By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown was Margaret Margaret Robbins Sohns’ second home before, living on Pioneer Street, it is now her first one.
Raised in Delhi, her family had a boat docked locally. “We’d come and stay,” she remembers.
The Robbinses were New York Yankee fans – Dave Winfield and Don Mattingly, in particular. “I went to the Hall of Fame whenever I could.”
On the way back to the lake, she’d stop at the Red Nugget Ice Cream Saloon on Hoffman Lane. “THAT was my favorite place,” said Robbins, the Republican candidate for one of two vacancies on the Village Board in the March 18 election.
Cooperstown was the family’s geographic center. Her dad James, a college professor, was from Herkimer. Her mom, Antha, was from Roxbury, also the hometown of Glen Hubbell Sr. At a funeral for one of her mother’s relatives, Hubbell “showed up with Schneider’s doughnuts,” to everyone’s delight.
Cooperstown’s iconic nature was also evident during Mary Margaret’s hospital stays in recent years, as she underwent treatments leading up to a heart transplant on March 3, 2019. Whether in The Bronx, or Newark or wherever, “they all remembered me: ‘Yes, you’re the one from Cooperstown.’”
“We have such a gem here,” she said. “You just want to protect it.”
In Delhi, she got involved early in community life, at age 12 helping organize a parade to enliven “The Fair on The Square,” a weekly summertime event in the Delaware County seat. Then, she and her mom started a face-painting business there.
She attended Delaware Academy – going to school with her future husband, Matt Sohns, now a Morgan Stanley senior vice president; they have a daughter, Maggie, 9 – and continued on to Albany School of Pharmacy.
As a pharmacist, she worked at a number of establishments, including Cooperstown’s CVS, where former Mayor Stu Taugher once tried to recruit her to run for the Village Board. For Walmart, she helped ensure its pharmacies were following procedures and legal requirements.
Robbins said she was motivated to run for office by last year’s Village Board plan to install diagonal parking on Pioneer Street, creating an uproar among the neighbors there.
“It didn’t affect me as much as some people,” said the candidate, whose home is closer to the Lake Street intersection. “But the car count would have been increased. We have children on the street.”
It occurred to her she could play a role in such disputes: “This is something I can do: I can listen and compromise.”
She’s been active locally in the Angel Network, and arranged for the former Catskill Area Hospice to expand its Tree of Life program to Cooperstown, enabling loved ones to hang handmade heart-shaped ornaments on a Christmas tree in front of Village Hall.
She’s also involved in the Susquehanna SPCA’s “Shelter Us” fund drive, donning plastic gloves and mask on Cooperstown Winter Carnival Friday to help pack and serve 350 Brooks BBQ chicken dinners to help the effort.
People are most familiar with Robbins’ health challenges: She contracted Lyme diseases in 2013 and by the time it was correctly diagnosed it had damaged her heart, leading to the heart transplant.
“It’s made me more accepting of others,” she said, recalling a Jamaican father praying for her son in the hospital room they shared, and for her.
“Everyone’s heart is the same color,” she said. “We’re all the same color inside.”