CATHERINE LAKE ELLSWORTH
IN THESE OTSEGO HILLS
We fear, given the current state of communication, it is more difficult than ever to really get away. Granted, we have no problems doing so when visiting the family cottage on Lake Michigan as it sports no cellphone service, no Internet service and no television to speak of. It definitely qualifies as the dark ages when it comes to communication. And we have to say there is something about being in such a state that is rather refreshing.
However, once we return to civilization as we know it, we find ourselves checking out the websites of our local news outlets just to see if something untold has happened in our absence. And of course, once back in civilization the email system continues to present us with all sorts of communiqués.
For example, we were still in Ohio when we received word from our trusty Eagle Street reporter, Robin Lettis, that once again the annual Eagle Street block party had been a success. She wrote:
“Here we are again, the summer is just about wound down and Eagle Street has just cleaned up from our 17th annual Block Party. Patrick Dewey provided music for us and managed to find Frank Sinatra singing ‘When I was 17 it was a very good year.’ It was the perfect music for this year and all us ‘small town girls.’ Bob Weidman came as an alumni representative. He had lived on our street at two different addresses in the far past. Barb and Paul Lambert ambled down to visit. It was great to see Paul looking so well. Tom and Roberta Hohensee are our newest neighbors and were here to greet Kathy and Rick Jagel in their alumni positions.
“It was a joy to have a good sized bunch of kids running around enjoying themselves and fun to reminisce with Mitchell Adsit about the last crop of little kids when he was one of them. Susan Lettis was one of those kids too and is now back in town and the new lawyer at Gozigan, Washburn and Clinton. She was a big help with the afternoon’s success along with the other hostesses Jean Lyon, Cindy Hubbell and Michelle Adsit. The weather for the afternoon was a bit iffy, which we choose to blame on the absence of Eagle St mayor Tom Lyon. It was an enthusiastic, noisy, well-fed crowd and a good time was had by all.”
Thus we think it is safe to say that the two 2012 Cooperstown block parties, the one in the spring on Upper Pioneer Street, and the one in the fall on Eagle Street, are in the books.
We also received various e-mails reporting on life in general in the village. For example, on Aug. 26 we learned that “Humidity returned yesterday bringing a nice rain shower that lasted an hour or so yesterday. Beautiful here today, some rain expected tomorrow.”
While on Aug. 29 we received the following weather prediction: “The weather is going to be spectacular for the Labor Day weekend which has arrived very suddenly once again.” The weather report continued on September 5 when we learned that “We’ve been cloudy since Monday with some rain and high humidity which looks to be changing by Friday.”
Sept. 6 brought the news that the “...town is nice and quiet.”
We must admit that we don’t really know if the last message referred to the drop in tourists following Labor Day or the fact that school started on the sixth. We suspect it might be both.
And, of course, while away we continued to receive our daily Sustainable Otsego listserv emails.
In fact, during our absence we received well over 200 such emails on a wide variety of subjects facing society at the moment. And while the sheer number of emails may seem overwhelming, we do appreciate the range of opinions, as well as the information on new innovations, techniques and undertakings, on a wide range of environmental issues.
Plus, while away, we managed to keep up on the various issues of import as covered in the local papers. And while we were not surpised by the news of the impending sale of Otsego Manor by the county, we were taken aback by the story about the electricity at Three Mile Point. In fact, as we read the story as reported in this very newspaper, we told our sister that this particular piece of news, just like the news about the silencing of the noon whistle, was a good candidate to make it into our annual Cooperstown Carol.
Of course, once we mentioned that idea, we were forced to explain to our sister just what the annual Cooperstown Carol might be, a topic, which took her fancy as she too has been known to re-write songs and produce poems when an occasion to do so presents itself. It is perhaps one of the more unusual Lake traits that we share with our sister.
Unfortunately, we received news of the Three Mile Point electricity issue just before we took off from the condo in Grand Rapids to go to the cottage on Lake Michigan. And, as luck would have it, as we plied the highways and byways of Michigan, tooling along at 70 miles an hour, we just could not stop ourselves, with help from our sister, from rewriting “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Thus, with apologies to that particular song, we offer:
Take us out to the board room.
Take us out for the gloom.
Lost our whistle and power supply.
How on earth will we ever get by?
So it’s root, root, root for some new steam
To pull together the team.
Or it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out
Of the old board room.
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