About Jerry Greenfield
After surviving ten summers in the dining rooms of Catskill Mountain hotels, Jerry became a college professor in Northwest Florida. He then moved to Madrid, Spain to teach English as a Second Language. Later, he relocated to Israel to work in the burgeoning film industry, dubbing films from Hebrew to English for worldwide distribution.
Returning to the US, he got his first job as a copywriter in an advertising agency, ultimately establishing his own marketing firm, which he still manages today. In 1995 Jerry and his wife Debi became interested (more like obsessed) with wine. He began to educate himself on this fascinating topic, ultimately become an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, teaching a course in wine in the School of Resort and Hospitality Management.
Jerry has written five other books: Ask the Wine Whisperer and Secrets of the Wine Whisperer contain entertaining information about the world of wine and are available on his website at winewhisperer.com. He has also co-authored three books about the Vietnam War. His articles have been published in magazines as diverse as TV Guide, Cat Fancy, Flight Training, and Women in Aviation.
New York's Catskill Mountains
Popularly known as the Borscht Belt, the Jewish Alps, or the Sour Cream Sierras, this hilly scenic area about 90 miles northwest of New York City was, for decades, the summer vacation destination for Jewish families from the New York area and the northeast. For about 40 years, from around 1930 to 1970, the area blossomed with hotels large and small, and bungalow colonies that welcomed families for a week, two weeks, and even the entire summer.
The larger, more famous hotels, such as Grossinger’s, Kutschers, the Nevele, and the Concord entertained their guests with staged shows in their nightclubs on the weekends featuring singers and standup comedians. Many of them launched their careers in the area and became famous. Phil Silvers, Sid Caesar, Red Buttons, Jackie Mason, Joan Rivers…the list goes on.
He Lost it in the Catskills offers you a rare glimpse into the life behind the scenes at a typical hotel. The Rubel’s Mansion portrayed in the novel was an actual hotel owned by Jerry’s mother’s family in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
The Rubel family consisted of Joseph and Rose Rubel and their ten children, who came to the US from eastern Europe during and after World War I. Jerry’s mother Rose was the youngest. Her parents prospered as grocery merchants in their new country and bought the hotel in the early 1930s as a hedge against the Great Depression. When they sold it to the Gilbert family in 1942, they kept a piece of the property and built a 4-bedroom bungalow as a family summer retreat. Jerry spent every summer of his life at the bungalow, and when he was 15 and old enough to work, he got his first busboy job at a local hotel. To earn money for college, he worked in the area every summer for over 10 years, coming of age in a very unique and memorable way.