“Meg called me one day and asked if I wanted to go to this concert,” said Cooperstown Village Attorney Martin Tillapaugh.
That concert? The famous Woodstock festival, held Aug. 15-18, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel Woods, 50 years ago this week.
“Woodstock was one of the most important cultural and music moments in history,” said Greg Harris, president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. “It was the pivotal time when young people were questioning their place in the world, and they came together with others feeling the same way in this massive gathering.”
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “Woodstock at 50” exhibit opened earlier this summer, featuring never-before-seen color film footage, photos and artifacts from the “Summer of Love.”
With so many areas of American life seemingly spinning out of control, there’s a contrary example in the Otsego Lake Association (OLA).
Its “100-percent volunteers,” according to Jim Howarth, co-president with David Sanford, are focused on a common mission: “Protecting the health, beauty and wellbeing” of the lake.
Listening to them, it’s clear: Local volunteers, working together, can get a lot done.
There are larger non-profit, governmental and educational entities focused on the wellbeing of James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass, a national environmental icon – the OCCA, Otsego 2000, SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station (BFS), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, to name only a few – but the nimble OLA is a PT boat amid, if not aircraft carriers, the mid-size cruisers.
In advance of its annual meeting – this Saturday, Aug. 10, at Cooperstown’s Fairy Spring Park on East Lake Road; coffee and donuts at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting at 9-11 a.m., including conferring the annual Lake Citizen Award – Howarth and Sanford stopped by the other day to help raise the visibility of a story of accomplishment.
Like many OLA members, the two motivations came out of many happy personal experiences. Sanford recalls when commercial fishing was still allowed on the lake, and a daily staple at the Cooperstown Diner was Otsego Bass caught that morning. A student at SUNY Oneonta in the 1970s, Howarth remembers renting a motorbike from Thayer’s at $5 a day to take his future bride Susan onto the lake. Or a canoe ride, $2 a day.