Cabin101 10/4 Year of the Plague
My Hobart cabin. It all started with the pole barn I designed & built for the Schwartz sex therapy weekends. It was such a 60s thing .- a good time.
In my mid-20s Joe Seif introduced me to the Schwartzes. Dr. and Dr. Schwartz of Long Island, ran weekend hands-on how-to-do-it sex therapy/training for couples. They were riding the 60s tidal wave caused by the seismic eruption – the popular 60s discovery of the female climax. Joe, a mathematician and Dawn his girlfriend got to know them and became involved in the clinics as sex actors – too crazy. Joe was famous for his prowess – he had incredible staying power as anyone who sometimes bedded within earshot of him would know.
I had walked into a midsummers dream. I remember the first time I met them. Joe took me to a Schwartz party in their big house/clinic on the South Shore. Lots of high quality grass, many couples/clients. They told me their plans about their upstate clinic.
The Schwartzes had acquired a square mile cusp of a valley opening to Roses Brook. They planned to have their weekend clinics there. The house was the origional estate house, long unused. Not big enuf for a dozen couples to weekend and romp. They needed a large barn with many rooms. I’m from farm country and I knew about pole barns.
I was a bit handy with tools – I did some serious handyman jobs for my parents’ very old house. I had the coming summer off and convinced the Schwartzes to let me build a large 2 story barn with many rooms where couples would sleep and practice orgasms. And Joe and Dawn would help with the barn. I got a book from the Canadian government about building pole barns.
I won’t give details but you’ve probably seen pole barns. They are frequently built to house trucks used by road crews. Dig 4 foot holes. Just stick poles, the size of telephone poles, into the ground about 12 feet apart. The poles for building are cut 6” x 6”, from 24 to 30 feet (or more) long. Creosoted pressed, similar to pier poles but square. They weigh around 350 lbs. They are placed by a backhoe exactly vertical and in line. You build floors and roofs by nailing or bolting 12′ joists between poles.
Advice to first-time pole barn builders: Build the back wall first. The first time you try to place several 350 lbs poles in a straight line, you will build a curvy wall. You will improve so start at the back of the barn.
So I met Mike Jones. He was skillfully rebuilding the Schwartzes’ half-dozen fireplaces. He was a retired NY writer. He had bought a couple hundred acre shut-down milk farm upstream of the Schwartzes. The Northern Catskills were mostly hilly poor small milk farms. Small farms, especially milk, were backbreakers. You have to milk twice each day 7 days a week. You can never rest. And small are the profits, for the farm and the milk tank trucks. With long routes made up of family farms with 100 cows each. Land was cheap. Took 4 or 5 hours of driving to get to Hobart. When you got to Woodstock from NYC you still had 2 hours to get to Hobart.
So Dawn, Joe and I were bunking in the estate house. And Mike was part of our crowd. Mike shared his farmhouse with uncaged rabbits. The smell was memorable. We would go most nights to Blondies Bar in South Kortright. Beer was almost free. Mike was an old alcoholic. Of a special type. He drank beer until his liver rebelled and then was sick for a couple days. And then got out of bed and started again.
His liver wouldn’t last long and Mike put his farm up for sale and got an offer, lowball, from the Perlsteins of NYC. Which he accepted. He was getting sicker each week and the Perlsteins delayed closing and continued to negotiate. And they delayed and Mike knew he had to return to NY – to die. So he closed with them and being a creative writer ended his relationship with the Perlsteins with a coup de grace. The large farm on the south facing slope of the valley was the property on the deed which the Perlsteins got dirt cheap. But a second deed existed for just one acre down into the valley on the north face of the valley. Away from the road with a right-of-way across the entire property the Perlsteins bought. He gave me that acre. Knowing that a hippy with a right-of-way across their entire farm would drive the Perlsteins nuts. And it did.
So that’s how I got my acre and I built the cabin in just a week or two at the end of the summer. I was so comfortable with building pole structures that I didn’t need plans. Just 6 poles, 3 in a line on the downhill side and three in a parallel line for the uphill side.

So the drawing represents the side of the cabin facing downhill.
The first floor was 24′ wide by 12′ deep with a ladder going up to a 12′ x 12′ sleeping loft.

It was quite a hill.  And at the bottom of the hill was Roses Brook.  and my right-of-way across the Perlsteins bottom land rolling uphill, perhaps a quarter mile walk to their house on Rosesbrook Road.  What ended up being Mike Jones’ Revenge is Me and the Cabin.

I was a 25 year old stoned sharing partying sex therapist barn builder.  I had my nudist friends traipsing from Rosesbrook Road (where they had to leave their cars) to the Cabin.  Mr. Perlstein would sit on his John Deere tractor with a shotgun on his lap, boiling.

I used the cabin until I followed J up to Ithica. up to their “rabbit” stinky house