September 29, 2022
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Inside The Paper
Inside The Paper
State Farm on Pioneer Street in Cooperstown is having a “Good Neighbor 2022” food drive to benefit the Cooperstown Food Bank. Drop your non-perishable food items off until 5 pm today. Enjoy refreshments and giveaways while you are there!
Inside The Paper
For one day only the antique cars of the Freedom Road Rally are visiting Cooperstown. Currently parked at the Cooperstown Trolley Yellow Lot these cars are on the last leg of their journey around New York State. Led by Scott Dorsey, this road trip group began their New York Tour in Syracuse, NY, and traveled up the Western Side of NY, around the North side and down the east side visiting attractions along the way like Boldt Castle, Fort Ontario, the Wild Center, and now The Baseball Hall of Fame and the Farmers’ Museum. The group will have driven over 750 miles just this week.
No he’s not lost fishing Oaks Creek or overdue from “antiquing” or walking the dog, Dr. John Geier Freehafer, 82, died suddenly but peacefully August 27, 2022 at home in Cooperstown, NY with his loving wife of 37 years, Gail (Reid) Freehafer, and treasured dog LuLu with him. John was a devoted husband, caregiver, father, and a dear friend to many. He was best known for his quick intellect, gamesmanship, robust appetite for good food and good times, wry sense of humor, uncanny ability to catch the larger fish, and his Polo aftershave.
John was born in New Rochelle, NY on October 7, 1939 to loving parents Edward G. and Isabel (Houck) Freehafer, originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He and his parents spent (and he continued to spend) many wonderful summer days in West Dennis, Massachusetts foraging its shorelines with crab net, fishing pole or scallop rake, and its flea markets and antique shops. At least in his later years he was not kept roped to the bridge for safety, as his parents were prone to do.
ONEONTA – Dr. Joseph Scott Lunn, 91, died peacefully at his home on August 28, 2022. He was born on July 11, 1931 in Oneonta, NY to the late William H. Lunn and Dorothy (Hanks) Lunn. He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1949, and Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1953.
He received his medical degree in 1958 from the SUNY Upstate Medical School in Syracuse, NY, and continued his internship and residency in Syracuse. In 1962, he served a two-year tour with the Public Health Service in Atlanta, GA, conducting malaria research. In 1964 he undertook a two-year fellowship in infectious diseases at the Upstate Medical School, and then entered practice in Syracuse.
In 1969, he became an associate physician at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY, and in 1972 was appointed Chief of the Medical Staff at Bassett, a position he held until 1980 when he joined the Medical College of Georgia (now Augusta University) as an attending physician and clinical professor until his retirement in 1996.
COOPERSTOWN – Jeanne “Jeje” Stone Barrett Viek, 93, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Cooperstown on January 22, 2022.
She was born on March 22, 1928 in Bryn Mawr, PA, the daughter of Albert Oliver and Lisbeth Beatrice (Stone) Barrett. She grew up in Devon, PA. Most weekends the family went to their farm on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Jeje attended the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA, a private school for girls. Those who know Jeje won’t be surprised to hear she was pushed ahead two grades, and she was also a bit of a mischief-maker (but never malicious)! She attended Smith College where she majored in Science (and was well-known for her prowess at arm wrestling). She was also on the All-Smith Crew team. Jeje later went to West Chester State College (now University) to become a teacher. She eventually earned two Master’s Degrees at West Chester – one in Science Education and one in Reading.
EDMESTON – Ward S. “Seeber” Robinson Jr, 85, of Edmeston, Passed away at his home on Monday August 8, 2022.
Ward was born in Cooperstown on April 30, 1937 the son of the late Ward S. and Marion Pope Robinson Sr. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife Margaret “Peg” Robinson in 2014.
He is survived by his daughter Jill; son Greg, daughter-in-law, Linda; the grandsons he adored, Alex and Nick; brother Van and his wife Carol, sister-in-law Barbara; brother-in-law Jerry and his wife Patty; and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by by his long time companion and care giver Pat Stevens.
Walk up Main Street to the tree-lined road in front of the Court House on Main Street and you will find a new way to explore Cooperstown.
After moving to the area in 2020, Jane Keip offers horse-drawn carriage rides for events all summer as well as some weekends alongside her coworker, the gentle giant Clydesdale called Harley.
Talk only for a few minutes with Thomas Wolf and one realizes this is a person who does nothing by half measure – even an idea in the middle of a global pandemic with two like-minded friends to found a chamber orchestra with a home base in Cooperstown.
After two years of the grunt work – filing as a corporation in New York, forming a 501(c)(3), gathering a board of directors, securing the funding needed to begin, and finding a suitable venue – the Fenimore Chamber Orchestra is preparing its inaugural concert at Christ Church in Cooperstown on August 27. Not just a culmination of logistical preparation, the concert is the beginning of what Mr. Wolf anticipates will be a resounding cultural success adding to the region’s artistic palette.
