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In These Otsego Hills

March 29, 2012

In These Otsego Hills: This and that and the other side ...

We note that the CCS Class of 2012 is presenting its senior class play, “Snow White” by Tim Kelly, this week with performances 7:30 p.m Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30, and at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31. All performances will be at the Nicolas J. Sterling Auditorium at the Middle/High School.

In addition there will be a spaghetti dinner before the show on Thursday and pizza by the slice will be available at the Saturday morning performance. For more information, email TPLACE@COOPERSTOWN.ORG or call 547-8181.

The next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the village of Cooperstown Library. The book for discussion will be “Making the Rounds with Oscar” by David Dosa. The discussion will be lead by Ellen Bonhote. Following the April meeting, the May meeting of the group will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, again at the village library.

The book for discussion at that meeting will be “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly. The discussion will be lead by Vivian Steinberg. Both meetings are open to the public.

It seems of late that we have been asked by various people to do a bit of sleuthing about matters past and present. And we must say we are rather proud of our track record in finding answers to the questions posed, not because we knew the answer, but we knew who to ask. The request we received for a contact person for the Lake and Valley Garden Club required one telephone call. And the question posed at a recent Dinner Belles luncheon about when the group was started was answered with a conversation with Sue Stevens. As we suspected, Sue started the group back in the 1960s.

The request we got regarding a sterling silver cigarette  case that belonged originallyto Emily Borie Ryerson was a bit more involved. Village Historian Hugh MacDougall received both a telephone call and an email from a gentleman who was in possession of this particular cigarette case and wanted to return it to a member of the Ryerson family. Hugh then emailed us wondering if we had any ideas about how to contact someone in the family.

We then emailed a friend who is wintering in South Carolina who responded that  he could put us in touch withsomeone who we believe, if we have figured out the genealogy correctly, is Arthur and Emily Borie Ryerson’s great-grandson. That friend then emailed someone else who supplied the contact information for the greatgrandson which was then sent to us so we could send it on to Hugh who forwarded it to the gentleman with the cigarette case. At this point we have no idea where the cigarette case actually is, but we were happy to be a part of its return to the Ryerson family if that is indeed what has happened.

And at the moment we are dealing with a query about a DAR cookbook with the following publication information: “Title: Tried Recipes, Second Edition. Compiled by: Otsego Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Published by: Crist, Scott & Parshall, Cooperstown, N.Y.” In doing research on this cookbook our questioner, who discovered the cookbook in her aunt’s belongings after her death last year, came across a column we wrote in October of 2004 where we discussed what appeared to be the same cookbook.

And indeed when we reread the column we discovered the cookbook we wrote about belonged to local resident Barbara Pope. However, when we emailed Barbara she was unable to answer the question posed as to when the cookbook was published.

Evidently, that piece of information was not thought to be of importance when the cookbook was published.

Thus to date we have not yet been able to answer the question posed. However, we will continue the quest by researching the dates for the publishing company Crist, Scott & Parshall as well as asking the local DAR chapter if they might have some indication of the publication date in their archives. The search continues.

Unfortunately, we did not do such a good job of sleuthing when it came to last week’s column. When we wrote it, which we confess to having done a number of times as we discarded one rewrite after another, we suspected that there has been unacceptable rhetoric coming from both sides of the natural gas debate.

However, as we do with many items in the column, we were working from information that readers sent us. And given our perspective, that information was indeed one sided, as was pointed out by Adrian Kuzminski, Moderator, Sustainable Otsego when he wrote us: “It is very unfortunate that so much of contemporary politics has descended, as you say, “to demeaning those of the opposing point of view.” I believe however, in all fairness, that this has occurred on both sides of the issue, with anti-frackers being characterized as tree-huggers, socialists, anti-business, and worse...”

He then continued with: “My only complaint about your piece is it’s one-sidedness. I wish you would have quoted some demeaning language from the profrackers as well, such as the following from Chuck Pinkey: I guess Sustainable Otsego and  the rest of the sky-is-falling,environmentalist wacko, treehugging, carbon footprinting, anti-progress, for the-goodof- the-children, wring your hands in fear, run screaming into the night, anti-drilling crowd were wrong.”

We must confess that we had never read one of Mr. Pinckey’s columns, but we did read his Daily Star column of March 13 from which this quote was taken.

And while Mr. Pinkey is entitled to his opinion, his smear of Sustainable Otsego was not only inappropriate, but also did nothing, as far as we could see, to further his cause. And we suspect that is always the case. We have long thought that once a debate is reduced to the level of name calling, the debate is lost.

We are certain there are more examples of inappropriate comments from those in favor of gas drilling. They too need to stop so that we can return to an honest discussion of the issue with debate centered on its pros and cons as well as its risks and benefits.

We suspect it is unlikely that consensus will be reached on this issue. However, it would be helpful  if we would all stop trying towin the argument by tearing down those whom we do not agree.

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 e-mail 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