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July 26, 2012

In These Otsego Hills: Visitors to the village ...

— Although the summer always seems to be ever so more hectic here than is the rest of the year, we are always happy to see our many visitors enjoying our fair community. And this past week, we found ourselves enjoying the various activities of the area with some of those summer visitors, namely our son Christopher, our daughter-in-law Annie and our 2½-year-old granddaughter Abby, a.k.a. The Widge.

And while we did take in a number of traditional visitor activities, we also had the opportunity to visit with Jennifer Huntington at her farm south of town.

This was a real treat as Abby is a big fan of any and all animals. Thus the trip to the farm was right up her alley. She loved the puppies, although we hasten to note that she calls all dogs, regardless of age, puppies. She greatly enjoyed sitting on a real quarter horse and petting the newborn calf, which she was encouraged to name.

Unfortunately, she names everything “Blue”. And so that was the name she choose. But we don’t know if the calf will actually be called “Blue.”

The suggestion was made that perhaps the calf should be called “Abby,” but Abby didn’t seem to think so. It was to be “Blue” as far as she was concerned. Abby also got to pet a baby pig before visiting the show cows that Jennifer’s daughter Molly had just exhibited in the Junior Livestock Show.

And we must admit, we found those animals to be most interesting as they were breeds with which we were not familiar. The visit was capped by Abby milking a cow. We must admit, that even with all of our childhood visits to various family farms, we have never milked a cow. But Abby seemed quite pleased with her efforts, sharing her milking experience with anyone who would listen. We thank Jennifer for the farm tour as we, as well as Abby and her parents, greatly enjoyed ourselves.

Of course, Christopher also undertook a rather unusual visitor activity. As luck would have it, he missed his 20th reunion from CCS by one week.

Thus he was delighted to have the chance to have lunch with Carrie Allison and Kristina Ives Loeffler to be filled in on all the pertinent details of the reunion. In fact, it seems that he was so swept away with the news of the reunion that he offered to be part of the planning committee for the next one to be held in five years.

And, no doubt as an extension of the missed reunion, visits were also made with former teachers, Al Bullard and his wife, Sandy, and Tom Ives and his wife, Lorraine. The visit also included a trip to the blacksmith shop owned and operated by Tres Loeffler. We had no idea Tres was even a blacksmith but we understand he trained at Williamsburg and then returned to the Cooperstown area to ply his trade.

Given the weather, which we found less than pleasant, we passed on the visit to the blacksmith shop but we were pleased to learn that Christopher and Annie were so impressed with what they saw that they would like to have Tres make them andirons as well as handrails for some steps, currently sans handrails, in front of their house. We thought the handrails were fantastic news as we have great trouble negotiating steps without them.

Of course, while the Ohio Ellsworths were here, we also enjoyed some more traditional tourist activities such as visiting The Farmers’ Museum. Not surprisingly, we had to check out all the animals, especially the horse that the museum offered.

And we, The Widge and her father, took three rides on the carousel while we, the Cooperstown resident, took way too many blurry pictures as they whirled around. We also visited The Farmers’ Museum gift shop where Abby picked out, believe it or not, a blue tractor while we indulged ourselves with the purchase of a jar of Pineapple Spread and a jar of Apricot Spread, both made especially for The Farmers’ Museum. And while Abby liked the blue tractor, we think, having tried the Pineapple Spread, that we made the better purchase.

And, we suspect, no trip to Cooperstown would be complete without eating at at least one of our local restaurants.

We were able to take in two. We first ate at Pop’s Place where we have been known to dine in the past. But it was a first experience for our Cooperstown visitors. Surprisingly, the only complaint came from The Widge, who felt she needed a fork to eat the French fries her father shared with her. Only we would have a 2½-year-old granddaughter who eats her French fries with a fork. And while we know, had we but asked, they would have been more than happy to have given her a fork, she was also quite happy to share ours.

And in addition to the delicious food at Pop’s Place, we were also regaled with the story, complete with picture, of the three-legged black bear that wandered by the restaurant a few weeks back. It was quite the story, but having heard it, we think we were quite happy to have missed the experience.

The Widge, of course, would have probably loved it. We also dined at the Hawkeye Grill on the very day that The Widge turned 2½-years-old.

We were joined at dinner by Sam Barickman, who works for Christopher in the scene shop at Kenyon College and who is doing an internship this summer at the Glimmerglass Opera. And Abby celebrated by ordering a PB and J with potato chips and milk. This was augmented by some of her mother’s tomato appetizer as well as the cherry tomatoes from her father’s salad.

Then she topped the meal off with a dish of chocolate ice cream. And we suspect, from the way she polished it off, she would recommend it in a heartbeat along with the Cooperstown Community Band concert which she also seemed to enjoy.

Of course, when the time came, we were indeed sorry to see our visitors depart for, as The Widge told us repeatedly, the ocean. Thus they took off for Martha’s Vineyard to visit the maternal grandparents while we collapsed from sheer exhaustion. We discovered that keeping up with a 2½- year-old was not easy.

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