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News of Otsego County

chicken

BERKSON: The Jumping Chicken Of Otsego County
LETTER from TERRY BERKSON

The Jumping Chicken Of Otsego County

Terry Berkson, who has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, lives on a farm outside Richfield Springs. His articles have appeared in New York magazine, the New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, Automobile and other publications.

Got a call the other day from my friend Charlie in Brooklyn. He said that he was thinking of getting a couple of chickens to keep in his apartment so that he could get really fresh eggs. I got on my high horse and asked, “What do you know about raising chickens?”

“I’m good with birds,” Charlie countered.

“Remember how I taught my parrot to stand on his head for money?”

It was true. I don’t know how he did it, but when he’d pull a dollar bill from his pocket and wave it in the air, Webster – that’s what he named the bird – would invariably hold onto the cage bars and stand on his head. Maybe the fact that Charlie’s an obsessive-compulsive provided the repetition needed to teach his pet such a trick.

I had just cleaned out the coop and warned Charlie that chickens were a lot messier than his little Webster. “Also,” I continued, “hens can be noisy. You ought to hear them scold me when I try to slip an egg out from under them.”

“They don’t crow like roosters,” Charlie said.

“No, but they argue over a spot in the laying box. Your neighbors would never stand for their clucking.”

“I guess you’re right,” my friend said of his shot-down idea.

I felt bad because Charlie is the biggest fan of eggs and chickens I know. I always bring him some on trips to Brooklyn and he invariably raves about how much better my free-range, naturally fed, browns are.

In response to his parrot story, I told him about a trick my favorite chicken, Danielle, does.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB.3
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB.3

Festival Of Ice

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ICE HARVEST FESTIVAL – 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Participate in a traditional ice harvest using tools from the 19th century. Includes ice carving demos, hot soup buffet, horse-drawn sleigh rides, local vendors, an a snowman village. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. Call (607)278-5744 or e-mail info@hanfordmills.org or visit www.hanfordmills.org

PLAY READING – 4-6 p.m. Presenting “Helen of Troy,” a new work by Central New York Playwright Kathrine Ambrosio. Feedback welcome. Admission by donation. Next reading, 2/17. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/event/next-readings-new-works-regional-playwrights-play-reading-series

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, APRIL 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, APRIL 28

Rebuilding Schools

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‘LOST BOYS’ LECTURE – 5 p.m. Cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi present “Building Minds in South Sudan” discussing their efforts to rebuild schools in their homeland. Celebration Room, Shineman Chapel House, Hartwick College, Oneonta. Info, Dr. Elizabeth Bloom @ (607)431-4945 or email bloome@hartwick.edu or visit www.hartwick.edu/news/hartwick-host-lecture-sudanese-lost-boys/

ART & POETRY CONTEST – 6-9 p.m. This years theme is Blue Skies, Smilin’ At Me: Exploring the Beauty of living a life free of the negative impacts of addiction. Opening gala features the exhibit, poetry reading, awards ceremony, & music. Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Info, www.canoneonta.org/event/opening-reception-leaf-art-poetry-contest-2/?instance_id=752

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAR. 24
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, MAR. 24

Learn Financial Skills

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FINANCE WORKSHOP – 5-9 p.m. Learn how to manage a budget and file your taxes and more real life necessities with professor Charlene Deno. Includes free food and door prizes. Ages 18-21. Free admission. Club Odyssey, 22 Elm St., Oneonta. Info, www.facebook.com/ClubOdysseyOneonta/

SOUP & PIE BENEFIT – 4:30-6:30 p.m. Enjoy a delicious dinner of homemade soups and pie. Includes a chinese auction. Donation, $7.50 adult, $5 children. To benefit the Richfield Springs Community Center, 6 Ann St., Richfield Springs. Info, www.richfieldzone.org/ or call 858-3200

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JAN. 22
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JAN. 22

Public Discussion Of Oneonta

Downtown Revitalization Plan

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PUBLIC FORUM – 1 p.m. Share your thoughts on how the $10 million Downtown Revitalization plan should take advantage of the cities history to contribute to economic development. Greater Oneonta Historical Society, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Info, www.oneontahistory.org/upcomingevents.htm#More

SNOW TUBING – 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Park will provide snow tube with $5 tubing fee. No charge to enter park. Glimmerglass State Park, 1527 County Highway 31, Cooperstown. Info, www.thisiscooperstown.com/events/snow-tubing-glimmerglass-state-park

CHICKEN & BISCUIT BENEFIT – Noon.  Benefits Firefighter Tim West, Sec. Lt. in Hartwick Emergency Squad who is ill at this time.  By donation – Until food or people run out!   Hartwick Fire Dept. Company #1, Hartwick.  Info, Caren Kelsey, (607)-293-7530, Deb Clegg, (607) 293-6135.

THEATER – 2 p.m. Stuff of Dreams presents “Never Too Late.” Tickets @ Green Toad Book store or by calling (607)432-5407. Cost $15 adult, $12 senior and students, and $10 children 12 and under. Production Center of Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.

LIBRARY LECTURE – Panel discussion on the impact of arts on the local economy. Info, www.villagelibraryofcooperstown.org/calendar Cancelled

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103