SUBSCRIBE MY PROFILE
HOME | BREAKING NEWS | POLICE & FIRE | IN MEMORIAM | PEOPLE | OPINION | SPORTS
 JOBS  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 HOMES  
 CARS  
 FUNERAL HOMES  
 GOODS & SERVICES

News of Otsego County

mohican flowers

50-Car Parade Salutes Cooperstown Mainstay

50-Car Parade Salutes

Cooperstown Mainstay

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Former Cooperstown mayor Carol B. Waller and Claire Satriano wave to well-wishers. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com

In the midst of the 50-car drive-by celebrating Carol B. Waller’s retirement as Mohican Flowers’ proprietor, a customer stopped by looking for greens to decorate his home for Christmas.

Carol and her 42-year assistant, Claire Satriano, who was also honored at the event, ducked into the store and got him what he needed.

“They work until it’s done,” said Elaine Bresee, who spent three weeks organizing the parade with Carol’s husband Bill, and witnessed that small act of supreme customer service on Saturday, Dec. 19.

On the coldest day of the season so far, friends and admirers began lining up their cars at 2:30 p.m. on Railroad Avenue, just around the corner from 207 Main St., where the Bateman-Waller family has operated Mohican Flowers, founded in 1901, for 50 years.

Former Cooperstown Chamber leader
Polly Renckens hands gift to Elaine Bresee.

Leading off was a Cooperstown Fire Department pumper, sirens and horn blaring, bearing Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Fire Chief Jim Tallman, with Deputy Chief Glenn Falk driving.

Santa and Mrs. Claus followed, then a Cooperstown EMT vehicle, lights flashing, carrying Squad Chief Eric Pierce with wife Alisia and daughter Abigail.

Many longtime friends followed, including White House Innkeepers Marge and Ed Landers, and Hank Phillips, retired Withey’s pharmacist and wife Dottie. Jo Ann Lamonica was up from Oneonta for the celebration.

Carol said husband Bill told her to sit by the window with her coat on. When Elaine showed up to hatch the surprise, she asked Carol, “What are you doing there?”

When the parade began, Bill set Carol up in a chair by the sidewalk, with Claire by her side and Satriano husband Bill and son Chris behind them. Bill, an avid photographer, worked the scene.

Many folks pulled over to present gifts. State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, himself retiring at year’s end, and wife Cindy presented a clock that marks the days of the week, not hours and minutes.

“That was quite an outpouring. She was in tears – and that infectious laugh!” the senator observed.

“Since,” said husband Bill, “a number of people have called to say, ‘If I’d known, I would have been there.’”

Sometimes tearful, often laughing, former mayor Carol Waller, seated, watches the 50-car parade pass by in her honor. Others, from left, are Elaine Bresee, co-honoree Claire Satriano and, in the background, Claire’s husband Bob and son Chris.(Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Carol and Bill were raised, met and married on Huntington, L.I., and moved to Cooperstown in 1970, when her dad, Charles Bateman, who had retired as president of Hi-Temp, which supplied wire to NASA, bought Mohican Flowers in 1970. He trained as an unpaid intern at a downstate florist six months, then moved to Cooperstown.

Carol worked for her dad. By the mid-‘80s, the medical-equipment company Bill was working for transferred the family to Boulder, Colo. Returning in 1990, Carol’s dad, by then also a veteran county representative, asked her at dinner, “What are you going to get involved in now? Why don’t you do something meaningful?”

Soon, she was elected to the Village Board, serving four years as trustee, four years as deputy mayor and, beginning in 2002, eight years as mayor. High points included obtaining and completing the village’s first sizeable federal grant: for the renovation of Linden Avenue and creation of the “Blue Lot.”

During this period, as her current successor as mayor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, noted in a proclamation she presented Waller last Saturday, Carol got involved in the 4Cs – the Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee.

Along the way, the Wallers raised three children, all successful. Bill, now semi-retired in Washington State at 51, is an attorney by way of Colgate and Harvard Law. Scott, 47, teaches math at D.C.’s Gonzaga Prep, where he’s coached two soccer teams to national championships. Kirsten, 38, is up for a big promotion to senior director of the cancer center at a San Diego hospital. The Wallers have seven grandchildren.

The couple plan to close the shop Dec. 31, and retire as of New Year’s Day. There have been inquiries from prospective buyers, so this may not be the end for Mohican Flowers.

