in the movie, "Highlander". Museums held wonderful cases full of broad and long swords that towered above us. Even some of the taller members such as Patrick Moody and James Sutter would have found many of the swords and pole arms a great challenge to wield (or even lift!). We also saw an array of crossbows, pikes, and genuine chainmail for warhorse and knight alike. We'll refrain for the time being from launching into a full-scale description of each. Suffice it to say that they were all well worth drooling over (however, this would have caused rust).

Spring Gordon: "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."

Naturally, through the course of our travels, we tended to gravitate to the core of the Castle Corps. This means castles, castles, and more castles. We saw dozens of beautiful, majestic castles and palaces in Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and England. Our favorite, however, was the Carbisdale Castle. We found this 19th century castle appealing not only for its architecture, but also because of the fact that it had been donated to the YHA (Youth Hostel Association). This gave us a chance to fulfill one of our lifelong dreams -- to sleep in a castle!

We were fortunate to arrive at Carbisdale Castle on the weekend before it closed for winter. Due to the fact that it was late in the year, the number of visitors dwindled to less than a dozen, including ourselves. The castle usually accommodates hundreds during the summer season. This gave us the opportunity to experience the sensation of being alone in a castle in the center of the Scottish Highlands. This was magnified by the fact that we were two hours north of Inverness, the only large city in the area. Wandering through the immense rooms and hallways and hearing our footsteps echo and reverberate behind us gave the castle an almost eerie atmosphere. This was accentuated by the legends and tales regarding the castle's history. The castle contains an allegedly haunted tower. There are various reports of a young spirit maiden who wanders through this tower and the rest of the castle. We had the opportunity to talk to the son of the hostel's warden and his girlfriend.They both confirmed tales of hauntings which they had experienced. Later, while examining the artwork and sculpture of the castle, we noticed that they were strangely spectral.

After staying at the Carbisdale Castle for only a brief time, we found ourselves increasingly drawn to its dim corridors and majestic rooms. Watching the castle as we drove away, we couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if this had not been the last weekend that the castle was open. Perhaps we, too, would have eventually found ourselves wanderig the hallways of Carbisdale Castle.

First Contact with Castle Corps Europa

efore setting off for Europe, we felt a few misgivings about traveling and finding places to stay. Many of these fears were laid to rest when we went over to Lance's house to hear about his own travels to Europe several years ago. It was then that we were first introduced to the idea of the Castle Corps. We were thrilled with the idea of meeting other bizarre people in our area. Even more exciting was the promise to meet people from other countries who share some similar interests with us.

Kusum McPherson: "Don't hate me because I'm happy."

One bizarre Castle Corps member (dear friend) was already in Europe: James Sutter. He was the one who first invited us to come stay with him in Germany. Without his encouragement, I sincerely doubt that we would have ever made the journey. He and his family graciously allowed us to stay with them for a month. Their kindness and generosity were something we will never forget. We hope we can follow their example when other members come to visit us in the United States.

When we arrived in Scotland and met Castle Corps members Allison Bell and Joanna Henning, we were delighted to find that our anticipations were more the merely met. They were courteously willing to let us stay with them in their dorm room at Glasgow University. They also took time out of their own schedules to take us to a Halloween dance where we viewed (and rather ineptly attempted to participate in) genuine Scottish dancing. On another night, we were taken to Curlers, a Scottish pub that featured a live jazz band that sounded more authentic than many American jazz bands. Allison also took us shopping, and to a museum and art gallery in the center of town. They introduced us to some of their friends, who were equally friendly and hospitable.

Through our newfound friends we managed to make connections for further travels. We had so much fun in Glasgow that we had to honestly confess to Allison and Joanna that if they weren't careful, we might move in with them. Not wanting to impose, however, we finally said our goodbyes. We welcomed them to come and visit us, and the rest of their friends who are in the Castle Corps when they come to America.

Unfathomable Thanks to James, Allison and Joanna.

Kusum and Spring


Castle Corps at the Brookdale Lodge

by Lance McVay

he Brookdale Lodge, like many historical buildings throughout Europe and the United States, has been plagued with rumors and tales concerning ghostly apparitions and hauntings. Until recently such stories have been amusing but gave such little detail that there was no place for research or involved interest, at least for me and people I knew. A story concerning the sister of one of our members, a stranger to the lodge, and the ghost of a little girl named Sara changed all of that.

The front of the historic Brookdale Lodge, Brookdale, CA.

At the Brookdale Lodge Thanksgiving party a man approached Marina (the sister of CC member Derrick Psaros) saying he needed assistance. It seems that he had been approached by a little girl who said she was lost and looking for her mother. He said the girl's name was Sara and that she was about 12 years old. He returned to look for the girl as sarcastically suggested by Marina only to discover she was gone. He returned to Marina and explained that the girl must have found her mom. Marina, now realizing the man was not joking, explained the story of the mysterious "Sara".

