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In These Otsego Hills

September 27, 2012

The news from home ...

COOPERSTOWN — We fear, given the current state of communication, it is more difficult than ever to really get away. Granted, we have no problems doing so when visiting the family cottage on Lake Michigan as it sports no cellphone service, no Internet service and no television to speak of. It definitely qualifies as the dark ages when it comes to communication. And we have to say there is something about being in such a state that is rather refreshing.

However, once we return to civilization as we know it, we find ourselves checking out the websites of our local news outlets just to see if something untold has happened in our absence. And of course, once back in civilization the email system continues to present us with all sorts of communiqués.

For example, we were still in Ohio when we received word from our trusty Eagle Street reporter, Robin Lettis, that once again the annual Eagle Street block party had been a success. She wrote:

“Here we are again, the summer is just about wound down and Eagle Street has just cleaned up from our 17th annual Block Party. Patrick Dewey provided music for us and managed to find Frank Sinatra singing ‘When I was 17 it was a very good year.’ It was the perfect music for this year and all us ‘small town girls.’ Bob Weidman came as an alumni representative. He had lived on our street at two different addresses in the far past. Barb and Paul Lambert ambled down to visit. It was great to see Paul looking so well. Tom and Roberta Hohensee are our newest neighbors and were here to greet Kathy and Rick Jagel in their alumni positions.

“It was a joy to have a good sized bunch of kids running around enjoying themselves and fun to reminisce with Mitchell Adsit about the last crop of little kids when he was one of them. Susan Lettis was one of those kids too and is now back in town and the new lawyer at Gozigan, Washburn and Clinton. She was a big help with the afternoon’s success along with the other hostesses Jean Lyon, Cindy Hubbell and Michelle Adsit. The weather for the afternoon was a bit iffy, which we choose to blame on the absence of Eagle St mayor Tom Lyon. It was an enthusiastic, noisy, well-fed crowd and a good time was had by all.”

Thus we think it is safe to say that the two 2012 Cooperstown block parties, the one in the spring on Upper Pioneer Street, and the one in the fall on Eagle Street, are in the books.

We also received various e-mails reporting on life in general in the village.  For example, on Aug. 26 we learned that “Humidity returned yesterday bringing a nice rain shower that lasted an hour or so yesterday. Beautiful here today, some rain expected tomorrow.”

While on Aug. 29 we received the following weather prediction: “The weather is going to be spectacular for the Labor Day weekend which has arrived very suddenly once again.” The weather report continued on September 5 when we learned that “We’ve been cloudy since Monday with some rain and high humidity which looks to be changing by Friday.”

Sept. 6 brought the news that the “ is nice and quiet.”

We must admit that we don’t really know if the last message referred to the drop in tourists following Labor Day or the fact that school started on the sixth. We suspect it might be both.

And, of course, while away we continued to receive our daily Sustainable Otsego listserv emails.

In fact, during our absence we received well over 200 such emails on a wide variety of subjects facing society at the moment. And while the sheer number of emails may seem overwhelming, we do appreciate the range of opinions, as well as the information on new innovations, techniques and undertakings, on a wide range of environmental issues.

Plus, while away, we managed to keep up on the various issues of import as covered in the local papers. And while we were not surpised by the news of the impending sale of Otsego Manor by the county, we were taken aback by the story about the electricity at Three Mile Point. In fact, as we read the story as reported in this very newspaper, we told our sister that this particular piece of news, just like the news about the silencing of the noon whistle, was a good candidate to make it into our annual Cooperstown Carol.

Of course, once we mentioned that idea, we were forced to explain to our sister just what the annual Cooperstown Carol might be, a topic, which took her fancy as she too has been known to re-write songs and produce poems when an occasion to do so presents itself. It is perhaps one of the more unusual Lake traits that we share with our sister.

Unfortunately, we received news of the Three Mile Point electricity issue just before we took off from the condo in Grand Rapids to go to the cottage on Lake Michigan. And, as luck would have it, as we plied the highways and byways of Michigan, tooling along at 70 miles an hour, we just could not stop ourselves, with help from our sister, from rewriting “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Thus, with apologies to that particular song, we offer:

Take us out to the board room.

