News of Otsego County


The Old Badger: Thoughts on raking

The Old Badger
Thoughts on raking

First Published October 16, 1985
As I was raking leaves the other day the sun warmed one side of me, but the shadows chilled the other. There was a gentle breeze which soon grew stronger and began to blow leaves away as fast as I could pile them up. I stopped and leaned on the rake and watched the leaves chase each other across the yard. And I inhaled a lot. What great air we have! And I fell to musing.

A milkweed puff blew by my face, swirled, rose and disappeared behind a nearby fir tree. And then I remembered being told that milkweed pods were gathered around Cooperstown during both World Wars. They were used for the stuffing in life jackets, I was told. Silly thing to be thinking about, but that’s what I thought about.

Bound Volumes 11-4-21

Bound Volumes

Notice — All persons indebted to the estate of William Cooper, of Cooperstown, County of Otsego, and State of New York, deceased, are requested to make payment to the subscribers; and all persons, having demands against said estate, are requested to present the same for settlement. Richard Fennimore Cooper, Isaac Cooper, Executors.
Public Notice — The proprietors of the Otsego Library, are requested to meet on Wednesday, the third of January, at 3 p.m. at the house of William A. Boyd — to adopt such measures as shall be thought advisable. A general and particular invitation is hereby given by order of the trustees, Wm. A. Boyd, Librarian. N.B. It is requested that all books be returned at the above time.
January 6, 1811

New Type — The Journal commences the New Year with a complete and beautiful “new dress” from the celebrated foundry of Conner & Sons, New York — an improvement rendered necessary by the amount of work the old type had sustained during a period of upwards of four years. All the advertisements will be reset by another week. The general typographical features of the paper are retained.
January 6, 1861

Slave to fashion — She was dressing for church and the bells had continued to ring. He was impatiently waiting and when it came to placing in position an article of
feminine attire that had been omitted in its regular order
he suggested that it was an unnecessary appendage. “Yes, but it is the fashion.” “But remember you are going to church, and the fashion of this world passeth away.”
“True, my dear, but the bustle of the world does not!”
January 10, 1886

Deputy County Clerk Robert O. Marshall came downtown New Year’s morning and spotted Muggs, the Orphan House donkey walking dolefully down the middle of the street alone and unattended. Imbued with the beneficent spirit of the season, Marshall concluded that Muggs must have wandered away and was lost and thus needed shelter, food and care. When the Good Samaritan approached, Muggs flopped one of its hind legs, then both of them. After a while Mr. Marshall coaxed Muggs into the Lettis livery stable, telling the landlord thereof to feed him and when he came again that way he would repay him. Mr. Lettis fed the donkey a bale of hay and then telephoned the matron that her orphan child was in his custody. The request came back that Muggs be again liberated; that he was only taking his morning walk and would come back home when he got ready.
January 8, 1911

Opinion by Timothy Peters: Public Radio Otsego

Opinion by Timothy Peters
Public Radio Otsego

Most Freeman’s Journal readers of a certain vintage have fond memories of radio stations from their youth, usually the pop stations that provided the proverbial “soundtrack of our lives.” Until the late 1970s, public radio programming consisted largely of classical music, with scholarly announcers flaunting their German and reciting the serial numbers of the recordings they played. Often, these stations offered eccentric and creative free-form programs as well. Jack Nicholson played such a
radio host in the 1972 film The King of Marvin Gardens.

By the early 1990s, National Public Radio (NPR) had taken over the FM public airwaves like an insidious invasive species that at first seems so cute and cuddly.

Think of a different movie — Gremlins. In some cities it became possible to hear the same celebrity interview on Fresh Air, Fresh Air Weekend, and Best of Fresh Air all on the same day. Twenty years later, the situation is worse, but with some heartening exceptions in our area. These deserve your support.

Opinion by Richard Sternberg, M.D.: Life/COVID 67.0 Evolution

Opinion by Richard Sternberg, M.D.
Life/COVID 67.0 Evolution

On the one hand the media is reporting the number of cases of COVID-19 is receding in the United States. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Delta variant wave of the pandemic has passed its peak. On the other hand, it states that that the approaching winter season and holidays present another opportunity for cases to increase.

I read a report on October 28 that “Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie see virus deaths.” It pointed out that the unvaccinated were more likely to require hospitalization and spread the infection. In the prior week there had been 5 deaths across the three counties. There were several hundred active cases. Of course, this cannot begin to find those people who have active COVID but were minimally or not at all symptomatic but can still spread the disease. Statewide the day before there were 35 deaths and 4,284 new cases. Granted, compared to what we experienced before, this is a major improvement but I think our perspectives are warped by how horrific things had been previously, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, in the United States. Nevertheless, it is 35 mostly unnecessary deaths and 4,200 people who are at risk of developing Long COVID symptoms.

