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Memories of The Catskills: The Making of a Hotel

Author: Alvin L. Lesser

John Conway, Sullivan County Historian

234 pages, 6 x 9, Perfect bound

Line illustrations /
More than 110 b&w photographs

$16.50 trade paperback

$9.95 eBook

Publication date:
January 10, 2013

Published by:
GSL Galactic Publishing

Kate Bandos,
KSB Promotions

Distributed by: Ingram




Alvin Lesser’s Memories of The Catskills is more than just memorabilia. Famous stars of yesteryear came to entertain in the ‘Borscht Belt’ at Lesser Lodge. The Lodge survived the depression era and then flourished during the years of economic recovery and growth. Not just the story of the Lesser family, but the warmth of people who made others welcome by providing a respite which made them all family—entertainers and guests alike. Five stars for this one.”

Clark Isaacs
Clark’s Eye on Books

* * *

Alvin Lesser’s book, Memories of The Catskills, takes you back to the days when the Sullivan County Summer was thriving; when the roads were curb-to-curb with cars, and the days were filled with games and picnics, swimming and visiting; when the nights were filled with plenty of food and soon-to-be-famous entertainers. It’s a day that’s long gone, but one that lives in a lot of memories. How fortunate that Lesser has graciously shared his memories with us; he’s captured the spirit and the harmony that brought the Catskills to life.”

Carol Montana
Editor, The Catskill Chronicle

* * *

As Tasty and Satisfying as a Borscht Belt Hotel Dinner! If you have memories of the now quickly disappearing world that was the Catskills in the era of the Borscht Belt hotels, this book will fill you with great pleasure. Author Alvin Lesser tells the story of one such hotel, The Lesser Lodge, as seen first through the eyes of a mischievous child, then those of a young man coming of age, and finally through those of an experienced WWII veteran who has seen both the best and worst of humanity.

Memories of the Catskills is witty and warm, but quite amazingly considering its subject matter, never sentimental. Parts will leave you doubled up with laughter, others nearly in tears.

The book is filled with stories (and photographs) of the people who made the Borscht Belt special. Some famous--others (indeed, those with the best stories) often not. But all are memorable. A truly different type of people from a very, very different world than we know today.

Well worth reading if only to rekindle old memories and remind you of why going to the Catskills was once such a wonderful thing.”

Monadnock Region, NH, USA
* * *

The book is like a time machine that took me back some eighty years or so to my own boyhood summers spent in the Catskills. Lesser’s descriptions and anecdotes cannot be surpassed for telling the story of this by-gone era. His tales replicate my own childhood experiences and memories in a most enjoyable and positive way. Once I opened page one, I could not put the book down. My only regret is not knowing any of the Lessers; but we shared watching some of the same entertainers, noshing all day long, and experiencing similar recreational facilities. The Catskills mountain air during those sweltering days may be partially responsible for my own good health and long life today.

George Roth
Jeruselem, Israel