Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

May 2, 2013

'Dubious' about weather, Hawkeyes 'suitable' nickname

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Unfortunately, it seems to us that this spring has, thus far, been anything but spring like. In fact, we are still more than happy to stay bundled up in our polar fleece.

Even on those days that have seemed somewhat warm, there has still always been a rather cool breeze. Yet, in spite of the weather, we have taken note of those events which we tend to associate with the coming of spring.

The Otesaga Hotel is once again open for the year. Pop’s Place has opened for the season. And we have enjoyed eating at both places. We have received our invitation to Derby Doings and Major League Baseball is, as we have discovered, in full swing. There also seems to be an increased number of visitors to our fair village, which we always see as a harbinger of things to come. Plus the snow birds are beginning to arrive back home having spent their winters in warmer climes. In fact, everything has fallen nicely into place with the exception of the weather. But then, we seem to recall that April has long been called the cruelest month.

Nonetheless, even though we are somewhat dubious about the weather, we are not at all dubious about the value of the recent top to bottom spring house cleaning we had done this past week. Normally we pretend to clean the house ourselves even though we have never developed a particular liking for the undertaking. Thus, we decided last spring that we needed to call in some reinforcements. And we liked the result so much that we decided a repeat performance was in order this year. In fact, we are seriously considering adding an addition fall cleaning to our thinking. We figure that if once a year is a good idea, twice a year must be a better idea.

We have also taken on, in addition to the spring cleaning, the somewhat dubious task of trying to get rid of any number of things we rather tend to think we really don’t need. We are certain that there are people who could easily go through the house like a dose of salts, declaring that at least 50 percent, if not 75 percent, of our stuff could go. And they might well be right. But we suspect, they only think that as they are not likely to get hung up on pondering about various items as we do when we have come across them.

For example, during a recent hoeing out of a drawer we encountered a pair of Revlon cuticle clippers, which in and of themselves are probably not all that interesting. But they were in a plastic case that had printed on it: “For resharpening and reconditioning enclose .50, wrap securely, mail to Revlon Implement Service Dept. Irvington, N.J.” Exactly what, we wonder, would happen if we actually followed those directions. Such finds definitely slow down our sorting and eliminating process.

We note that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group will be held on Thursday, May 23 at 2:30 p.m. in the Village of Cooperstown Library. Mary Leary will lead the discussion on the book “Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock” by David Margolick. We have just finished the book and heartily recommend it as a must read. The meeting, as usual, is open to the public.

We were interested to read that CCS has finally adopted a new nickname, the CCS Hawkeyes. Of the various suggestions made, we think this was a good choice. Of course that is not to say that it doesn’t come with some built in drawbacks, the biggest being the possible confusion with the summer collegiate baseball team, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. But we will hope that the school season and the summer season do not overlap causing all kinds of confusion.

We are also concerned that the name Hawkeye will be associated with the Indian Hunter statue, which is the model for the school’s logo. When we asked Cooperstown historian Hugh MacDougall, who is also a Cooper expert, what he thought it was important to know about Hawkeye, the first thing he said in his email was:

“First, Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) is not, repeat not, an Indian ... According to Cooper he was brought up among Moravian missionaries, who sponsored pacifist colonies of Christian Indians (including Mohicans) in New York and Pennsylvania. He makes that clear in “Last of the Mohicans” when he repeatedly refers to himself as a man without a cross, which Cooper once explained in effect by saying that Natty Bumppo was supposed to represent the best (within limits of human plausibility) in white civilization if not marred by the corruption of the cities. Cooper expresses the view, especially in the “Deerslayer,” that different races have different “gifts,” which they must follow, but that does not mean that all humans are not equal.”

Hugh also points out: “... the ‘Indian Hunter’ statue, which has become the school and village emblem has nothing to do with Cooper — it is the copy of a statue erected around 1864 in Central Park New York, and is of a plains Indian.”

Hugh also offers this insight about Hawkeye: “... the term Hawkeye means someone with acute vision, of the sort that Indians gave to themselves or each other ... as a name for Natty Bumppo, Cooper’s white scout otherwise called Leatherstocking, it reflects the high moral virtues that Cooper sought to give his hero, virtues he possesses despite his lack of education or contact with the corruption of the towns and cities.”

And thus, we feel it is safe to say that Hawkeye represents values that will represent the students at CCS in a most positive light. Wikipedia explains Hawkeye’s character as “... a near-fearless warrior skilled in many weapons... He respects his forest home and all its inhabitants, hunting only what he needs to survive... He and his Mohican ‘brother’ Chingachgook champion goodness by trying to stop the incessant conflict between the Mohicans and the Hurons.” All-in-all, it seems Hawkeye will be a name which will serve CCS well.

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