The trio brings international talent to the task: Mr. Wolf, himself an opera and concert performer in Europe and with 25 years in arts administration, serves as the chair of the orchestra’s governing board. His co-founders are Chief Operations Officer Rosemary Summers, for 25 years James Levine’s private librarian at the Metropolitan Opera, and Music Director Maciezj Zoltowski, a world-renowned conductor of many festival orchestras across Europe.
“The three of us had converged up here,” Mr. Wolf recalled. “Rosemary and I were talking on the phone a year ago February about what we could do now that we’re all here. We said at the same time, ‘we must found our own orchestra!”
“We identified a need and have answered that need for the community at large in presenting orchestral performances at the highest artistic and professional level,” he said. “We knew the pandemic would ease. Many arts institutions closed their doors and musicians lost their livelihood during the pandemic, and yet here we are founding our own chamber orchestra. People we’ve spoken to in Cooperstown say it would be a perfect idea.”
COOPERSTOWN – Mary Martha McGowan passed away on July 2, 2022, surviving her beloved husband Victor Salvatore, Jr by 18 months. Universally known as Martha, she was born August 13, 1936 in St. Paul, Minnesota. After attending the College of New Rochelle and graduating with an art degree from the University of Minnesota, she moved first to Chicago and then to New York City in 1966.
In New York she worked at the Associated Council of the Arts, the South Street Seaport project, and for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, of which she authored a history. When she met and married Victor Salvatore, Jr, she began to spend time at their home Swanswick in Springfield Center, New York.
COOPERSTOWN – David James Peevers was a spirited adventurer who loved sailing blue-water ships, guiding white-water rivers, diving in the Galápagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef and big-game fishing off the coast of Baja California. In his early career, he acted in films, TV and on stage, wrote poetry and the lyrics and music for Klaus Rascal and the Squivetts, a children’s musical which was fully staged in Seattle. One of the songs, “Laughin’ is Good for the Soul”, was published by Hal Leonard.
In 1987, he founded Peevers Creative Services, a company that supplied writing, photography, marketing and consulting services to clients worldwide – most notably Santa Monica College, the Los Angeles Business Journal and the German National Tourist Office – for over 25 years.
COOPERSTOWN – Lawrence Dale “Lannie” Richards, a longtime resident of the Cooperstown area, passed away unexpectedly Friday, June 10, 2022, at his home on Van Yahres Road. He was 67.
Born September 11, 1954, in Westfield, Massachusetts, Lannie was one of five sons of Harold P. and Kathryn M. (Walrath) Richards. Raised in Cooperstown, he graduated with the Class of 1973 from Cooperstown Central School.
On June 26, 1976, Lannie married Shari L. Nelson in Middlefield. Shari passed away unexpectedly June 16, 2011.
After working at Bassett Hospital, he owned and operated Groundskeepers, providing property maintenance to many individuals and businesses in the Cooperstown area.
Take a look at National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch’s Twitter account and you’ll meet a person not just embracing his profession, but also serving as a de facto ambassador for the Village of Cooperstown. He and his family – wife Erin and children Emily and Braden – relocated to the village nearly one year ago from the sprawling Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona, and they’ve welcomed their new lives in a much smaller town in the northeast.
“It’s been exactly what we thought it was going to be,” Mr. Rawitch said in a discussion with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta marking one year since the Hall announced his appointment as its eighth president. “We dove head-first into life in Cooperstown, everything from our kids getting into school activities, my wife getting involved with non-profits, starting to make friends with people who live here. All of that is like we thought it would be.”
He shares with his on-line followers pictures of scenes like the small bridge arching over Willow Brook near Lake Street or a stop at the Cooperstown Diner on Main Street.
“I’m trying to give people a little slice of what life is like with my Twitter account,” he said. “Not everybody can come here, so I try to give them a little bit of the flavor.”
“You can’t really know until you live it what small-town life is going to be like,” Mr. Rawitch said. “There are so many unique things to this town that we love, from the mom-and-pop shops to the walkability of it all to the grade schools to life on the lake. It’s such a special place. On top of it all it happens to have this unbelievable baseball mecca in the middle of it. It’s just an awesome place.”
As he did one year ago upon his appointment, Mr. Rawitch spoke of his deep appreciation for his baseball career, which began at age 18 as an intern for the Los Angeles Dodgers – there for 15 years before a decade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Those jobs, he said, prepared him well for the leadership role at the Hall of Fame.
The mayors of Cooperstown and Oneonta opted to take regional economic and cultural development into their own hands this month with the debut of a project they’re calling “The Cooperstown Corridor,” highlighting what they see as reasons businesses and people would want to relocate in Otsego County.
“Clearly Cooperstown has name and brand recognition all over the world,” Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek said in a discussion with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “When we’re talking to people about bringing their businesses here or moving here, they like to know about Cooperstown and our connection to the village.”
“Think of all the people who come to Cooperstown All-Star Village,” he said. “We want to get them while they’re here. Find out about our main streets. See what that short drive between Oneonta and Cooperstown has to offer.”
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh agrees, as evidenced by her longstanding observation that businesses and localities throughout the county benefit from the ‘Cooperstown’ brand.