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June 22, 2012

In These Otsego Hills: Catching up is hard to do ...

We have decided that each time we go away, we find, upon our return, that it takes us longer and longer to get back into our Cooperstown routine. In fact, we suspect that we would be quite happy to continue in the state of oblivion, which we so enjoyed while we were away. But alas, that does seem most difficult to do. And thus we find we must spend time dealing with that which we find on our plate here.

Some things are relatively easy to dispatch such as the letter that arrived in the mail during our time away. The letter, which decried what the writer sees as a huge decline of the quality of life in Cooperstown, was not signed.

And thus, even though the writer mentioned being a long-time reader of the column, we have no choice but to ignore the letter, as we have a long-standing policy of not using anonymous information.

On the other hand, following a discussion we saw on some news program of what is considered to be a green job, we had no problem deciding our writing of the column, given our recent recycling of previous columns, definitively would seem to come under the heading of a green job. Of course, exactly how recycling newspaper columns might help the environment by conserving resources quite escapes us. But if the job is green because it includes recycling, we have to think we qualify.

And we were certainly glad we got home in time to touch base with Homer Osterhoudt about his participation in the new baseball book, Baseball Fantography: A Celebration in Snapshots and Stories From the Fans.

Not only did we enjoy reading the article about the book which appeared several weeks ago in this paper, we also had the chance to peruse Homer’s copy.

He also shared with us a letter and newspaper clipping that was sent to his son and daughter-in-law from Terry and Jim Schaeffer. Many readers will no doubt remember that Jim Schaeffer’s father was long time CCS history teacher, Jake Schaeffer. The clipping was from the Los Angles Times and prominently featured Homer’s snapshot of Dizzy Dean warming up at the 1939 exhibition game here in Cooperstown. We thank Homer for once again sharing his most recent baseball undertaking with us.

We also make note of the fact that during our absence a new battle has been waged against the use of pesticides on village property. Our use of such pesticides hovers in the negligible to non existent category as we firmly believe that anything which is green in our little corner of the world can stay. Nonetheless, we would tend to think that curtailing the use of pesticides is no doubt not a bad idea.

However, we are distressed that it would seem that the word chemical has earned a seemingly bad reputation. It is true that there are indeed some very bad chemicals which can do some very bad things.

But it is simply not true that all chemicals are bad. In fact, there are some chemicals which would be deemed necessary to sustain life itself. And we think it is unfortunate that all chemicals seem to be lumped together as being something bad.

For example, we would really hate to see the banning of dihydrogen monoxide even though it is integral to the operation of nuclear power plants, is used in the production of styrofoam and is a major component of acid rain.

Even so, it is not evil. And thus we were stunned when we watched a YouTube video of people signing a petition to ban this particular chemical. It made us think that there are people who evidently do not understand that there are chemicals which have value to all of us.

Of course, in much the same line, we also think it is unfortunate that outsourcing has become a very negative word. Granted, there are times when outsourcing does not seem to be particularly beneficial. But there are also times when doing so simply makes sense. For example, when discussing an issue of outsourcing with our son Christopher, he pointed out that when he has a plumbing problem in his home, he will be outsourcing it as he has no intention of handling the situation himself. We think he makes a good point. We also outsource all of our plumbing issues. Of course, we also outsource changing our kitchen clock from Eastern Standard to Daylight Savings Time.

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

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