We note that 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, Sept. 22, at  the village of Cooperstownlibrary. The book for discussion will be “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” by Lawrence Wright. The discussion of the book will be lead by Mary Leary. For more information about the meeting, contact Pat Duncan at 264-3258.

A week or so ago, we asked one of the boys in the neighborhood if he was ready to go back to school. We thought it to be a rather innocent question. However, we were informed by his mother that we had just said a bad word. Thus we gathered he was not overly enamored of the idea  of returning to the halls ofacademe.

Of course this did not deter us several days later from asking the boy’s older brother whether he was ready to go back to school. He responded  in the affirmative, whichprompted us to note, that he was of a different opinion than his brother, who didn’t want to go back to school. To this he replied that he didn’t want to go back to school either, but he was ready to go back to school. We then told him we fully understood the distinction he was making. Of course this time of year it is not only returning students that are musing about the school.

Anyone who has received the ever-dreaded school tax bill, due by the end of September, can not ignore the school’s impact. However, we do hasten to note that our tax bill this year was $7.50 less than was last year’s bill. It is a trend that we would, of course, like to see continue.

We do understand that at least in the Milford school district residents are being asked for more than just their tax dollars. While recently dining on our final Pop’s Place shrimp basket of the season, we encountered a friend who lives in the Milford district.

She told us that residents are being asked for suggestions of what the school should include in its education  program. And our friendsuggested a long list of topics, including such common sense things as on which side of the street one should walk and on which side of the street one should ride one’s bicycle.

In fact she was very much in favor of teaching bicycle safety in general. And she was quick to point out that her list of suggestions was far from complete. We can but hope she includes, as part of any driver education program, a suggestion for teaching proper driver etiquette at four way stops.

We must point out that our school conversation quickly led to a conversation  about today’s many societalchanges, most of them thought, we must add, to be negative in nature. One of the pet peeves discussed was the seeming lack of regard for private property. And on this we must concur. Call us old-fashioned, but we do not consider our property to be a playground for other people’s children. We do not want anyone playing in our bushes and we certainly do not appreciate anyone knocking on  our outside cellar way. Andunfortunately our requests to cease and desist from doing so seem to fall on deaf ears.

Of course we did find it interesting that our conversation with our friend from Milford occurred on the same day we had had a similar telephone conversation with a friend in Cooperstown.

That particular conversation focused on the noisy world in which we live.

We have long had problems with noise. And with our advancing age, we think our inability to deal with noise is ever increasing.

We have trouble sitting in a waiting room with people who are intently focused on playing video games, with all of the attendant bells and whistles, on their cell phones. It seems that every single bleep reverberates in our head. We also don’t see the need to be blasted with music when we pump gas or shop for groceries. Nor are we taken with the fact that so often workmen in the neighborhood see fit to share their radio preferences with anyone within hearing distance of their radios.

Of course, the main thrust of our telephone conversation about noise focused on the noise levels found these days in restaurants. So often restaurant conversations start at a level to be heard over the “background” music and then escalate from there. Add to this the loud outbursts of laughter, occasional screaming child and the overly boisterous conversation of other diners and we are ready to depart posthaste. For a long time we have thought this to be a problem singular to us. For whatever reason we are unable to block out what most people no doubt perceive as background noise, focusing only on the conversation at hand. Instead our mind seems intent on processing everything it hears. The result is utter chaos.

However, based on conversations over a recent dinner out, as well as our telephone conversation, it seems we are not alone in decrying a noisy world.

There are others out there who also long for peace and quiet. However, our telephone caller was quick to point out that our thinking was obviously so yesterday- But we beg to disagree. Our thinking is not so yesterday. Our thinking is so decades ago.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 547-8124 or by e-mail at cellsworth1@stny.rr.com.

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