Inspired By Great-Grandmother, Dad
by LIBBY CUDMORE • Special To AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – When Matthew Hulse was given his Eagle Scout award, he wanted to make sure his great-grandmother, Louise Hulse, 102, was there to be a part of the ceremony.
“She was so enthusiastic when my uncle Alan (Lotito) got his Eagle Scout award,” said Matthew. “It was important for me to have her there to witness it.”
Hulse, now a freshman at SUNY Poly Technic and a member of Troop 1254, held his Eagle Scout ceremony at Cooperstown Center, where his grandmother resides, this morning.
“I’ve very proud of him,” said Louise. “He’s a wonderful boy.”
Matthew’s Eagle Scout project was to restore the cases, displays and artifacts at the Fly Creek Area Historical Society.
“My dad” – Rick Hulse Jr., a former Otsego County representative – “Is a member of the Fly Creek Area Historical Society, and I attended some meetings with him. I saw the cases were in disrepair, and I figured, what better project then to fix them?”
His father also supported his Eagle Scout journey from the beginning. “He was a Boy Scout, but he only reached Star rank,” he said. “One of his biggest regrets was not reaching for Eagle Scout, so he inspired me to do so.”
He built new cases, did the delicate work of cleaning fragile artifacts, and restored old chairs in the museum so that visitors can better enjoy the displays.
“I learned so much from some of the older members,” he said. “We would take out an artifact, like a Civil War musket, and as we would be looking at it, someone would tell us the history of it.”
Louise was also a huge help in putting the area’s history into context. “She lived through so many major events,” he said. “She’s like an encyclopedia!”
He was also tasked with building new displays for the artifacts. “We found this mid 1850s wedding dress, and after we cleaned it with a link roller, we put it in what we felt was the correct spot, a display we’d made representing the home,” he said. “And when we’d be in there working, and the sun would come through the window, it looked like an actual living room. It was just beautiful.”
In addition to his Eagle Scout award, he also received a letter from state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and an official citation from the NYS Assembly, presented by Assemblyman John Salka, R-121.