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In These Otsego Hills

August 9, 2012

Summer flies by ...

We note, although we find it hard to believe, that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held dangerously close to Labor Day at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. The meeting will be held at the home of Pat Duncan who will also lead the discussion of this month’s book, “The Silent Girl” by Tess Gerritsen. It should be noted that there is a detour on the road normally used by group members to get to Pat’s house. So, anyone attending should call us at 547-8124 or email us at to get directions for the detour.

We also note that the group’s September meeting, which will be way after Labor Day, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, and will be held at the village of Cooperstown Library. The book for discussion at that meeting will be “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. Marie Rudloff will lead the discussion of that book. Both meeting are open to anyone interested in discussing the books.

And while we always think the summer months are a great time to catch up on one’s reading, something we have been trying most diligently to do, we also have decided that this summer was the right time to finally take on what has become a somewhat overwhelming project. During the early years, specifically from 1984 to 1999, of this column, a great deal of time was spent collecting what would undoubtedly be termed oral history of the village and its environs. Historical questions would be posed and our readers would call, write or run into us on the street with their answers. And while in most cases we would get basically the same answer to a question from everyone, there were the occasional questions over which there would be a marked difference of opinion.

And while we rather doubt any of the questions dealt with burning issues of village history, we do think it would be a shame to lose the oral history, irrelevant as it may be, which was collected. Thus, we have been going through the old columns, week by week and year by year, pulling out the history in hopes of collecting it in some sort of order in one place.

Unfortunately, the project seems to be taking much more time that we had originally anticipated, but we fully intend to keep pushing forward with it.

We have also discovered that not only is the history interesting, but so are many of our comments on the comings and goings of the village. For example, in August of 1984 we wrote:

“In closing, we have had many calls from both residents and non-residents concerning enforcement of the village laws. And hard as this is to believe, everyone has a different priority. We have heard the sandwich boards are awful. We have also heard the sandwich boards are not a problem, but bicycles are a real danger. There’s no place to park them, except, it seems, in the middle of the sidewalk on Main Street. Furthermore, most of the bicycles don’t have lights at night. Other people have problems with loud music at loud parties and we have even heard that either the town of Otsego landfill or the incinerator at the hospital spreads its distinctive aroma across the village on hot, humid nights.”

Thus we conclude that public opinion about village issues is nothing new and has, in fact, gone on for years. And while some of these pressing issues from 1984 no longer seem to be in the forefront, they have been replaced by a different set of issues. Yet, we think that we would still today be safe in saying: “And hard as this is to believe, everyone has a different priority.”

Of course, we also included, in those days, items which could best be termed as observations. For example, in 1988 we wrote: “In closing, the parents in Michigan recently sent us the hospital bill for our (the she-we’s) arrival in December of 1947. We hope they do not expect us to reimburse them, although we do think we were a real bargain. The entire bill came to $57.85. Interestingly enough at the bottom of the bill is the statement: ‘This is your bill as it now appears on our books. If there are any additional charges a bill will be sent you.’ Some things, it seems, never change.”

And then there were the occasional concerns, such as this one also from 1988.

“In closing, we (the she-we) have recently received a recipe chain letter, which, if we send it on to six others who in turn each send it on to six others, will net us 36 new recipes in a matter of weeks. Quite frankly, the thought of receiving 36 recipes scares us. We have enough trouble knowing what to do with the three we already have. But we do realize that there are others who would find being a part of this chain interesting. Therefore, we will gladly pass the letter on to anyone who would like it. We really can’t imagine that our favorite recipe — choose restaurant, call for reservation and eat out — is really what the recipe chain had in mind.”

We must admit that we are not exactly certain where the time has gone. As we re-read these columns, it seems as if we just wrote them. And yet when we think about it, we realize they were written decades ago when it was, unfortunately, much easier to claim that we are but 29. And unfortunately, as we have long been told, the older one gets, the faster the time goes. In fact, we are still trying to figure out how we managed to zip through June and July, ending up in August so quickly.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer St., Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326, by telephone at 547-8124 or by email at


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In These Otsego Hills
  • Sharing conspiracy theories on Main Having traversed the village a number of times now, we have come to the conclusion that there is very little reason to mention the current crop of potholes. It seems they are quite able to speak for themselves. In fact, they seem to do so loud and clear.

    April 10, 2014

  • Recovering with family and friends We must say we were somewhat overwhelmed by the telephone calls and emails that we received regarding last week's column. From what we were told it greatly brightened the day for a number of people. In fact, several of our callers told us they were going to cut it out and send it to friends around the country. And just as the column brightened the day for a number of our readers, their responses absolutely made our day. In fact, we are tempted to think it made not only our day, but our week, our month and perhaps even our year.

    April 3, 2014

  • Back to the present Much as we have enjoyed our recent trip through the archives of 1984, we fear we must return to 2014. If nothing else, we were reminded during our journey that the column today is not the column of 1984. But then, we suspect the greater Cooperstown community today is not the community of 1984. And while it is nice to reminisce about yesteryear, it is also important to recognize where we are today. And when we do that, we tend to focus on the one thing that has always made this column seem to work, namely the input of our readers.

    March 27, 2014

  • '84 carnival didn't go as planned This week we begin with one more of our favorite column items from 1984 concerning Winter Carnival which didn't go exactly as planned. We wrote:

    March 20, 2014

  • DAR column sends us down memory lane Of all the scripts we found in our cleaning of the basement, the one that intrigued us the most is one that we had completely forgotten we had written. It was done for a program we presented quite a while ago at a meeting of the Cooperstown DAR. As we recall, Lona Smith had asked us to talk about our experiences with writing this column. And since that could be a rather lengthy presentation, we decided to limit ourselves to talking about our first year of writing the column.

    March 13, 2014

  • Remembering a CCS vote that failed| We note that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women's Club of Cooperstown, will be held on Thursday, March 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the Village of Cooperstown Library. Jane Anne Russell will lead a discussion on the book "North to the Orient" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The meeting is open to the public.

    March 6, 2014

  • Cookies make a better valentine than MRI We had originally thought that our entire Valentine's Day celebration would be a trip to Bassett healthcare to get a MRI of our lower back. Thus we were most pleasantly surprised when a friend dropped in on us with a bag of heart shaped, frosted sugar cookies for us.

    February 27, 2014

  • Swing and a miss on PumpkinFest We must admit that we are probably not as caught up in sports as some people are.

    February 20, 2014

  • Keeping busy as winter creeps From all that we hear, any number of people are sick of the winter weather. And, given what it has been, it is not difficult to understand why, especially if one is not particularly taken by winter weather in the first place. However, we do suspect that, unlike some years, the weather worked out well for Cooperstown's annual Winter Carnival. We must admit that we have not participated in the Winter Carnival for a number of years for the simple fact that it is held in the winter. And we are simply not devotees of the winter. But, should the decision ever be made, which we find highly unlikely, to hold the Winter Carnival in the spring or the fall, we might be more inclined to participate

    February 13, 2014

  • Looking around into this and that This past week seems to have offered all sorts of information which might well give one pause.

    February 6, 2014