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

September 26, 2013

Of Eagle Street and chicken necks

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Although there are no doubt many people who associate fall with colorful foliage and dropping temperatures, we tend to herald the advent of fall with two events, one of which we attend and one of which we receive a report.

Each year we attend the CCS Class of 1965 reunion get together which has been held for a number of years now at the home of Kay and Bob Pierro of Fly Creek. And although there is a core of people, most of them local, who attend every year, there are also, we have discovered, some far flung class members who make the journey to Cooperstown in order to attend the get together. And while we were not a member of the CCS Class of 1965, the powers that be are always kind enough to invite us which we greatly appreciate as we always enjoy the event.

Of course, this year, we were somewhat taken aback as plans were being discussed for the really big reunion to be held in two years. Did we really need to be reminded of that? Besides, celebrating a 50th reunion from high school will make it really difficult to convince anyone that we are 29 ... again.

Perhaps the Class of 2005 might be convinced to invite us to their reunion in 2015. Of course, they probably would not think we were 29 either.

The second event each year which announces the impending arrival of fall is the Eagle Street Block Party which was held this year on Sunday, Sept. 8. And our roving Eagle Street reporter, Robin Lettis, has filed the following report:

“The dry leaves are blowing over the village so it must be time to report on the 18th annual Eagle Street Block Party. Our theme this year was ‘Construction, Destruction and Heavy Equipment.’   Hard hats and tool belts were optional. The theme came from the largest construction on Eagle Street in well over 30 years. CR Jones won the prize for best costume with both hard hat and over size lunch pail.

“Mayor Tom Lyon made sure the sun was out by noon and it was a pleasure to sit and talk in the warmth. Mayoress Jean provided flowers for our hanging wall. Uncle Bob Lettis visited with his daughter Paula. She had just flown in for the event from Michigan and got the prize for the longest traveled to the party. Barbara and Doug Luhmann will receive the prize for the longest post party trip as they left the next day for Shanghai, China to visit their daughter. They will move onto the street after the completion of their little project. They brought along some interesting artifacts found in the walls of the house when it was torn apart. Why would someone put a wearable coat in the wall and then board it up? 

“Along with the many old residents (although some are quite young) it was nice to meet Emily and Patrick, NYSHA grad students. They have agreed to participate in the fine Eagle Street tradition which says the newest residents shovel the snow for at least one year. Jim Longhi is now off the hook. 

“Jim also had an idea at the end of the party that we should elect an Eagle Street ‘Monarch’ each year. He suggested king but I thought that was a bit sexist. He was thereby appointed to be a committee to follow through on that. No pressure Jim.”

We thank Robin for her report which, unfortunately, left us wondering if the coat in the wall is evidence in some long forgotten crime. It is, we think, food for thought.

And speaking of food, we found ourselves this past weekend faced with what we consider to be a somewhat daunting task, namely roasting a chicken. And it was, we point out, not just any chicken but a chicken with a history.

One of our son’s former scene shop student employees, Nick, now owns a hog farm in Lisle. And when we were last in Ohio, Christopher grilled a whole chicken that he had acquired from Nick during Nick’s last visit to Kenyon. It was delicious. And when we learned that Christopher, Annie and the Widge would be stopping to visit Nick at his farm on their way to Cooperstown last July, we asked if it might be possible to purchase one of Nick’s chickens.

Thus, we were delighted when one arrived at our freezer. And we were equally delighted to learn that we got the chicken as a result of a bartered deal between Christopher and Nick especially when we learned that said chickens, which are for the most part shipped to NYC, boast a handsome sale price of $19.00. Of course, we were, given our limited cooking skills, somewhat nervous about roasting it given its value. But the time had come.

As we removed the now thawed chicken from its plastic bag, we discovered the price was the least of our problems. Sticking prominently up from the front of the chicken, looking like we cannot say what, was the neck. We thought it had simply been placed that way in the front of the chicken. However, we were wrong. The neck was still attached to the chicken.

With great difficulty we did manage to surgically remove the offending neck from the bird, after which we called Christopher to ask if his chicken arrived in the same state. He assured us it did, to which we pointed out we would have appreciated a heads up about the situation, especially since it turned out that the unexpected appearance of the neck seemed to have completely destroyed our perspective about the chicken.

Midway through the roasting process, we used our handy kitchen fork to check the roasting process. What we thought should have been meaty turned out to be bony instead. We discovered, much to our horror, that the chicken was upside down. So we turned it over onto its back and proceeded as best we could.

We think this experience reinforced our thinking that cooking is not our forte. And while the final product of our chicken roasting was very good, the experience reminded us of why we like to purchase take-out chicken halves at Brooks. There are no necks involved and we don’t have to care which side is up.

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