Moon Over The Catskills
Updated: May 25
By: Guest "Papa Blogger" Ed DeRosa
As summer approaches I begin to think about the years I spent working in the beautiful Catskills. This delightful mountain resort with the flow of cool crisp air provided the perfect escape from the heat of the city. Over several years in the late sixties and early seventies, I spent summers working at a small resort in Greenville, New York called World Top Acres. The property had bungalows of various sizes that accommodated guests as well as a working farm. Each Friday new families would arrive booked for two weeks and in some cases up to a month. Many husbands would stay the weekend and leave late on Sunday headed back to the city for work on Monday leaving their wives and children behind.
The work day for me started at 5:30am to prepare the dining room for breakfast which was served family style. I spent most of the day working in the kitchen loading supplies and helping the chef preparing the lunch and dinner menu. The work day usually ended by 6:00pm. I had one day off each week and usually spent it sleeping late and laying by the pool. The Ballroom each night provided entertainment with a live band and dancing, plus an opportunity to make some extra money waiting tables.
The activities of the day included horseback riding, shuffleboard, softball, ping pong, boating & fishing (on 30 acres of private lake) and guests socializing around the pool into the late afternoon. It felt worlds apart from the crowded Bronx tenements that I left behind each summer for several weeks. Swinging from a tree limb on a rope and landing into the cool lake water was an experience I will always remember as well as what was yet to come. On the evening of July 20, 1969 I sat along with most of the resort guests in front of a small television screen in the Ballroom. We all sat in silence as we witnessed the first human to step foot on the moon at 11:00pm.
When I walked out of the Ballroom, I looked up at the moon which illuminated the sky and splashed light all around. The stars seemed to be dancing around the moon as if they were celebrating the accomplishment.
Driving back to the city after my last weekend at the resort, experiencing watching the moon landing, I could only imagine what amazing achievements and adventures were still to come.
Moon Landing Photo courtesy of BBC One: Off-screen picture of American astronaut Neil Armstrong (Flight Commander) walking on the surface of the moon, taken during a live transmission on BBC One, Monday 21st July 1969.