Sara was the niece of a former owner of the Brookdale Lodge 50 years ago. While playing in the dining room of the lodge, famous for its redwood interior with a stream flowing through the middle, she fell into the stream, striking her head against a stone, resulting in her death. Since then many people are said to have seen Sara in the lodge running through the lobby or asking a visitor if they have seen her mother.

Marina's story so intrigued me, and those who heard the story with me, that we felt it deserved investigating. We mentioned the idea of a "ghost hunt" of sorts to other Castle Corps members and found a great interest to explore such an intriguing phenomena as close to home with such a recent bit of evidence. We secured the conference room of the lodge for $35.00 and held our meeting.

Though eager to explore and armed with film and video cameras alike (unfortunately lacking the infrared film we anticipated), We discovered nothing of significance, though we did enjoy exploring the lodge's many secret rooms and hidden passages. We also read several articles concerning the new owners who had recently hired several priests and psychics to try and rid the place of its spirits after the manager had seen Sara for herself in the Lobby.

Apparently, while cleaning up in the bar one evening, she heard a noise in the lobby. Thinking it was he four-year-old daughter, Mrs. Gilbert said, she rounded the corner and saw a ghost-like image of a little girl.

"It was very clear, like a whole person." she said, "It wasn't hazy like people say ghosts are supposed to look like." (This could explain why the man in Marina's story didn't believe anything strange was occurring).

The apparition, which Mrs. Gilbert said wore a 1940's-style formal dress and long hair, ran silently across the lobby for about 5 seconds and disappeared through the office window. This story, combined with Marina's and several others I have heard, give much more stability to the tales of the Brookdale Lodge (Sara's being only one of many).

The meeting last December at the lodge was the largest of any since our creation and, though we discovered nothing to further support the reports of ghosts, we investigated a topic of tremendous interest. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I have had many requests for a repeat trip to the lodge. Thank you to everyone who came and helped and I hope to bring more information on the topic to our March meeting.

The thought of explaining the science behind the ghost phenomena is wonderfully intriguing (as is any mystery) and I am pleased so many took part with such open heartedness and intelligence. It was a wonderful experience and I hope we approach each topic brought to us with equal enthusiasm.

If anyone has anything else to add to the topic we would be most interested and look forward to correspondence. Keep those ideas coming! Sharing knowledge and experience is what this is all about so let's keep doing it.


The Incredible Newsletter Staff

by Ken Laws, Stressed-Out Editor

In a perfect world (one with 80 hour days), I would have had time to write an article myself. Alas, it was not to be. So, I'd like to thank all of the people who helped in the creation of this, the first issue of the Castle Crier...

Lance McVay
Craig Polson
Kusum McPherson
Spring Gordon
Jonah Perez
Kinko and Guernsey
Real Time Media

The Castle Crier: read it, share it, memorize it, make paper airplanes out of it, use it as a cat toy, recycle it.

Pictured (clockwise from left): Ken Laws, Guernsey, Craig Polson, Lance McVay, Kusum McPherson

(Too Many) Notes from the Sub-GWAM:
Should We Incorporate?

by Craig Polson

reetings and a warm welcome fellow Castle folk! It is indeed a pleasure to be addressing you from this the very first edition of the Castle Crier. As the title suggests, I am the current Sub Grand Worthy Administrative Minister of the Castle Corps (or Sub-GWAM... otherwise known as Vice President or "VP" to friends). It is still unclear whether this is a temporary or long term position for me, as well as just what the duties are of this office, but I can assure you that I'll do whatever I can do to try and accomplish whatever it is that I may or may not be required to try and do... or not.., or whatever.., rest assured.

One of the tasks that has fallen to me to investigate is the whole question of whether or not the Castle Corps should register itself with the State of Caifornia as a nonprofit corporation. To a legal neophyte such as myself this is quite a formidable task, but I do have some information that I can impart to you: the Corps masses. However, if there are any legal-types out there (or if anyone has any knowledge of such) who might be willing to help give a scrappy young club a fighting chance in the big leagues, please put them in touch with Lance or myself.

As for advantages, there are several really good reasons to become a nonprofit corporation. One of which is the various legal protections it gives all of us... protections against, like, getting personally sued and having all our worldly goodies that so define us taken rudely away (most of you won't have to worry much about this, but those of you who are, or may later be, organizing Corps events and making decisions that affect participants in said events should be very interested in this point, raising an eyebrow... Spock-like). Incorporating would also allow the Castle Corps itself, as a legal entity, to own things like land and castles and such, as well as enter into legal contracts (i.e., loans to buy land and castles and such).

