So Long, Betty and Veronica | Lou Ferreri

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Traveling into the past can be exhausting. It can also be exhilarating. Preparation for this kind of travel may require spending years thinking about it, even agonizing over it. You ask yourself endless questions: Should I go? Why should I go? Was the past too long ago? What if I go and there’s nothing there? Finally I go, and I uncover a wealth of stories … one major car wreck, small talk about sex, a tale of two guns, and not a hint of regret… Woody Allen, Brigitte Bardot, Buddy Hackett … and pop singer Neil Sedaka’s mother turn up in these pages. And there’s a confession about a theft connected to one of them. So Long, Betty and Veronica recalls a dying Borscht Belt culture, ancient bungalow colonies, and burned-down hotels in the Catskills. It’s the coming of age story of a New York City boy spending summers in the country. The journey transforms lost experience and integrates it into the present. In a curious way, going back enriches the path forward. So Long, Betty and Veronica is a celebration of people whose wealth of character and generosity of spirit made the past possible.

Praise for So Long Betty and Veronica:

“Like a lot of other people, my glimpse into the Catskill Mountains summer resort life was through the lens of movies like Dirty Dancing.  But it was only when I read Lou Ferreri’s memoir Betty and Veronica that the warmth, charm, hilarity and drama of family vacations to that distinctive destination became real for me.  From comforting daily rituals with the families of your cabin circle to jobs serving never-ending banquet food like a high-wire act to watching the likes of Buddy Hackett and a very young Woody Allen ply their stage comedy, Ferreri unpacks his summer suitcase of memories and airs them with abandon. Betty and Veronica’s pristine setting, outsize characters and insightful stories linger long after you put down this captivating coming-of-age story. Under the author’s companionable, yet discerning style, the Catskills become a magical haven where family, community, work and entertainment intersect in a time capsule now gone forever.  Thanks to Lou Ferreri, we can all be privy to this soulful summer world through Betty and Veronica.”

  • Karen Taulelle, writer and documentary filmmaker (Carny/MNtvBroadcast)

“I finished the book, and was moved by it. Ferreri is a fine writer, observant, intelligent, perceptive, and in dealing with material made familiar in many ways by other writers, performers, dramatists, quite original. The work deepens as we proceed into it, the people, the places coming alive, and then ending with darker qualities than mere reminiscence, the seriousness of an ubi sunt, or ou sont les neiges d’antan note.”

  • Jules Chametzky, Renowned writer, editor, and literary critic

“Ferreri’s memoir is thoroughly engaging, even captivating, funny, and poignant. He brought me with him on his journey in a way that made me feel his love and non-judgmental embrace of the experiences and people that helped shape and enrich him. He has a remarkable gift for merging deep reflection and keen perception with humor and wisdom. Ferreri blends the innocence and adventurousness of a boy coming of age with the wisdom and affection of a man in his 60’s, looking back at an era that has long passed.”

  • Lynn Leibowitz, Ph.D., Psychoanalyst

“The school year ends and Jewish kids in New York City flock to the Catskills for 2 wonderful months of pure freedom in the country.  There is no homework, nothing that needs to be done, nothing but choosing how to have fun for that day.  This was my experience of the Catskills, and it comes through powerfully in Betty and Veronica.  I know Lou well, and I think he still lives his life in the same way. Lou is a child of the Catskills 50s. His book is not just nostalgia; it’s a love story about his family and friends in the Catskills.  The writing flows in a stream of consciousness from that love.”  

  • Steve Himmelstein, Ph.D., Psychologist

“…. It feels like we know your mom and dad… and the people who helped form you and the places you called home.  It’s sentimental and sweet and so “rosebud”. It’s easy to relate to my own happy childhood memories of being so excited to pack and go, adventure, play, explore- exciting people, eerie glow worms on hot summer nights, fireworks against black summer sky, old dogs under rusty trucks, two little girls on fat tire bikes stirring up dust on the back farm road, swimming at the beach in Rock Lake, penny candy at the Ben Franklin in Norman Rockwellesque Lake Mills, Wisconsin… struggling to bring it all back to life- the simpler times.  But it’s all so fragile and fleeting.  Did those things really happen?  Would the others remember it the way I do? Maybe not What a fantastic journey back in time and leap of faith- I’m so glad you shared it with us.  This book is good medicine for the soul.”