The Wallers plan to stay in the village, although, as COVID declines, they hope to borrow an RV from a friend and drive across the country to visit their children and grandchildren.

An era is ending.

Elaine Bresee “had gone for a drive-by for a lady in Oneonta. I saw how wonderful it was,” perfect for recognizing Carol and Claire’s dedication.

She and Carol were members of the Lake & Valley Garden Club, and Elaine also provided flowers at Christ Episcopal Church once a month, so she experienced Mohican Flowers at full throttle.

She recalled the whirl of activity just before one Valentine’s Day, when two funeral directors called with funerals scheduled for the same time. “Carol and Claire looked at each other, then went right back to work.”

“There’s never any time off,” Bresee said. “They both worked so hard, I wanted to show my appreciation for everyone at the shop.”

“I can’t imagine Cooperstown without a florist,” she said.

Fare Thee Well! 50-Car Parade Surprises Retiring Carol B. Waller

Fare Thee Well!

50-Car Parade Surprises

Retiring Carol B. Waller

State Sen. Jim Seward and wife Cindy, top photo, halt a 50-car, drive-by surprise parade this afternoon to give a retirement present to Carol B. Waller, seated at center, the former mayor who is retiring at the end of the year as proprietor of Mohican Flowers on Main Street, Cooperstown.  Also honored was Claire Satriano, who joined the organization 42 years ago, her first job out of college.  Maitresse d’, with red scarf, is Elaine Bresee, decades-long friend and customer.   At right are Claire’s husband Bob and son Chris.  Second photo, left, are Ed and Marge Landers, longtime friends of Carol and husband Bill, with a congratulatory banner on the side of their van.  The smaller posters are Holly Dollars, a former Christmastime downtown promotion, which depicted Carol during her tenure as mayor.   Third photo is the lineup along Railroad Avenue, including, in Cooperstown EMT ambulance, Squad Chief Eric Pierce, wife Alisia and daughter Abigail.  A Cooperstown fire truck, driven by Assistant Chief Glen Falk and carrying current Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Fire Chief Jim Tallman, led off the event. Mohican Flowers was founded in 1901, and purchased 50 years ago by Carol’s father, Charles Bateman, who also served on the county board for 25 years.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

MORE IN THIS WEEK’S FREEMAN’S JOURNAL
COOPERSTOWN CHAMBER ANNOUNCES HALL OF FAME

COOPERSTOWN CHAMBER

ANNOUNCES HALL OF FAME

COOPERSTOWN – The Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce is announcing its first entries in its Hall of Fame.  Bruce Markusen is in the process of announcing eight winners:

  1. Church & Scott Pharmacy
  2.  The Clark Sports Center
  3. Fly Creek Cider Mill
  4. The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
  5. Hyde Hall
  6. The Inn at Cooperstown
  7.  Mohican Flowers
  8. The Otesaga

The eight winners will be honored at a reception in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Hall of Plaques in April, part of the Cooperstown Chamber’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.

LISTEN TO BRUCE MARKUSEN’S ANNOUNCEMENT
30 Volunteers At Mohican Flowers Helping Clean Up Fire’s Damage

30 Volunteers At Mohican Flowers

Helping Clean Up Fire’s Damage

State Sen. Jim Seward and his wife, Cindy, were among 30 volunteers who showed up this morning to help former Cooperstown mayor Carol B. Waller, her staff and family to clean up the damage from Wednesday evening's fire that gutted the attached greenhouse.  Volunteers included the Rev. Mark Michael of Christ Church and his curate, the Rev. Matt Stromberg.   Father Michael had been by the shop Thursday morning to bless the property as repairs began.  Meanwhile, Mohican Flowers is back in business, with Carol filling orders for two weddings, as well as retail.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
State Sen. Jim Seward and his wife, Cindy, were among 30 volunteers who showed up this morning at Mohican Flowers to help former Cooperstown mayor Carol B. Waller, her staff and family to clean up the damage from Wednesday evening’s fire that gutted the attached greenhouse. Volunteers included the Rev. Mark Michael of Christ Church and his curate, the Rev. Matt Stromberg. Father Michael had been by the shop Thursday morning to bless the property as repairs began. Meanwhile, Mohican Flowers is back in business, with Carol filling orders for two weddings, as well as retail. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
3 FIRE HYDRANTS FAILED NEAR MOHICAN FLOWERS

3 FIRE HYDRANTS FAILED

NEAR MOHICAN FLOWERS

Wa

Dennis Elliott of the village DPW this morning replaces the snapped flange on the hydrant at Main and Nelson.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Village Water Superintendent Dennis Elliott this morning replaces the snapped flange on the hydrant at Main and Nelson.  Mohican Flowers is on the other side of the street at the end of the block.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • allotsego.com

The operating nut on the hydrant in front of Spurbeck's, at right, snapped when firefighters tried to turn the hydrant on.  At left is a functioning operating nut.
The operating nut on the hydrant in front of Spurbeck’s, at right, snapped when firefighters tried to turn the hydrant on. At left is a functioning operating nut.