Take us out for the gloom.

Lost our whistle and power supply.

How on earth will we ever get by?

So it’s root, root, root for some new steam

To pull together the team.

Or it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out

Of the old board room.

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
  • Reflecting on the noon whistle Over the years we have been taken to task by readers who do not agree with our thinking. And we have never thought that to be a problem. Opinions differ and it is always good to hear all points of view on an issue. However, for what we think is perhaps the first time, we have been taken to task by a complaint that while we had taken what was an obviously unpopular position on buses within the village, we had been negligent in commenting on another issue, namely the noon whistle. In the writer’s opinion, the current issue, which we now think we understand to be the elimination of heavy traffic on residential streets, is just like the issue of the noon whistle.

    August 14, 2014

  • Summer heading toward destination We were pleased to learn that general reaction to the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend was most positive. From what we read in newspaper reports as well as what we heard from people who attended various events, the crowds really enjoyed themselves. The parade on Saturday got rave reviews from everybody who talked with us about it. Plus, in spite of what we thought when the rain hit Sunday morning, the weather overall seemed to be cooperative. And we gather that the merchants were pleased with the weekend. So we have to think it is probably safe to say it was a win-win for everyone who partook of the weekend's activities.

    August 7, 2014

  • Bringing up a matter of poetic license Since we seem to spend time each week both reading and writing, we have always found the English language interesting to say the least. It seems that it always follows the rules until it doesn't follow the rules. Thus we found Jim Atwell's column "From word to phrase to sentence," which appeared in last week's paper, to be most delightful. But more importantly, it gives us something about which to write this week.

    July 31, 2014

  • Visitings with the Widge, Mare Bear This past week we found ourselves enjoying a delightful visit from the Ohio Ellsworths. And while our daughter-in-law Annie had to attend a conference at Hamilton College during part of the visit here, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. We were, of course, quite surprised to realize how much the granddaughters, The Widge and Mare Bear, had grown since we last saw them at Christmas. Obviously, their parents had not put bricks on their heads to retard their growth.

    July 24, 2014

  • Thoughts on traffic and roads We recently enjoyed a brief visit from Jon Battle, one of our late husband's college buddies, who always enjoys visiting Cooperstown and passing howdy on the front porch. And while the front porch is not as welcoming as it used to be since there are no chairs on it, we were able to pass howdy from the comfort of our family room. And during the many subjects that we covered in our conversation, the topic of potholes came up.

    July 17, 2014

  • Potholes and oversights bring bumps We have received a number of comments regarding our discussion on potholes in last week’s column. And most of them were in agreement that the potholes are indeed a problem.

    July 10, 2014

  • Potholes need place on village agenda We have long thought that the concepts of perspective and priorities have the ability to present problems for people. As we are inclined to say, getting one's ducks all in a row is often difficult. And as we have learned about issues currently under consideration by the Village of Coopertown it does make us wonder about their ducks.

    July 3, 2014

  • Summer unofficially begins with ice cream Although summer officially arrived this past weekend, we have long thought that the kick off event for the summer season in Cooperstown is the annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church on Pioneer Street.

    June 26, 2014

  • Splitting logs gives splitting headache We are happy to report that Woodside Hall is continuing with its presentation of programs which are open to the public. This evening at 6:30 p.m., they are hosting Glimmerglass Festival designers Troy Hourie and Erik Teague who will discuss their role in the company's summer production of Strauss' opera, "Ariadne in Naxos: Unplugged."

    June 19, 2014

  • Summer right for driving in the streets We have realized, having consulted our trusty calendar, that next Sunday is Father's Day. And thus this past weekend we were online looking for an appropriate printable Father's Day greeting card which we might send to the wee-we. Since we have been somewhat housebound this year, we have discovered the convenience of printable holiday cards. We used them rather successfully, we thought, when we sent them to the granddaughters for both Valentine's Day and Easter.

    June 12, 2014