5 episodes

Autobiographical coming-of- age tale of five working class boys in the historic village of Cooperstown New York. The story centers around a local brothel called the Sugarhouse, operated by Ma Rutledge, the Maple Sugar Madam, and her two saucy, bovine daughters, Bertha and Emma.

“The happiest times at the Sugarhouse came when Ma Rutledge was making maple syrup. During these sap-boiling days the sugary breath of the candy kitchen penetrated everywhere. The beds of the girls were saturated with sweetness. A roll in the hay with Emma or Bertha was like rolling in pastry flour.”

But there’s trouble in paradise.

A new girl arrives at the Sugarhouse, Belle Saint Marie, “a dusky Cajun princess with snapping black eyes and a body no man could ever forget once he'd seen it.” A lovers’ triangle develops, with tragic consequences for local hayshaker Paul Greenfield.

“Guy DeWolfe and Belle Saint Marie were cut from the same cloth. That was obvious to everyone. The two of them were full of cayenne pepper. It was the French blood that surged in their veins. They were perfectly mated, like a pair of ocelots, hot-natured, highly strung, super-sexed and ferocious. Poor Paul Greenfield, who was easily the dullest man in Otsego County, simply didn't stand a chance.”

Twenty years later. The author returns to Cooperstown, having lost touch with his four childhood friends. What has become of them? And the Sugarhouse?

“Supposing the whole town had been bulldozed away to make room for a strip mall, what one thing would I want to remain, to remain forever? Immediately I thought of the Sugarhouse. Yes, the Sugarhouse. Smash everything if you must, but don't destroy the Sugarhouse. That was my prayer.”

The Sugarhouse Podiobooks.com

    • Books

Autobiographical coming-of- age tale of five working class boys in the historic village of Cooperstown New York. The story centers around a local brothel called the Sugarhouse, operated by Ma Rutledge, the Maple Sugar Madam, and her two saucy, bovine daughters, Bertha and Emma.

“The happiest times at the Sugarhouse came when Ma Rutledge was making maple syrup. During these sap-boiling days the sugary breath of the candy kitchen penetrated everywhere. The beds of the girls were saturated with sweetness. A roll in the hay with Emma or Bertha was like rolling in pastry flour.”

But there’s trouble in paradise.

A new girl arrives at the Sugarhouse, Belle Saint Marie, “a dusky Cajun princess with snapping black eyes and a body no man could ever forget once he'd seen it.” A lovers’ triangle develops, with tragic consequences for local hayshaker Paul Greenfield.

“Guy DeWolfe and Belle Saint Marie were cut from the same cloth. That was obvious to everyone. The two of them were full of cayenne pepper. It was the French blood that surged in their veins. They were perfectly mated, like a pair of ocelots, hot-natured, highly strung, super-sexed and ferocious. Poor Paul Greenfield, who was easily the dullest man in Otsego County, simply didn't stand a chance.”

Twenty years later. The author returns to Cooperstown, having lost touch with his four childhood friends. What has become of them? And the Sugarhouse?

“Supposing the whole town had been bulldozed away to make room for a strip mall, what one thing would I want to remain, to remain forever? Immediately I thought of the Sugarhouse. Yes, the Sugarhouse. Smash everything if you must, but don't destroy the Sugarhouse. That was my prayer.”

    Episode Five

    Episode Five

    A new girl arrives at the Sugarhouse, Belle Saint Marie, “a dusky Cajun princess with snapping black eyes and a body no man could ever forget once he'd seen it.” A lovers’ triangle develops, with tragic consequences for local hayshaker Paul Greenfield.

    The villagers elect a new mayor who fires Bill Rassmussen and hires a real cop. The new mayor and the new cop close down the Sugarhouse and Ma Rudledge and her girls leave town in a brand new robin’s egg blue Cadillac convertible.

    The author leaves Cooperstown. Twenty years go by. He has never returned to his hometown and has lost touch with his four childhood friends. In New York City, just back from Europe, he has a sudden urge to recapture the past. Has Cooperstown changed? What about Turk, Wes, Frank and Willy One-Nut? What has become of them? And the Sugarhouse? Is it still standing? He gets on a bus.

    “Supposing the whole town had been bulldozed away to make room for a strip mall, what one thing would I want to remain, to remain forever? Immediately I thought of the Sugarhouse. Yes, the Sugarhouse. Smash everything if you must, but don't destroy the Sugarhouse. That was my prayer.”

    • 20 min
    Episode Four

    Episode Four

    The five boys turn 17 and start going to the Sugarhouse “to get some sugar.” They get jobs working for the Otsego County Highway Department, and hang out at the Glimmerglass and the Oaksville Hotel. Donny catches the Monster of Eel Pond, a giant fish coveted for years by locals.

    • 23 min
    Episode Three

    Episode Three

    Three years later. Donny begins playing hockey on frozen Otsego Lake with Turk and three other boys who become his closest friends, Wes Cameron, Frank Finocchio and Willy One-Nut. One night the boys skate down a frozen creek that flows past the Sugarhouse. Attracted by music and whooping laughter they approach the Sugarhouse and peek into Emma’s bedroom window. Feverish with excitement, they get into a bloody brawl and Ma Rutledge comes out and shoos them away with her broom.

    • 22 min
    Episode Two

    Episode Two

    The boys arrive at Natty Bumppo’s Cave, are caught in a thunderstorm and spend the night in the cave. In the morning they hike on into town and are greeted with a hero’s welcome. The next day, Turk, Donny and Billy walk downtown for a malted milkshake at Withey’s Drugstore. They pass the Glimmerglass, “Otsego County’s most disreputable bar,” and we meet Rory Goodnight the drunken housepainter, Colonel Bob Deveraux the Village Patriarch, and Lummy Haverhill the Village Idiot.

    • 26 min
    Episode One

    Episode One

    Cooperstown New York, Vietnam Era. The Sugarhouse. We meet Ma Rutledge, the Maple Sugar Madam, her daughters, Bertha and Emma, Bill Rassmussen the town cop, Teddy Granger the singing taxi driver, and hero-narrator Donald O’Donovan.

    Ten years earlier. Donny and his best friend Turk Monahan, eight years old, pop tar bubbles in the street in front of the Sugarhouse. Two years later. Turk, Donny and little Billy Stamford start out hiking to Natty Bumppo’s cave. They stop to rest near the ruins of an old cabin and well, and Turk tells an eerie story about a ghost hitchhiker.

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

BeStillIam ,

A step back in time

Thanks for a short rainy day read. It is a adult read due it's language and subject matter. You will get a chuckle or two. Thanks for letting us back into the good ole small town days when life had no cares and people were friends. A nice find thanks for a few hours of loosing one self.

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