There was no parade, and the crowds that usually cluster around the Memorial Walkway in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park were noticeably absent during the annual Memorial Day Celebration this morning. Above, Master of Ceremonies Les Grummons salutes as “Taps” is played for attendees, who brought wreathes and listened to a short speech from Mayor Gary Herzig. Following the ceremony, some members of the legion stopped by the home of John Forman, left, to salute him alongside fellow WWII veteran Fred Hicken. Returning to Legion Post 259, the veterans were surprised with complementary lunches from Brooks’ BBQ, courtesy of The Porch Fairies, anonymous donors who wanted to make sure veterans were honored. In addition to lunch, the Porch Fairies also dropped off gift cards for groceries for any veteran in need. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1
ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.
HOLIDAY KICK-OFF – 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Enjoy historic village, holiday spirit. Includes Shoppers Rally & Raffle, artisan demos, ornament making, refreshments, tree lighting, more. Many shops participating. 192 Main St., Sharon Springs. Visit www.facebook.com/themostwonderfultimeoftheyearsharonsprings/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
LEGACY RUN – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Motorcycle ride to support American Legion Legacy Fund supporting children of deceased veterans through their higher education. Includes stops in Delhi, Margaretsville, Downsville, Walton. After the run enjoy music, food, Chinese auction, more. American Legion, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-0494 or visit www.alrpost259.org/legacy
Legion Commander Terry Harkenreader and Wayne Gregory, above, present a Blue Star flag to Roxanne Condon, Oneonta, in honor of her son Leaf Ericson, who is serving as a foreman in the Navy, as part of the Blue Star Ceremony. Six area families were honored this evening at Oneonta’s American Legion Post 259. Originally started in 1917, the Blue Star Ceremony presents families with children serving in a branch of the military with an honorary flag to hang in their window. The tradition fell out of fashion during the Vietnam era, but has been regaining in popularity in recent years. This is the first time the Oneonta Legion has taken part in the ceremony. Inset at right, Ericka Ericson, Kim Lindberg and Lois Proctor listen as Gregory reads the history of the Blue Star flag. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
BRETT REISTAD, LEE SMITH ON HAND
American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad of Manassas, Va., top photo, heralds the long relationship between the National Baseball Hall of Fame and American Legion Baseball in kicking off at two-day commemoration of the Legion’s 100th anniversary this morning at 25 Main St. Hall of Famer Lee Smith, left, who will be inducted July 21, delivered remarks. Among Legion dignitaries were New York Department Commander Gary Schacher, right, and Regional Commander Paul I. Spedaliere, Lebanon, Conn., behind Reistad. Inset, Schacher presents a souvenir bat from Cooperstown Bat Co. to Scott Mondore, the Hall’s director of marketing and an Army vet, who helped organized this weekend’s activities. Hall VP/Communications Jon Shostakovsky noted that 81 Hall of Famers participated in Legion Baseball. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
COOPERSTOWN – The American Legion, especially through American Legion Baseball, and The National Baseball Hall of have had a special relationship for over four decades.
“American Legion Baseball was founded in 1925 to further citizenship through sportsmanship,” said Jeremy Field, director of communication at American Legion’s HQ in Indianapolis. “Every year our player of the year is honored at the Hall of Fame Classic game at Doubleday Field.”
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Former county rep Len Carson confirmed a few minutes ago he is planning to run for Common Council this fall to represent Ward 5 in the city’s west end.
A Republican, he said he has spoken with the current Council member, Democrat Dana Levinson, who told him she isn’t planning to seek another term. All Common Council positions are up for reelection in November.
“You know me,” he said. “I’m not into the ‘D’ and the ‘R’ and the ‘C.’ We need to have a leader, the mayor, and representatives of the wards working together to do the good work that needs to be done. Party politics don’t work at the local level. We need good people.”
Oneonta’s Mark Spaziani, Rick Rogers and Ross Rogers – The Roundhouse Rockers – gave an evening of live music started this afternoon at the second annual Play It Forward event at the Oneonta Vets Club. This seven-hour jam session features live music, a chicken BBQ and raffles, with 100 percent of all funds donated to the American Legion Legacy Run. At right, Oneonta native Sandy Ross shares a kiss on the dance floor with her new husband Robb; the two married this morning. The couple, who flew up from Florida, co-created the event with Sandy’s sister Carla Balnis, and in lieu of a reception, decided to invite family and friends to attend the event and donate to the cause. Musicians from Florida, NYC, Utica and Oneonta will keep you rocking until 10 p.m. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The American Legion and Kiwanis Club held their second annual Christmas Party this afternoon in the ballroom of the American Legion in Oneonta. Children and their families were treated lunch, cookies, and of course free photos with Santa Claus by Jamie Novick Photography. Above, Santa made sure each child he met with received a present. Here, Zachary Stall, Oneonta, receives his gift, while Cindy Cecil, Oneonta keeps a grip on her grandson Michael Phillips, who is enamored with the jolly old Elf upon his arrival. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)