Boys will be boys in the Catskills

Posted 3/1/23

Our dear friend Louie Weber expired peacefully at home on the early morning of January 10, 2023. He was 101. We celebrated his birthday with him in October 2022 at his house in Brooklyn.

Louie …

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Boys will be boys in the Catskills


Our dear friend Louie Weber expired peacefully at home on the early morning of January 10, 2023. He was 101. We celebrated his birthday with him in October 2022 at his house in Brooklyn.

Louie and my father met at the bungalow colony owned by our cousins on DeBruce Road in Livingston Manor. The weary remnants of the barn our family of six lived in during those summers of the “roaring ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s” of Borscht Belt fame still stand.

My husband and I regularly brought our children to see my happy place, which we empty-nesters still visit yearly, sometimes multiple times a season. I reminisce about the days starting with dew-filled grounds and cows grazing on the mountains in the distance. We touch the waters of the Willowemoc as I remember dipping in and blueberry picking with Louie and his wife, Sarah.

Humble and unpretentious, Louie always had a bar of soap along as he washed up in the crisp waters of the Willowemoc. The thought of that sight brings up the memory of my mother’s cackling as we stood by in amazement, watching as he shamelessly scrubbed his armpits, rinsing off with a dip in the crystal-like waters.

For blueberry picking, Sarah and Louie led the way. We toted used coffee tins with holes my father drilled to string a wire handle so our caravan of mountain dwellers could carry empty buckets to be filled with fresh berries.

Louie once lived on his father’s farm in Swan Lake, but Livingston Manor was where he teamed up with my father after serving in the Army Air Corps in WWII. Louie’s longtime profession as a high school shop teacher included part-time work as a counselor. As did my father, he found satisfaction in tinkering in the basement with all kinds of electronics and gadgets.

Sarah and Louie, and then Louie by himself, were frequent visitors to my parent’s home in New Jersey. After Sarah’s untimely passing, my father worked at ensuring Louie received help through his grieving by taking him up the mountains.

The 1971 picture of my father at age 60 and Louie at 50, shown riding bikes together on Tuttle Hill Road upon returning to Livingston Manor on one of their many jaunts over the years, gives me a warm feeling of nostalgia and love. The love for our parents, taking us to vacation in the Catskills, is matched by the love for our cousins for buying the old farm and turning it into a bungalow colony. Joining our love for those dear ones are our love for our friends Sarah and Louie, who treated us as family and with whom we always had such fun times, and a love of nature and the beauty of the mountains.

There is a lot to process on the day of a dear family friend’s loss, especially after knowing the person for your entire life. Born in 1953, I can count on my fingers how many people are living who knew me for that long. Who left on earth could tell my life’s story? Who can talk about the good old days of socializing with my parents and rehash the good times?

The drive to the cemetery, with my husband and two of my three older brothers, was filled with chatter about distant days and our escapades with Sarah and Louie throughout their years. Seeing his sister Rose, and meeting with his nieces and nephews, our contemporaries, made us feel even more like part of Louie’s family.

As a prized jewel, Louie routinely had his camera strapped around his neck. No doubt he would have captured the moment we all stood to remember him as he was laid to rest next to his dear Sarah. We could all “hear” his bugle calls and soft hymns on the harmonica.

The picture with my father and Louie on bicycles reminds me there was nothing like the Catskills air and the memories the hills hold to bring back sweet thoughts. There’s much to be happy about, and we’ll always cherish Louie’s memory as a blessing.

Sharon Mark Cohen, MPA, is a genealogist, historian, and journalist who believes everyone deserves a legacy. Follow her Tuesday blog at

Louie Weber


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