  • Amy Donlin

“For anyone who has wondered why the “Borscht Belt’’ resorts of the 1940s and 1950s occupy such a fond place in the American imagination, Lou Ferreri’s book provides a wonderful answer – it is a charming, vivid memoir about post-war Brooklyn families and their beloved Catskill world of summer bungalows, scenic drives and dinner with a Tom Collins and a floorshow.”

  • Dave Hage, co-author of “No Retreat, No Surrender” and “The Good Fight.”

“From Brooklyn to the Borscht Belt, Lou Ferreri-working class son of a cab driver, takes us on a humble journey backward through time to the summers of a more innocent and generous age. These stories, like postcards from a fading Post War America, are imbued with their original color here as we glimpse Mr. Ferreri revisiting his youth and in the process, discovering the signposts of his soul.”

  • Paul Metsa-Musician and Author of Blue Guitar Highway.

“Lou’s account of his trip to the Catskill Mountains brought the past to life with vivid immediacy.  Lou’s artistic visual sensibility infused his descriptions of life in the bungalow colony and at the Evers Hotel with both a striking pictorial sense and a deeply felt emotional tone.  Although I did not have the Borscht Belt experience growing up, I felt as though Lou’s memories were my own.  The quirky characters and the places they inhabited felt intimately familiar to me.  There was a gentle, poignant rhythm in the back and forth juxtaposition of the present day trip with the events and experiences of Lou’s youth.  Lou’s story is an invitation to revisit one’s old haunts with an open mind and an accepting spirit.”

  • Erica Perl, Vocalist


Out of Brownsville: Encounters with Nobel Laureates and Other Jewish Writers | Jules Chametzky

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“No student of American Jewish writing needs to be reminded that Jules Chametzky is one of its pioneers. A founding editor of the influential Massachusetts Review, he is perhaps especially noted for his study of the fiction of Abraham Cahan. He now caps a distinguished career as critic, editor, and teacher with this delightful volume of memoirs. It is astonishing to know how many of the shapers of literature in America Chametzky knew not merely as subjects met in passing but understood as artists. Readers and scholars will, of course, find their own favorites among the individual memoirs, but beyond the perceptiveness of the recollections and the shrewd assessments in them, there emerges Jules himself, warm, gracious, accepting, modest about his own achievements, which he scarcely mentions. One closes the book with a sense of regret that it has ended and with a feeling how good it was for those who met Jules and enjoyed, however briefly, his friendship.”

Joseph C. Landis
Editor, Yiddish-Modern Jewish Studies
Professor Emeritus of English, Queens College, CUNY

“Woven into these lively portraits and reminiscences of others are not only sudden illuminations of the characters portrayed and of the fleeting moments captured here, but also insights into the fragility of life, the power to create, and the strange magic of human encounters that make Jules Chametzky’s memoir so touchingly social and pleasurable to read.”

Werner Sollors
Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature
and Professor of African and African
American Studies, Harvard University

 Link to Review published in Jewish Currents Magazine, Summer 2013

My Lover, Myself: Self-Discovery Through Relationship | David Kantor

 In his more than thirty years of experience as a therapist, Dr. David Kantor has learned that our lovers are mirrors for showing us who we really are-and who we can become. In My Lover, Myself, readers will learn how to turn everything in a relationship-normal difficulties or serious problems-into opportunities for understanding our differences and becoming the best people we can be. Case histories and questionnaires will help lovers share their discoveries-and make the journey back to the healing relationship they promised each other in the beginning.

“One of the great innovators in the field of family therapy.” - Bestselling author Maggie Scarf

The best family therapist and teacher the field has produced. I use his ideas all the time, in my life, and in my work.

-Ruth Bell, author of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives 


 Love By Labor Lost | David Kantor

  • A graphic novel that explores systemic and individual moral corruption in Technospan, a fictional executive team in trouble. David Kantor presents the roots of leaders’ behavior, how behavior shifts in high stakes crises, and how a high performance team can become trapped in the mechanisms of moral degradation. Love by Labor Lost is based on the decades of research, writing, and consulting of David Kantor, a clinical psychologist.
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Inside The Family | David Kantor and William Lehr

  •  An exploration of family organization and behavior, this book presents an investigation of the complete family in its natural setting. In this book, David Kantor and William Lehr go inside the family, probing and analyzing everything from the locks on the doors to the way members deal with crisis. Trained observers actually lived with families and interviewed them in their own houses. From this wealth of information, Kantor and Lehr extracted the fundamental processes common to all families. The result is a systematic framework that can be used to analyze all major features of family life.
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