Written by Patti Posner Daboosh
On December 11, I am hosting the anniversary of the sale of the Hotel Brickman. The hotel had been in my family from May 10, 1912 to December 17, 1986.
In June, I sent out save the dates. I took a photo of our outdoor pool and created a whimsical oversized postcard.
I personalized it with a question about one of the waiters highlighting one of his eccentricities . For the invitation I used a postcard from the hotel. One word of caution when using oversized postcards, writing the names and addresses horizontally requires less postage than addressing them vertically.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and like their memories of their time in the Catskills I want this party to be full of laughter, storytelling, food and comedy reminiscent of the Brickman. Sammy’s Roumanian restaurant was the only way to go.
So, you may be thinking how I found so many former employees. The easiest way is to never loose touch with them. And this is the case with many of who were and are dear friends. The next way is Facebook. There is a Facebook group, Summers at the Brickman with 150 members.
I have enlisted several Brickman friends to help me plan this nostalgic party. Of course it has to have a Brickman theme. I’ve downloaded over 200 photos, advertisements and memorabilia and my daughter is creating a video that will run during the party. The resident artist from the hotel will be the videographer and I will post both videos on YouTube.
I’m bringing lots of my artifacts from the hotel and will ask everyone to bring whatever they have. I’m still deciding how to display it. I have menus from the hotel and I am customizing them to fit the theme of the party. Each guest will have a a Brickman name tag. Besides their name I’ll add their years of service and job title.
I’ll have the eggs, french toast and a schmear of cream cheese with my bagels and lox. To start.
Food is one important theme of the Catskills. The other entertainment. Since not everyone will know each other, I am going to welcome everyone and introduce the staff to one another in a concise, poignant, and hopefully funny repartee. The former dining room captain will escort my guests to their seats as she did 30 years ago. Then I will introduce our former Director of Activities and Master of Ceremonies and they will do a parody of the Hotel Brickman, a la The Frair’s Club roast. He’ll also do a round or two of Simon Sez, another Catskill staple.
I know everyone has funny, and I mean funny, stories of their years at the Brickman and I expect the cocktail hour will be an hour of hysteria. And maybe a few tears.
I’m working now on designing an alcoholic drink for my guests. Borscht must be it’s theme. I’m going to send out an email to everyone who is invited and have a competition to see who comes up with the best drink. The winner gets a Hotel Brickman mug.
Simon Says stay tuned for after party commentary and YouTube video.
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