By TED POTRIKUS • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Oh yes, I remember: August 1983, leaning against a column in front the library on Main Street for a photo, thanking the people of Cooperstown for reading my Freeman’s Journal work that summer, and heading back to Rochester to begin my junior year of college. My boss published the picture with the caption, “I’d like to thank Richard Johnson for giving me my own column.”
A few things happened since then. I met her in London, England, in 1984 and in 1986 married the wonderful Angela Buesing of Davenport, Iowa; we raised two daughters, each grown and married. I was a newspaper editor in suburban Rochester and then worked for the New York State Senate. I spent three decades in Albany as the lobbyist for New York’s retailers large and small, retiring in November 2020.
But like classic rock bands that retire — only to come back a year later — here I come, out of retirement and back to my beloved hometown. Back to writing for the newspaper that my dad brought home every week when I was growing up, that I’ve never stopped reading, and that indeed gave me my own column all those years ago. I’m honored by the opportunity to work here again and am grateful to Tara Barnwell, Lin Vincent, and Michael Moffat for their dedication to local journalism and their trust in me.
Like them, I believe deeply in the value of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta, and AllOtsego.com as important news outlets serving their collective and individual communities. Like them, I see Cooperstown, Oneonta, and Otsego County as vibrant and robust places with people to celebrate and stories to tell. With news that demands careful and objective reporting. With opinions and viewpoints to share.
I grew up here, graduated from Cooperstown Central School, worked at Pete’s Paint and Paper, shopped at Newberry’s, Bresee’s, and Jamesway. I know the culinary delight of an old fashioned donut from Schneider’s Bakery, the joy of a glass of fresh cider from the Fly Creek Cider Mill, and the unmistakable aromatic draw of a drive past Brooks’ Bar-B-Q.
Yet I don’t look at our region through some nostalgic sepia print filter. Otsego County continues to grow with new and exciting shops, restaurants, activities, and, most importantly, people. I can’t wait to be a part of it all, all over again.
I come to this work with a hefty background in and respect for politics and the process that drives public policy in New York and its communities. I love the arts and respect the artists who bring us their talents. I’m a sports fan and suffer every year as a diehard follower of the New York Mets.
Local journalism, at heart, reflects the totality of what’s important to the communities they serve. I’m looking forward to reporting and writing about politics, sports, the arts, people, and places and, most of all, what’s important to you. There’s good work to be done.