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

May 9, 2013

Time, if not traffic, moves on ...

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — It is with sadness we note the passing of two people who we have known since moving to Cooperstown in 1982.

The first is Bertha Mae Clancy who, although born in Oneonta, called Cooperstown home since her marriage in 1946 to Joseph Clancy. We have very fond memories of working with Bertha Mae in the then MIBH Auxilliary. We always thought her dedication to volunteer work at Bassett was to be admired and set an example for others to follow. We shall miss her cheerful smile and willingness to help. To her family and friends we extend our sympathy.

The second person we have lost is Cooperstown native Ted Lamb. Although Ted was involved in many aspects of village life, we remember him best as a fixture at Cooperstown Central School. In fact, we fondly remember the many lunches we, the he-we and she-we, shared with him in the executive dining room at the school. It was always an enjoyable and informative experience. We shall also miss his ever bright smile and engaging conversation. To his family and friends, we also extend our sympathy.

And while, as we mentioned several columns ago, we think the road work on Walnut Street has greatly improved the traffic flow on Beaver Street, it has not worked quite so well of late for traffic entering or leaving the village via state Route 28 south as the road work has resulted in the need to close Chestnut Street at Walnut Street. The resulting detour has proved, from our experience at least, to be rather interesting.

The first time we encountered the detour we found ourselves behind a motor coach that was unable to make the turn from Delaware Street onto Walnut Street. Vehicles on Walnut Street were forced to back up to allow the bus to finally make the turn. It was not pretty.

We had equally poor luck returning from a shopping trip at the Commons one day when we found ourselves behind a very long flatbed truck that could not make the turn from Linden Avenue onto Walnut Street as there was so much traffic heading south that the truck could not swing out far enough to get around the corner. Traffic had backed up quite a bit when a Bassett shuttle bus driver must have realized the truck’s predicament and stopped to let the truck turn. Even so, vehicles on Walnut Street still had to back up before the truck managed to make the turn but not without running over the curb big time. Needless to say, both experiences point out rather clearly the problems some 21st century vehicles have traveling on19th century streets. No doubt, everyone will be most glad when the road work is finished.

Last week we read a letter to the editor in a local paper that really gave us pause. The letter read, in part: “Another thing is, Bassett Hospital has ‘hundreds’ of volunteers, but I don’t see any at the Manor . I wonder why?”

Now we willingly admit that we are in no way an authority on volunteers at the Manor. But we do most definitely know that they exist. In fact, we have a friend who has gone to the Manor regularly for 14 years to read to the residents. We have another friend who has participated in the visiting canine program where dogs visit residents who would like a four-footed visitor. We know people who collect prizes for the bingo games held at the Manor. At one point, volunteers made quilted wall hangings to hang in the lounges located throughout the facility. And we currently participate in the Meadowlarks, a group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, members of which make holiday decorations to festoon the dining areas for various holidays during the year. And while we have mentioned some of the Manor volunteers, we suspect our list is far from complete because, we have learned, the Manor does have someone who is in charge of the volunteer program.

However, unlike the volunteers at Bassett, the volunteers at the Manor wear street clothes, not a volunteer smock. After all, volunteers at the Manor are visiting friends at their home which is a far different atmosphere than volunteers who are in the business of helping patients who are accessing a health care facility. The volunteers at the Manor may not stand out in a crowd. But that doesn’t mean they are not there.

At a recent appointment at Bassett we got to talking with the nurse that took our blood pressure and temperature that we thought the thermometers used in the clinic tended to register a temperature lower than it probably actually is. At least that had been what we have surmised. Of course, we explained to the nurse, we still use a mercury thermometer at home. She recoiled, saying they were no longer in use because of how dangerous the mercury is. Needless to say, when we explained to her that, as a child, we used to play with mercury she was horrified no doubt wondering where our other two heads were. But we always thought it was a lot of fun to play with mercury, rolling it around, breaking it up into little balls and then putting it all together in one big ball. We gathered from our conversation that children no longer play with mercury.

And, if an email that we received recently is remotely true, that are a number of other things that will no longer be part of our life. The email, titled “9 Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime,” predicts the demise of the post office, the check, the newspaper, the book, the land line telephone, music, television, the “things” that you own on your computer and privacy. It should be interesting. Of course, we tend to think that any semblance of privacy is long gone, but we are still here. So perhaps we shan’t miss the other things either once they too are gone. After all, we haven’t played with mercury for years. We don’t think we are the poorer for it.

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