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August 16, 2012

Cooperstown’s sense of community ...

As regular readers of this column no doubt know, we have from time to time of late, lamented what we  perceive as a decline in the village’s sense of community.

For whatever reason, issues facing this area have seemed to become very divisive often pitting friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor.

Thus it was with great interest that we read, two weeks ago now, a letter to the editor from Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz. It  seems the mayor and the board are working on plans for a “Celebrate Cooperstown” weekend in October  which we think might well work towards a goal of restoring Cooperstown’s sense of community.

We were  particularly intrigued by the suggestion to hold a Main Street “open house” to allow the residents of the area  to visit all the various Main Street business to discover just what is available in Cooperstown. We tend to  think people might well be surprised with what they might learn. Too often, we think, Main Street is dismissed as being nothing but baseball and we tend to think that is simply not true.

Over the years we have tried  to keep track of what business is where in Cooperstown. We suspect, when we were more mobile, we were better at this particular task. In fact, when we read the mayor’s suggestion, we  remembered making a similar suggestion in this column some years ago, in 2000 to be exact.

In our  column of June 22, 2000, we made note of the fact that Jean Lyon, of Eagle Street, had shared with us several brochures she had acquired on a trip she had taken to Lowell, Massachusetts. One of these  brochures was entitled “Be a Tourist in our Town” and, we thought, geared to getting locals to find out what  there really was to see in Lowell. We then noted: “Cooperstown does have each year Cooperstown Day  where the locals can visit the various museums, but we do not think there is a similar opportunity to really get to know Main Street. We have long argued that there is really much more to Main Street than ‘just  baseball’ and we would love to have the opportunity to participate in a ‘Shop Cooperstown Day’ at some point in the year. Obviously the summer months are out, but we do think it might work very well in the early  spring or late fall.”

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