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March 29, 2012

In These Otsego Hills: This and that and the other side ...

We note that the CCS Class of 2012 is presenting its senior class play, “Snow White” by Tim Kelly, this week with performances 7:30 p.m Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30, and at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31. All performances will be at the Nicolas J. Sterling Auditorium at the Middle/High School.

In addition there will be a spaghetti dinner before the show on Thursday and pizza by the slice will be available at the Saturday morning performance. For more information, email TPLACE@COOPERSTOWN.ORG or call 547-8181.

The next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the village of Cooperstown Library. The book for discussion will be “Making the Rounds with Oscar” by David Dosa. The discussion will be lead by Ellen Bonhote. Following the April meeting, the May meeting of the group will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, again at the village library.

The book for discussion at that meeting will be “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly. The discussion will be lead by Vivian Steinberg. Both meetings are open to the public.

It seems of late that we have been asked by various people to do a bit of sleuthing about matters past and present. And we must say we are rather proud of our track record in finding answers to the questions posed, not because we knew the answer, but we knew who to ask. The request we received for a contact person for the Lake and Valley Garden Club required one telephone call. And the question posed at a recent Dinner Belles luncheon about when the group was started was answered with a conversation with Sue Stevens. As we suspected, Sue started the group back in the 1960s.

The request we got regarding a sterling silver cigarette  case that belonged originallyto Emily Borie Ryerson was a bit more involved. Village Historian Hugh MacDougall received both a telephone call and an email from a gentleman who was in possession of this particular cigarette case and wanted to return it to a member of the Ryerson family. Hugh then emailed us wondering if we had any ideas about how to contact someone in the family.

We then emailed a friend who is wintering in South Carolina who responded that  he could put us in touch withsomeone who we believe, if we have figured out the genealogy correctly, is Arthur and Emily Borie Ryerson’s great-grandson. That friend then emailed someone else who supplied the contact information for the greatgrandson which was then sent to us so we could send it on to Hugh who forwarded it to the gentleman with the cigarette case. At this point we have no idea where the cigarette case actually is, but we were happy to be a part of its return to the Ryerson family if that is indeed what has happened.

And at the moment we are dealing with a query about a DAR cookbook with the following publication information: “Title: Tried Recipes, Second Edition. Compiled by: Otsego Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Published by: Crist, Scott & Parshall, Cooperstown, N.Y.” In doing research on this cookbook our questioner, who discovered the cookbook in her aunt’s belongings after her death last year, came across a column we wrote in October of 2004 where we discussed what appeared to be the same cookbook.

And indeed when we reread the column we discovered the cookbook we wrote about belonged to local resident Barbara Pope. However, when we emailed Barbara she was unable to answer the question posed as to when the cookbook was published.

Evidently, that piece of information was not thought to be of importance when the cookbook was published.

Thus to date we have not yet been able to answer the question posed. However, we will continue the quest by researching the dates for the publishing company Crist, Scott & Parshall as well as asking the local DAR chapter if they might have some indication of the publication date in their archives. The search continues.

Unfortunately, we did not do such a good job of sleuthing when it came to last week’s column. When we wrote it, which we confess to having done a number of times as we discarded one rewrite after another, we suspected that there has been unacceptable rhetoric coming from both sides of the natural gas debate.

However, as we do with many items in the column, we were working from information that readers sent us. And given our perspective, that information was indeed one sided, as was pointed out by Adrian Kuzminski, Moderator, Sustainable Otsego when he wrote us: “It is very unfortunate that so much of contemporary politics has descended, as you say, “to demeaning those of the opposing point of view.” I believe however, in all fairness, that this has occurred on both sides of the issue, with anti-frackers being characterized as tree-huggers, socialists, anti-business, and worse...”

He then continued with: “My only complaint about your piece is it’s one-sidedness. I wish you would have quoted some demeaning language from the profrackers as well, such as the following from Chuck Pinkey: I guess Sustainable Otsego and  the rest of the sky-is-falling,environmentalist wacko, treehugging, carbon footprinting, anti-progress, for the-goodof- the-children, wring your hands in fear, run screaming into the night, anti-drilling crowd were wrong.”

We must confess that we had never read one of Mr. Pinckey’s columns, but we did read his Daily Star column of March 13 from which this quote was taken.

And while Mr. Pinkey is entitled to his opinion, his smear of Sustainable Otsego was not only inappropriate, but also did nothing, as far as we could see, to further his cause. And we suspect that is always the case. We have long thought that once a debate is reduced to the level of name calling, the debate is lost.

We are certain there are more examples of inappropriate comments from those in favor of gas drilling. They too need to stop so that we can return to an honest discussion of the issue with debate centered on its pros and cons as well as its risks and benefits.

We suspect it is unlikely that consensus will be reached on this issue. However, it would be helpful  if we would all stop trying towin the argument by tearing down those whom we do not agree.

PLEASE NOTE : Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 607-547-8124 or by e-mail at cellsworth1@stny.rr.com

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