Opinion by Jim Kevlin: From Cooperstown to Tempe

Opinion by Jim Kevlin
From Cooperstown to Tempe

The heat in the Phoenix area was our greatest fear, and summertime highs of 120+ need to be respected: Drink a lot of water, wear a straw cowboy hat, and stay in the shade.

If you’re retired, perfect. Do what needs to be done in the early hours (8-to-10-ish), stay inside during the day, then emerge again in late afternoon.

(Another benefit of retirement: Stay off the highways during rush hour. Otherwise, it takes us 15-20 minutes to get anywhere we want to go.)

Today, Sunday, Aug. 24, it’s 84 degrees, very pleasant.

Up on Hawthorn Hill by Richard DeRosa: Life Trails

Up on Hawthorn Hill by Richard DeRosa
Life Trails

A good friend gave me a book several days ago, convinced that I too would enjoy it: On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor. It is wonderful when several pages into a new book one feels right at home and looks forward to the journey. This book is about the journeys that constitute each of our lives. Our lives can be tracked, just as an experienced hunter can track a deer. Moor writes that “Without trails, we would be lost.” Even if one chooses not to track one’s life, one does leave a trail. We make decisions that determine which turn in the road we might take. Robert Frost famously wrote about choosing one of two roads, and having chosen to follow the road less traveled made quite a difference. But every choice makes a difference and thus becomes just another tile in the mosaic of our lives.

Hometown History 10-27-21

135 Years Ago
Home & Vicinity – If every lady who wears even a song bird’s wing upon her hat knew that by this act she subjected herself to fine and imprisonment, and that a reward of $25 will be paid to anyone who furnishes information to convict her of such act, it is doubtful if she would wish to appear on our thoroughfares and in public places in open violation of the law. A milliner who exposes for sale “any wild bird other than a game bird, or has in possession any such song or wild bird, or any part thereof, after the same has been killed,” is subject equally to the penalty.

Is it not high time that people who are in the habit of driving their horses so rapidly and carelessly through Main Street were made acquainted with the law in regard to the rights of pedestrians? On Wednesday of last week I saw a gentleman struck by the shaft of a buggy driven by two ladies, and knocked headlong in the street. I myself would have shared a similar fate had I not made a supreme effort to reach the sidewalk. Let it be borne in mind that those on foot have always the first right of way.
October 1886

Bound Volumes 10-28-21

Bound Volumes

On Wednesday last, Captain Van Buren, one of the
officers of the custom-house in New York, seized a sloop load of British goods in Troy, and on Thursday morning the same gentleman seized five wagon loads in State Street, Albany. These goods were brought in by way of Canada, and were seized under the Non-Intercourse Law. They have since been claimed by Frederick Sheldon, of this city, and Mathias Bruen, of New York.
October 26, 1811

Opinion by Richard Sternberg: Long COVID

Opinion by Richard Sternberg

The concept of Long COVID has become a hot topic, especially since people are finally becoming aware that having COVID–19 is not just an acute respiratory syndrome that may or may not lead up to death but a very complicated potentially lifelong debilitating disease process. While there is a general agreement on what Long COVID is, there is no uniform definition internationally and it is not clear that some long-term post COVID complications such as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) should be classed as Long COVID or in a separate category. At this time, it is really a matter of semantics. The term Long COVID is probably a patient created term first cited in May 2020. Other names for this syndrome include post-COVID-19 syndrome, post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), and chronic COVID syndrome.

Opinion by Charlie Vascellaro: Is Cooperstown calling for Dusty?

Opinion by Charlie Vascellaro
Is Cooperstown calling for Dusty?

Houston Astros veteran manager Dusty Baker is on the brink of winning his first World Series which should assure him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

In the wake of the sign-stealing scandal that tarnished the Houston Astros 2017 World Series victory and three-year run of success, veteran manager Dusty Baker was hired in 2020 to right the ship and restore the team’s reputation.

During the Astros fan-less season of 2020 the team managed to elude the scrutiny and jeering associated with its indiscretions over the course of the abbreviated 60-game season.

Baker guided the team to a respectable second-place finish in the American League’s West division, the Astros fell one game shy of reaching the World Series, losing the seventh game of the American League Championship Series to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Baker’s 24-year managerial career has been largely defined by such devastating losses: In his rookie season as manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1993, Baker’s Giants finished one game behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League West division despite winning a franchise record 103 games.
In 2002 powered by the historic performance of slugger Barry Bonds, Baker’s Giants captured the National League pennant but lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Angels in seven games after having a 3-2 lead in the Series. Baker’s contract was not renewed after the season, and he was immediately signed by the Chicago Cubs taking the 2003 team all the way to the seventh game of the National League Championship Series again losing games six and seven after holding a 3-2 lead.
After four seasons with the Cubs Baker moved on to his third managerial position with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 and delivered the Reds first NL Central title in 15 years in 2010. The Reds were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in three straight games in the National League Division Series.