Secondly: there's a definite rise in credibility when you plop that little "Inc." after the club's title. More doors will be open and more polite people will pay more attention to us and take us much more seriously when we come to visit or beg for money.., which brings us to...

The Queen Mother of Real Good Reasons To Incorporate as Nonprofit: free money! Yes, truly, the Castle Corps (Inc.) appears in many ways to be a candidate for the kind of nonprofit corporation status which is eligible for tax-deductible donations. BINGO! It would truly be an understatement to say that this would be a real good thing. This is like King Arthur getting his paws on the Holy Grail! Selling those of a higher fiscal caste than ourselves on such grandiose ideas as building a castle and making the world a better place and exciting the minds of the young and young at heart would be made vastly easier (if not altogether possible) if the selling pitch ended with "Oh yeah, and it's tax-deductible." BINGO! Ah, I can just hear the sound of those $150 Monte Blanc pens scribbling away... and those checks tearing out of big, fat, juicy account books to the tune of, well, real castle fun-money!

This is a good time for hitting the high points of doubt (otherwise known as the Low Points of Reason).

There is a real question as to whether or not we could (or would want to) qualify as the kind of nonprofit corporation which allows tax-deductible donations. To do so, we more or less have to be a "charity", which we kinda sorta seem to be conceivably heading towards anyway. Assuming we do qualify, we will be strictly limited as to the kinds of activities that we may engage in after that.

There is also a considerable amount of legal mumbo-jumbo overhead which will be incurred... such as: we'll need a board of directors, articles of incorporation must be written up and sent off to the Attorney General for the State of California (insert lawyer joke here) for signature, certain important items must be defined and adhered to (i.e., how many members constitute a quorum.., or can screw in a light bulb, etc.), monthly meetings & consistent minutes of those meetings must be taken and kept available for review, along with a complete membership roster including names and addresses of all members, at the corporation's business address/corporate headquarters... and on and on and on... a legal Lord of the Rings (or, rather: Lord of the Tree-Killing Paper-Pushing Bastards... sorry). The very rules and regulations which then define the corporation do also bring about the means by which charismatic evil-doing lugheads to take over the corporation through shady maneuvers (i.e., holding a prearranged special meeting of a quorum of other evil-doing lughead active members, when the good guys are unable to attend, in order to vote in one great evildoer as the new Grand Worthy Charismatic Lughead, or something of that nature). And finally...

The Queen Mother Of Reasons We Might Not Really Want To Incorporate After All: well, shoot. I shouldn't have built it up so much because we already more or less covered it. Basically, from what I understand, adhering to the regulations which define nonprofit corporations may/will in fact strip the Castle Corps of some key points of it's freedom to function. For instance, nonprofit corporations have certain restrictions on how & what they can give back to their members. One function the Castle Corps was envisioned to perform was to help members visit faraway places that they always wanted to (i.e., the Great Pyramid, etc.) as.long as the member did some research ahead of time, documented the trip, and presented a report of the events (and any knowledge/revelations gained) at a Castle Corps meeting. However, there are very definite restrictions on such matters for non-profit charities, and I think that we'd come out on the short end of the stick on this one at least. Ho hum.

In summary, well, there are a lot of questions to be answered... in fact, as far as I'm concerned we need some legal assistance in determining the best category of nonprofit corporation which the Castle Corps is qualified for, if any. At that point we can present the information to those in the club who are interested (maybe you!) and make informed decisions for the future of our organization, In fact, part of what is greatly needed now is for Corps members with insight and vision (or at least some spare time) to get involved and help define just what the Castle Corps is and will be. Only when we know exactly what we are and want to accomplish with our wonderful club will we really be able to solve this puzzle correctly.

Thanks loads for taking the time to read this chunk-o-info. It's my best effort at summarizing a complicated and altogether intimidating matter in some fashion which hopefully won't, upon digestion, send readers crashing into a downward spiral of failing health, leaving their bodies limp and minds darkened... flailing in a black legal tar-pit of mind-numbing boredom, grasping feebly at any subtle, faint shafts of light which escape through the finely woven net of our legal system.


Upon reflection, having re-read that last paragraph, I will be careful when writing future articles to ensure that they, too, are composed while in a state of extreme sleep deprivation... it seems to have added a bit of ginger and spice to this piece. Good night for now.

March /April 1992

Officer's Meeting
7:00 PM, Lance's House

4 & 5

Big Basin to the Sea Hike & Bike Trip


General Meeting
7:00 PM, Lance's House


Boomerian Easter Egg Treasure Hunt


Officer's Meeting
7:00 PM, Lance's House

Next issue: April's Calendar of Events, March Meeting Minutes, and Much, Much More!


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