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  • Marilyn (the author) and her brothers Brian (standing) and Dean on the front lawn of their home on Wagner Avenue, Fleischmanns, NY in 1956.  The tennis courts in the background are an important part of Chapter 9 - Counting Strips.
  •  Current sign as you enter the village of Fleischmanns, NY.  This is the village where nearly all of the action in the memoir takes place.
  • This is the house on Wagner Avenue, Fleischmanns, NY where Marilyn grew up. Her father's parents bought the house around 1928.
  • Marilyn's parents Bertha and Murray Mayes on their wedding day, June 12, 1948.
  • Current photo of Brian, Dean and Marilyn.  This proves they survived their childhood.
  • Marilyn at age 4 (1953) and her cousin Danny with whom she played "all the time."
  • Marilyn at age 9 and Brian at age 6 making a snow cave in 1958. Read about how Marilyn and her brothers enjoyed winter in Chapter 13 - Winter: The Beginning, the Middle, and Will It Ever End.
  • Marilyn and Brian in the lawn chair with Dick, Marilyn's friend since she was old enough to have friends, in 1958. Dick was in charge of their backyard sports activities.  Read about small town sports in Chapter 4 - Youth Sports.
  • Dean in the front yard as he looked when he had his first cigarette, with his Mother's permission, in 1958. Learn all about this and more smoking adventures in Chapter 3 - My Life as a Smoker.
  • Dean in the backyard at age 6 (in 1962).  He always "accidently" squirted the clothes Mother hung out to dry.
  • Dean at age 6 (1962) in the backyard. By this age, Dean knew nearly everyone by name in Fleischmanns and they knew him.
  • They always had a cat, but the cats didn't always have great names. This was their Yellow Cat. He was one of their favorite cats because he was so relaxed about everything. This photo was taken in 1965 or so.
  • Dean, Brian, and Marilyn ready to go skiing in 1966 with the ballpark that was directly across from their house.
  • Dean's 1966 (fifth grade) school photo. This was the year he ate ex-lax on a dare and missed two days of school due to ... .  Well, you can read about many of Dean's childhood adventures in Chapter 2 - And Then God Gave Me Dean.
  • The 1940 something Army jeep that Brian and one of his friends painted. Dean is sitting in the driver's seat. Read about Brian's adventures with this jeep in Chapter 22 - Brian's Jeep.
  • Their parents Bertha and Murray Mayes on their back porch at a family reunion in 1983.  Their parents frequently held hands.  Don't they look conventional?

An Unconventional Childhood

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“An Unconventional Childhood Growing Up in the Catskill Mountains During the 1950s and 1960s”

by Marilyn Mayes Kaltenborn

We can’t resist selling this light-hearted memoir by Dean’s sister Marilyn.  The memoir takes place in the small Catskill Mountain village of Fleischmanns, NY whose population increased from a few hundred to many thousands during the summer in the 1950s and 1960s. While some people think small towns are boring places to live, Marilyn and her brothers, Brian and Dean, were seldom bored.

As one person wrote:

‘Unconventional’ hardly begins to cover it. Most people spend large parts of their childhood trying to hide questionable activities from their parents. Marilyn and her brothers actively sought (and received!) permission from their parents for such activities as smoking starting at age two and a half, riding bicycles and roller-skating around the dining room table, and riding couch cushions down the carpeted stairs. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories even though I have heard most of them many times.‘

H. Stanley Kaltenborn Jr., (the unpaid, unbiased husband of the author for 41 years and counting)

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