The World, my father was dying. My parents needed time to themselves. I don’t remember where my brother was.
The City, I was handed over to my grandmother. She already had a bus trip planned to what was left of the Catskills to do her shitty gambling at shitty racetracks.
The Catskills, synonymous to me with tacky, hideous, nasty.
The Catskills, to me, it was a horrific, heavy, old-country world of fat, greasy over-bearing old men and their repulsive old world humor of horrendously awful comics like Jerry Lewis and Jackie Mason, the shitty bungalows, the Yiddish.
The Catskills, symbolized to me everything that was uncool. I felt trapped in a mindscape that I hated. There was nothing good about it.
The Catskills, was now blue-haired oldies coming up in droves on shitty buses from NYC to gamble at the racetrack.
The Catskills, however, were never good.
The Catskills, in 1974 was a decade after the sixties had come in and a new generation wanted nothing to do with it.
The Country, where escape was now getting a VW Van and roaming across the USA, not being trapped in the shitty, boring world of the Catskills.
The City, was rampant crime, the Ramones, CBGBs, the birth of Disco.
Upstate, was Attica and Woodstock, Cooperstown and hiking the Adirondacks.
Upstate, was a dying world, being abandoned like shitty Detroit.
Upstate, was Long-closed factories, the landscape now dotted with prisons and colleges.
The Catskills, that everyone told me were a source of pride. I must disagree.
The Catskills, was a sad, rotting legacy of an embarrassing insular era buoyed by centuries of self-hate and oppression.
The Catskills, was not a glorious time. It was a terrible way for a great tribe to present themselves to the world. When I think of cultural pride, I think of men like the great Emperor HIM Haile Selassie the I and his powerful dignity, standing alone before the shitty League of Nations on behalf of his people.
The Catskills, was the absolute tragic, cultural low-point of a once-great people and it should be remembered only with shame and derision.
The Catskills, I don’t think I felt any cultural pride again until the raid at Entebbe two years later. Anyway, I would have rather spent two weeks with Idi Amin Dada than two seconds at the Catskills.
The Catskills, was the absence of class, the utter loss of dignity and pride. I hated it and everything it stood for with unbridled passion.
The Catskills, subject of a social mercy-killing was almost dead. A whole new world now beckoned. Woodstock was cool, the Catskills were not.
The Catskills, I was stuck up there for two weeks, every second of it was torture.
The Catskills, I wanted to be cool, not stuck in an empty old bungalow with no air conditioning and nowhere to go.
The Country, I wanted to be gone to look for America, hiking in the woods, exploring the West Coast, going to Arena Rock Concerts, hanging out in Manhattan, joining the Army and fighting like members of my family did in every War since 1898.
The Catskills, an old world died with it and good riddance.