This Place


Saint Mary’s Cemetery–Oswego County, New York

1992 was the 100th Anniversary of my Great-Grandfather’s death. He had left Ireland during The Famine Years in 1848 and had crossed the North Atlantic to the green fields of America. He was buried under a fine Celtic Cross in a little churchyard just north of Syracuse. His name is engraved in sharp and bold letters.


Buried Under Six Feet of Dirt and Ten Feet of Snow – 2/14/07

He Wasn’t Going Anywhere “

“When you realize that consciousness is constantly transforming, there’s no such thing as a person. There’s only the universe behaving as a person.”–Deepak Chopra–”Larry King Live”—-January 5, 2009

“Uncertainties of Life”

A Rock ‘n Roll Mystery

By The Universe

As Peter Cavanaugh

Having found salvation from starvation in the green fields of America–Last Will and Testament of Peter Cavanaugh. Fulton, New York. May 1, 1889

“I, Peter Cavanaugh, aware of the uncertainty of life, do bequeath seventy-five dollars to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, fifty thereof to purchase a statue of Saint Joseph.”

117 Years Later. Statue of Saint Joseph. Church of The Immaculate Conception/Fulton, New York. (2009)

117 Years Later. St. Joseph’s Statue — Church of The Immaculate Conception–Fulton, New York. (2009)

Having miraculously attained his 71st birthday against seemingly impossible odds without atonement– Last Will and Testament of Peter Cavanaugh. Oakhurst, California. September 8, 2012.

“I, Peter Cavanaugh, aware of the uncertainty of life, stopped going to Church as soon as I could.”

This would have been puberty, give or take a few squirts.

Oak Room Bar--Oakhurst, California--

Oak Room Bar–Oakhurst, California–“Home of Dangerous Drinking” (2009)

After that I only went socially, meaning when my mother would know if I didn’t

“Conscience” is a combination of the word “con,” or “against,” and “science,” meaning knowledge. Let’s keep that in mind.

This is absolutely my Last Will and Testament, but it doesn’t mean I’m about to drop dead. Perhaps so. Maybe not. I believe to be at all is to be always, to be anywhere is to be everywhere, and to be anything is to be everything. That’s it. Thank you.

We’re all here together.

In This Place.

And we’ve just arrived.

Well, Ma, maybe it’s like Cassy says. A fellow ain’t got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody. Then it don’t matter, ’cause I’ll be all around… I’ll be everywhere.

John Steinbeck–“Grapes of Wrath”–1939



Do I believe in God?


How else could I write, “Goddamn?”

A fine gentleman named Pun Plamondon sent me the following:

“Peter – I heard your voice on many trips…I assume it was the radio…Perhaps not. You set the standard.”

Pun Plamondon was the White Panther Party’s Minister of Defense in the late ‘60’s. Someone blew up a CIA office in Ann Arbor, an explosion which eventually blasted Richard Nixon out of the White House. Pun made the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List. He eventually wrote an excellent book called, “Lost From The Ottawa.”

Pun Plamondon (2009)

Pun Plamondon (2009)

“Soon the discussion got around to my alcoholism as we continued to smoke. I explained to Louis my inability to stop drinking. I repeated the advice given me by my friends in the alcoholic’s association, that I must find a higher power, God or some such, and find a spiritual center to my life if I was ever to recover from alcoholism . I explained that I didn’t believe in God or any of the religions with their narrow-minded, intolerant philosophies and exclusionary doctrines.

“A higher power? he said quizzically, rubbing his gigantic chin again. “They must
mean, The Great Mystery. Gitchi Manidoo. Great Mystery. Some say it means “Great Spirit,” but our people always say, “Great Mystery.”

There was no fanfare, no drum roll or clap of thunder. Just a bright light somewhere near my heart, an opening, enlightenment..

“A mystery?”, I stammered. Incredulous and flabbergasted. “A fucking mystery?’ “All this grief about a fucking mystery?”

“It’s always been a mystery,” Louis answered. Since the Anishnabee were first placed here it’s been a mystery.”



How about the Nemedians, Firbolgs, Milesians, Picts, Celts, Glasraighe, Fomorians, Partholonians, Firbolgs, Ui Bairrche, Lagain and Tuatha De Dannan, who established Tara, the ritual inauguration and burial place for the ancient Kings of poor little Ireland?

And our Cavanaugh tribe, the Chennselaig in Leinster?

Yes – all of the Emerald Isle – Itself buried in a sliver of time ten thousand years ago under a mile of ice?

A mystery.

My Uncle Vince had taught me of Ireland.

Uncle Vince

Dr. Vincent Cavanaugh–Syracuse, New York (1927)

Named after his grandfather, he was the coolest man I ever knew. I was over at his house one day. He was reading aloud from “On the Heavens” (350 BC) by Aristotle:

“It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.”

“See for yourself, Peter.”

He passed the book.

Symbols. Lines. Strange designs. Ancient Greek.

Vincent Cavanaugh Buehner is named after Peter Vincent Cavanaugh. At birth this tiny new Vincent received the ragged old Vincent’s dog tag from World War One. It says, “Vincent Cavanaugh”. He’d lost his “Peter” years before. Little Vincent has ten

May I present Katherine, William, Cooper, Joshua, Owen, Elise, Riley, Allison, Maximilian and Asher?

