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

June 6, 2013

Once again, hope springs eternal ...

Cooperstown Crier

---- — We are happy to report that although Mother Nature did her best to thwart the annual Upper Pioneer Street Block Party, she was not successful.

Granted, the party was changed from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Memorial Day itself when Mother Nature was in a more cooperative mood. Once again this year, the mayor of Upper Pioneer Street, Howard Talbot, brought us up to date on new arrivals on the street, various graduations and highlighted a number of visiting grandchildren and grandparents.

As usual the food was excellent, the conversation lively and the number of children numerous. The only moment of debate occurred when we were discussing block parties in the village, of which we believe there are but two. For a number of years now Upper Pioneer Street has lead off the block party season while Eagle Street has brought the season to a close. However, we were informed that Eagle Street does not have a real block party as they do not close off the street. The minute we heard this, we were suspicious that our trusty Eagle Street reporter might have a somewhat different take on this that leads us to think we might have some interesting input for a future column. At least that is our hope.

Of course, we have learned over the years that what we might hope for is not always what we might get. For example, over the years we have from time to time gotten prank calls from unidentified callers. And we had hoped with the advent of caller ID, we might not receive such calls. But alas, we had to deal this past week with a young lady, who identified herself as Kirsten, who said something we could not understand. We asked her what she wanted and she repeated it. However, the second time we still could not understand her as she, along with whomever she was with, were giggling too hard. At that point we hung up. But she called back asking who she was talking to. We asked who she thought she was talking to and she told us her mother. In fact she insisted we were her mother to which we replied that she might be wise to hang up and put the cellphone down before she got into real trouble. Obviously, she did not realize that we have that cellphone number and could call it if we were so inclined, which we will be sorely tempted to do if she calls again.

Of course, we were also hopeful this would be the year that the village of Cooperstown would not send us a property tax bill. That also did not work out for us. And yet, we always find receiving a tax bill gives us a chance to play around with all the numbers. This year we decided we would figure out the price per acre of our property. The land value of our .28 acres is listed as $178,000, which makes the price per acre slightly more than $635,000. We obviously have very valuable dirt that must contain great deposits of oil and natural gas not to mention silver, gold and diamonds. In fact, we have checked it out and the land value on the Fair Street side of the block is only $101,000 for .26 acres, making the value of that dirt a mere $388,000 per acre. Of course, we are not at all certain there is any great reason to be blessed with more valuable dirt.

We note that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held on Thursday, June 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the home of Enid Hinkes, who will lead this month’s discussion of the book “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. For more information about the Literary Discussion Group as well as the location of the next meeting, please call us at 547-8124.

And while on the subject of books, we recently received, completely unexpectedly, an email from a representative of Arcadia Publishing who asked if we might be interested in writing a book on Cooperstown as part of their “Legendary Locals” series. Since we were intrigued by such a project, but knew absolutely nothing about it, we asked that we be sent information on it. From the information that arrived, we learned that the scope of the project was explained as follows:

These 128-page books chronicle individuals and groups who have impacted a community over time. Each title includes historic and contemporary profiles of around 100 to 200 people, illustrated through 140 to 200 images and 15,000 to 300,000 words, mostly in the form of captions for the images ...

... We expect each book to be a combination of historical characters and modern figures, who current residents relate to. Stories of community giving, outreach, and philanthropy should be shared, as well as tragic or quirky excerpts. Famous personalities can be included, but we also expect to see familiar local faces, such as business owners. Notorious personalities may also be included, as well as unsung heroes. Both the photograph content and subjects should be varied and diverse.

Included with the information we received was a copy of the “Legendary Locals” book that was written for Encinitas, Calif., which we found to be of interest as it is a community with which we are not familiar. However, after reviewing all the material, and thinking about projects in which we are already embroiled, we decided now is not the time to take on another project of any description. However, we did indicate, when we relayed our decision to the representative from Arcadia Publishing, that we would ask if someone else in the area might be interested in pursuing such a project. And this meet with Arcadia Publishing’s approval. So, if anyone is indeed interested in taking on such a project, please let us know so we can pass on the information we received. And we certainly hope someone will be interested in taking on this project.

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 email at