We must admit that it seems to have taken us much longer to recover from the rigors of our recent travels than it has in the past. Of course, our recovery was no doubt put on hold when the Ohio Ellsworths arrived for a visit in Cooperstown just three days after we had arrived home. In fact, we have figured out that during the preceding month, we have spent almost three weeks with our granddaughter and her parents. In doing so we discovered that The Widge has more energy in her little finger than we have in our entire body.
However, we were lucky that when we spent as much time with her as we did it was during a period in which her favorite song was “Let it Be” by The Beatles. And when she has a favorite song, not only does she listen to it over and over, she also really does her 3½-year-old research about the song. Thus she is able to recite at the drop of a hat that The Beatles were George, Ringo, Paul and John. She also notes that George and John are dead. And John died because Mark Chapman was not nice to him. She adds that The Beatles are boys, while Yoko, who was around The Beatles, is a girl.
We found all of that information fairly straight forward. But she also includes, when discussing The Beatles, Billy Preston. Now we were around when The Beatles first performed on the Ed Sullivan Show. But we had no idea who The Widge was talking about when she mentioned Billy Preston. She told us he played the organ on the song “Let it Be,” even pointing out, as she listened to the song, when he was playing. She further told us that he too is dead because he was sick. Little did we know that we seem to have a granddaughter who, at the moment at least, is a 3½-year-old walking encyclopedia of Beatle information. Just ask her and she will tell all.
However, in spite of our sheer exhaustion, we have managed to get back into the swing of things. In fact, we greatly enjoyed the recent meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, which was held at Woodside Hall. Earlier in the year, Woodside Hall had offered to host the summer meetings of the group. And we cannot thank them enough for so generously hosting two of our meetings.
We are happy to report that those in attendance quite enjoyed themselves not only because of the surroundings but also because Marly Yeomans, author of July’s book A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, was able to attend the meeting which made for a most interesting discussion. The group will meet again at Woodside Hall at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The book for discussion at that meeting will be Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. As with all Literary Discussion Group meetings, anyone who is interested in the book to be discussed is encouraged to attend.
We were also heartened, as we have tended to find the reports about the comings and goings of the community not particularly to our liking, by a report we received that points out that not all communities deal with issues in the same way that Cooperstown seems to do.
Thus we were pleased when we read an online story entitled “Police raid results in several drug charges for pair of Furthur fans” which appeared on July 16 on the website NJ.com. From this article we learned that an arrest had been made of two followers of the band Furthur. When arrested, the two gentlemen, according to the article, had in their possession “...methamphetamine, LSD, marijuana, hashish oil and around $51,000 in cash ... The money is suspected proceeds of drug sales, Christopher Gramiccioni (Acting Monmouth County, New Jersey Prosecutor) said, and the pair had tickets for several upcoming Furthur performances.”
In a statement regarding the incident, Gramiccioni was quoted as saying: “We will not tolerate illegal drug sales in this county, and we certainly are not going to tolerate traveling drug dealers who want to follow a band — that type of traveling sideshow is not welcome in Monmouth County.”
We must say that we found the attitude taken in New Jersey to be encouraging in that it seems there are still places where enforcing the law is still undertaken. It is a far cry from what we have been led to believe was the attitude when it came to enforcing the law in Cooperstown.
In fact, in reflecting on the reports we have heard about the recent concert, we think it is all too easy to simply blame the visitors for whatever issues might arise. Yet we think it is also important to remember that those people responsible for deciding to support various events in the community are equally responsible for what happens as a result of the events. Given the entertainment at the concert, we were not at all surprised by, and in fact fully expected, the outcome. And while some of the behavior seems beyond the pale, it should not have been a surprise to those in a position of approving the contract for the concert. We can but assume they thought, in spite of issues that would undoubtedly arise, that the concert would be beneficial to the community. Unfortunately, we suspect there are those of us who would not agree with such thinking.
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