Under Baker the Reds won the NL Central again in 2012 and lost a closely contested NLDS three-games-to-two after holding a 2-0 lead. In 2013 the third -place Reds captured the second Wild Card playoff spot but lost the one-game pay-in to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baker was fired at the conclusion of the season.

After a two-year hiatus from managing Baker won back-to-back NL East division titles with the Washington Nationals in 2016 and 2017, falling in the first round to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and to the Chicago Cubs in 2017.

Now in his first full season in Houston Baker is back on the brink of capturing his first managerial World Series ring which would almost certainly punch his Hall of Fame ticket.

The Astros opened the World Series at home against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, October 26.

Baker’s 1,987 managerial wins ranks him 12th in major league history and 10 of the 11 managers in front of him on the list have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Bruce Bochy, 2,003, is 16 wins in front of Baker over 25 seasons).

More than two dozen managers who have won many less games than Baker have also been inducted to the Hall including such luminary legends as: Casey Stengel (1,905), Tommy Lasorda (1,599), Dick Williams (1,571), and Earl Weaver (1,480).

“That guy is going to be a Hall of Famer soon,” said Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, after Houston’s AL pennant-clinching victory over the Boston Red Sox last week.

Baker was an accomplished major league player during his 19-year career playing with four different teams. He broke into the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves in 1968 where he was mentored by Henry Aaron batting in the clean-up (fourth) spot behind Aaron in the Braves batting order. It was Baker who famously greeted Aaron at home plate when he broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record with number 715 in Atlanta on April 8, 1974.

After eight seasons in Atlanta Baker was traded by the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1975.
Baker was the MVP of the 1977 NLCS hitting tow home runs with eight RBI and a .357 batting average in the Dodgers three games to one victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He played on three NL pennant winning teams for the Dodgers (1977, 1978, 1981) capturing his only World Series ring as a player in 1981.

He spent the final three seasons with the San Francisco Giants (1984) and Oakland A’s (1985 and 1986) finishing his career with 242 home runs, 1,013 RBI and a .278 batting average. He was named to tow NL all-star teams with the Dodgers in 1981 and 1982, batting .320 and .300 respectively. Baler was one of four Los Angeles Dodgers to eclipse 30 home runs in 1977 the others being, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Reggie Smith.

For his cumulative accomplishments in the game Baker certainly merits Hall of Fame consideration but if he should capture a World Series championship with the Astros this year, Cooperstown will most likely come calling.

Opinion by Patricia Kennedy: We’re more than a nice place to visit

Opinion by Patricia Kennedy
We’re more than a nice place to visit

I recently returned from a much- anticipated vacation with my family. In the weeks and days leading to this vacation, it seemed as if all I could think about was how good it would be to get away—from the house I spent a year living AND working in. From the office I’ve become reacquainted with in the last six months. From vaccination reports, retention reports, vacancy reports, and sick leave reports. Away from Zoom meetings. I couldn’t wait to get away from home!

Dog Charmer by Tom Shelby: How do I stop nipping when I encouraged the behavior?



Dog Charmer by Tom Shelby
How do I stop nipping when I encouraged the behavior?

Dear Tom,
We have a two-year old, 17-pound Cavapoo with a bad owner: me!
Since she was a pup, we have played rough, wrestling and playing “dodge the nips” with my sleeves and forearms. We both have had a blast. Because of social distancing during the worst of the pandemic, this aggressive play at home was not a problem. But, predictably, as our socializing has increased she wants to play dodge the nips with friends and strangers approaching to pet her. However well intentioned this behavior it is not welcomed by most!
What can we do?
Concerned pet owner

Opinion by Richard Sternberg: Gen. Colin Powell: An American Hero

Gen. Colin Powell: An American Hero

Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Advisor died Monday, Oct. 18. He had served the United States for more than four decades. He was 84. He truly was an American hero. He died of complications of COVID-19. He had been fully vaccinated and was scheduled to be given a booster last week when he became acutely ill. He was susceptible to COVID even though vaccinated because he was immunosuppressed.

At one time Gen. Powell was the most admired person in the United States. Both political parties wanted to draft him to run for president. He had followed the best traditions of our military such that no one actually knew what his political positions and party identification was or if he even was enrolled in a party. He turned both parties down saying he felt that campaigning wasn’t for him.

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