With Vincent, these are my grandchildren – the first Irish-American Peter’s great-great grandchildren.


None of them may read “Local DJ” until they have completed medical studies and finished law school.

8 Responses to “This Place”

  1. Chuck Castle Says:

    Reading your writings requires the ability to separate the wheat from the shaft. Yes, in your case, the shaft. I have never been able to do that. I just accept what you say to be the gospel according to Peter. I am somewhat disappointed to read your reference to some “Great Mystery.” After all, aren’t you the one who convinced me years ago that “What is … is. And there is no need to look any further.”

    Here’s looking at you.

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      And here’s looking at Grand Blanc.
      “What is … is. And there is no need to look any further.”
      Exactly! That’s the mystery! It’s all right here! In This Place!
      A Plus+
      Good man!

  2. Joe (Cavanaugh) Burns Says:

    Hi Peter,

    My cousin Cass got lots of good stuff from you including a copy of the original Peter C’s will. I am fascinated by copies of photos of original Peter holding your grandfather, John, and the picture of your father with Jack Demsey. Where did you get the photo of Peter holding John? How do you know it’s authentic? Are you in touch with any of the Cavanaugh’s still in Fulton? I have some census date from late 1800’s if you’d like me to scan and send. I have also been to the fine family monument in Fulton. Hope to hear from you. Joe B. in Denver.

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Hi, Joe!

      It’s lovely hearing from you!

      When my Uncle Vince passed away in 1963, he left me all of his books and several boxes of Cavanaugh family memorabilia, including that picture of “The original Peter”, which he had identified as such with his (Vince’s) father, John. I would offer, as an aside, my own observation that “TOP” (“The Original Peter”) looks astoundingly like my brother, Paul. This brings forth echoes of childhood accusations that he (Paul) is a TRUE Cavanaugh, whereas I was adopted – left on the back porch by gypsy travelers.

      That would be terrific if you would be so kind as to scan and send that census data.

      I hope to visit Ireland again next year and will attempt with new technology to make copies of that microfilm information I found back in ’92 at the Library of Ireland in Dublin which I reference in my book, “Local DJ.” Let’s see. It’s on my hard drive.

      “Peter is listed as the son of James and Margaret Cavanaugh,
      born in the summer of 1816 in Ballyoughter. The town has
      disappeared. It was located east of Enniscorthy, just south of
      Dublin in the Wicklow Mountains near the Irish Sea.

      Peter was baptized July 15 of that year, according to parish
      records now miraculously preserved on microfilm at the Library
      of Ireland in Dublin. The fancy spelling of the family name
      “Kavanagh” with a “C” and a superfluous “u” can be attributed
      to the transcribing priest, who wrote in a most graceful and
      elegant hand. Before and after his stewardship of some thirty
      years, the whole bunch were “Kavanaghs.” The priest had faithfully
      noted births, marriages and deaths in the small community
      during his whole time of tenure. It is a ledger covered with
      invisible tears. There are five pages per year before “The Famine,”
      and five years per page thereafter. Many in our family died
      of hunger.

      Peter made it to America.”

      When brother Paul and I first saw “the monument” in Fulton many years ago, we looked at each other and wondered where the money went.

      There IS a statue of St. Joseph in The Church of the Immaculate Conception, captured by Paul on film earlier this year. I just added it to

      I’m not in touch with any of the “Fulton Cavanaughs”, such as there may be. However, while a DJ at WNDR in Syracuse, I promoted a number of “Sock Hops” during my college years at the Fulton War Memorial, sort of an old VFW hall in the middle of town. An attractive young lady came up and introduced herself as a “Cavanaugh”. We spoke briefly, deciding we might be “some sort of cousins”, but that was that. With my Dad dying in ’48, followed by his sister, my Aunt Molly (Mary) Cavanaugh in early ’49, that left Vince as my only direct family connection and he had left Central New York in his youth, not returning until the late ’40’s. Interestingly enough, Vince never spoke much about any Cavanaugh specifics, other than they were Irish and NOT ENGLISH.

      With best wishes,

      Cousin Peter on the Coast

  3. Larry Shockley Says:


    Hope all is well in your land of wonder.. My name is Larry Shockley and I am a washed up rock and roll DJ turned historian that is in the process of polishing off an MA in History from Marshall University and is currrently attending West Virginia University. I was hoping to chat with you at some point about my dissertation project that concerns the radio biz… Just drop me an e-mail if interested…

    Warmest Regards,

    Larry Shockley
    Marshall University/
    West Virginia University.

  4. Jaco Says:

    Hey thanks for helping the MC 5 get big! I was just noticing Wayne Kramer does the music for Eastbound and Down. Come visit us in Jaco Costa Rica and bring the MC5 with you! Regarding the higher power, my brother went to AA with a reluctance to accept a higher power and he decided his higher power would be secular humanism. Slippery slope – he is a buddhist priest now. Rock on !

  5. Debbie McIntosh Says:

    Lets do another WILD WEDNESDAY with all the old rock and roll bands!!!!! YOU game???

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