COOPERSTOWN – The three fire hydrants closest to Mohican Flowers failed as firefighters battled a “ball of fire” that consumed the greenhouse last evening.

This is the flange that snapped at the base of the Main-Nelson hydrant.
This is the flange that snapped at the base of the Main-Nelson hydrant.

Each hydrant was a different situation:

• Main-Nelson:  A fire truck drove over the fire hose once it was under pressure, causing the flange at the base to snap, disabling the hydrant, according to a written report Mayor Jeff Katz received overnight.

  • Railroad-Leatherstocking:  The operating nut at the top of the hydrant next to Spurbeck’s Grocery, which opens the flow of water, snapped, according to the report Katz received.  Examined this morning, it appeared to be rusted.
  • Bruce Hall lot:  Katz said the report he received didn’t mention that hydrant.  (Bruce Hall, in addition to a hardware store, is a lumber yard.)

100-YEAR-OLD GREENHOUSE BURNS AT MOHICAN FLOWERS

100-YEAR-OLD GREENHOUSE

BURNS AT MOHICAN FLOWERS

A 100-year-old greehouse behind Mohican Flowers, Cooperstown, is consumed in "a ball of flame" last evening.  The fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m.  (Photo by Bill Waller)
A 100-year-old greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers, Cooperstown, is consumed in “a ball of flame” last evening. The fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m. (Photo by Bill Waller)

Main Building Saved; Business May Reopen Monday

By JIM KEVLIN • www.allotsego.com

Charred remains and little more is all that's left of the greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers today.  The fire began in a cellar, in the foreground, where the oil burner was located.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Charred remains and little more is all that’s left of the greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers today. The fire began in a cellar, in the foreground, where the oil burner was located. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
The Wallers' Bayliner Classic, containing 50 gallons of gasoline, was only 10 feet from the flames, but a firefighter directing a hose on it while colleagues fought the main blaze and an explosion was avoided.  In the background, wearing hat, Bill Waller briefs a neighbor on what happened.
The Wallers’ Bayliner Classic, containing 50 gallons of gasoline, was only 10 feet from the flames, but a firefighter directed a hose on it while colleagues fought the main blaze and an explosion was avoided. In the background, wearing hat, Bill Waller briefs a neighbor on what happened.

COOPERSTOWN – A 100-year-old greenhouse behind Mohican Flowers was consumed last evening by what proprietor Carol B. Waller’s husband Bill described as “a ball of flame, an orange ball of flame.”

The Wallers – Carol is former Cooperstown mayor –  had gone to bed when they heard over the scanner at about 10:30 p.m. that a house on Leatherstocking Street, behind the greenhouse, was on fire.   Former fire chief Brian Clancy, who lives on Leatherstocking and made the original call, called in in a few moments later to correct the location:  It was behind the flower shop.

The Wallers hurried to the scene to find the greenhouse fully engulfed.

However, firefighters with AirPacs went into the main building, which was attached to the greenhouse, closed the connecting door and opened the front upstairs windows to let the smoke out.   That saved the building, and Carol said she expects to be open for business by Monday.

“The fire department did a marvelous job,” said Bill.  “They saved the building.”

He said the fire started in a basement under the potting shed where the oil burner is located.  The official cause of fire was still uncertain today.  However, Bill said a state inspector had done a routine inspection of the burner just last week.

The Wallers’ Bayliner Classic boat, containing 50 gallons of gasoline, was parked about 10 feet from the greenhouse, and the tarp was melted onto the boat today.  However, Bill said a firefighter stood by the boat, directing a spray of water against it, and little damage was done.

Some of the siding on Bieritz Insurance, close to Mohican Flowers on the west side, had melted, and associated Ben Novellano was on the roof this morning, trying to determine the extent of the damage.

In addition to Cooperstown’s firefighters, Fly Creek and Hartwick Seminary responded.

Posts navigation

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