OLNEY, MD – Sitting alone in the back corner of the Richfield Springs Public Library, science writer and researcher Jamie Zvirzdin diligently crafted her latest publication, presumably with coffee in hand. It was October of 2018, six months since Zvirzdin and her son, Max, were forced to flee from Managua, Nicaragua following an outbreak of political upheaval that had flooded the capital’s streets with police and protestors. Her husband, Andrew, remained stationed there as one of the U.S. Embassy’s emergency personnel.
“I was teaching astronomy at the local college, and the president Ortega, started breaking up peaceful protests. It escalated very quickly, like within a week,” Zvirzdin explained.
BOOK DISCUSSION—1:30 p.m. Author Joanne Tubbs Kelly, an Oneonta Native, will be sign her book “Walking Him Home: Helping My Husband Die with Dignity” about her and her husband’s experience with receiving medical aid in dying in Colorado. All are invited for the potentially lively discussion. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut Street, Oneonta. (607) 432-1980 or visit facebook.com/hmloneonta/
BLOOD DRIVE—Noon to 5 p.m. Save up to three lives with the American Red Cross. Worcester Municipal Building, 19 Katie Lane, Worcester. Register at redcrossblood.org
BE AN ANGEL – The community is invited to adopt a family and then find Christmas gifts for each of the children listed. Gifts are due unwrapped and without tags to either the office of The Freeman’s Journal at 21 Railroad Ave. in Cooperstown, or at the Salvation Army Church at 25 River St. in Oneonta. Visit allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ for details
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, with massive recovery efforts now underway, a new novel by Hartwick resident Jeff O’Handley is particularly relevant.
“Powerless,” Mr. O’Handley’s debut work, was published by Breaking Night Press in August. The inspiration for the story came, ironically enough, while driving through a hurricane.
“I had to pick my daughter up at her friend’s house. At one point, an image popped into my head of the road flooded out. I asked myself, ‘What if I couldn’t get to the house to pick her up?’ It was a terrible thought,” Mr. O’Handley said. “It also seemed like it would make a great story. Once I started writing, it took a lot of twists and turns and changed quite a bit, but that’s where it started.”
Local father and daughter authors will sign their books together on Sunday, December 12, at the Apple Barrel, Route 30A in Schoharie.
Dana Cudmore will sign copies of his new book, Underground Empires: Two Centuries of Exploration, Adventure and Enterprise in NY’s Cave Country. The book, from Black Dome Press of Catskill, documents the wonder, drama, and history of the region’s caves and describes the remarkable personal and engineering accomplishments that turned some into popular tourist attractions.
His daughter Libby Cudmore, now of Oneonta and the former managing editor of The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta, will sign copies of The Big Rewind from William Morrow publishers of New York City. The murder-mystery follows hipster Jett Bennett after she finds her Brooklyn neighbor bludgeoned to death. The wise-cracking, music journalist wannabe Bennett uses a mysterious mixtape to track down her killer.
The Cudmores will sign books from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
SPRINGFIELD – Jill Maney passed away on Saturday, July 10 in Springfield, with Jonathan Maney, her loving husband of 33 years, at her side. She is also survived by her parents, James and Dora Stauffer, her brother, Donald Stauffer, sister-in-law, Fiona Stauffer, and nephew and niece, Henry and Margot Stauffer, all of Rochester, New York.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Jill graduated from Amherst College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Utah and a Ph.D. In English at the University of Rochester. She taught at a variety of schools, including Keuka College, Finger Lakes Community College, and SUNY Cobleskill. She also received a postdoctoral fellowship to teach at Cornell University.
Bob Seaver was born in Boston in 1924 and spent his childhood summers on Otsego Lake in his grandfather’s camp, Wranglehurst, now called Highview, near Hickory Grove and, for reasons no one knows, across the lake at Camp Chenango.
His mother was from Springfield Center and his father was a pilot from WWI who was recuperating in Cooperstown. Bob attended Phillips Andover Academy and Amherst College, graduating in 1946 as an English major, then joined the crew of the U.S.S. Niblack as first Lieutenant in the Pacific at the end of WWII.
He taught school in Philadelphia and San Francisco and for several summers at the Mohican Reading School in Cooperstown, before he moved permanently to Cooperstown in 1960 to become supervisor of the experimental “talking typewriter” reading program for dyslexic and autistic children at Bassett Hall.
On the side, he taught at the Cooperstown Elementary School and ran an antiques shop near Hickory Grove.
He was president of the PTA in the early 1960s, a founding member of the Brookwood Foundation, a member of the Otsego Golf Club, the Mohican Club, the Friends of the Cooperstown Library and an original member of the Town of Otsego Planning Board. All these organizations, their members, friends and the people Bob ran into during his daily strolls on Main Street served as bait for The Badger.
In the early 1970s, Bob, who had been writing “Bits of my mind, written on paper,” regularly since he was in 7th grade, began submitting a weekly column about, in his words, “anything,” to The Freeman’s Journal. It was to be called The Badger, which was Bob’s middle name (and also a somewhat nasty omnivore that is related to otters, polecats, weasels, skunks and ferrets).
Bob left us more than The Badger; Badger Lane, near Hickory Grove, is home to a few old camps on Otsego, and Badger Park, once the Village Gardens, was donated to the Village of Cooperstown by Bob and his family to provide a skating rink for the kids.
The Badger—tales, observations and histories about everything and anything he found interesting, humorous or annoying, appeared regularly in the paper for the rest of Bob’s life. It was one of the most popular columns the Journal published. About half of them, 111 to be exact, have been compiled in a book—Cooperstown, Otsego and the World … as seen by The Badger, published in 2005, just before Bob died. The Freeman’s Journal has been given permission to reprint them here. Additionally, Bob’s wife, Veronica, is hard at work on Volume II, as envisioned by Bob, and we look forward to bringing these further stories to our readers in future editions.
Gianluca Avanzato, with his mother Rosemarie and father Antonio, poses with his new collection of poetry inspired by growing up in Oneonta, aptly titled “City Of The Hills.” Gianluca was on hand at Stella Luna this evening where he read from the collection and signed copies. The book will be available at Greater Oneonta Historical Society, The Green Toad Bookstore and on Amazon.com. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
READING – 5:30 p.m. Author George Hovis will read from his work, “The Skin Artist” and sign copies at 6 p.m. Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St., Oneonta. Info, (607) 433-8898, www.greentoadbookstore.com
Amanda Fox, right, reads a passage from her new fantasy-romance novel “Rogue Fate” to friend Jess Brown, mother Donna Conrad, dad Gary and brother Scott, seen above, at the Green Toad on Saturday afternoon where she was signing copies. The book, the first book in The Rogue series, was released in January and is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kabo as an ebook, and an audiobook. Fox is currently working on the sequel “Dragon’s Scars”. More info on Fox and her books can be found at amandatfox.com. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
GUITAR CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Headline concert of Classical Guitar Fall Festival features The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo performing de Falla, Rossini, Moravec, more. Fine Arts Building, SUNY Oneonta. 607-865-8775 or visit cgsuny.org