FDR IN VAN HORNESVILLE: In 1931, GE President Owen D. Young, then the presumptive nominee for the Democrat nomination for President in 1932, invited New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt to the dedication of the school in Van Hornesville that bears Young’s name. By 1932, FDR had outstripped Young for the Democratic nod, and went on to be elected President four times.
STILL NO TRUMP: Another year has gone by, but the current sitting president, Donald Trump, has still to make it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame or Otsego County generally. Surprising, given that, according to some reports, he was scouted for the Phillies and the Red Sox on graduating from high school, choosing to go to college and into his dad’s real-estate business instead.
HE DIDN’T SLEEP HERE: George Washington visited Otsego Lake’s outlet in 1783 to view where General Clinton blew up the dam that allowed his army aboard bateaux to surprise the Iroquois at Oquaga (Afton), disperse the tribe and open the way for New Englanders to settle Otsego County after the American Revolution. After a gala at Swanwick, the lakeside mansion, he reportedly rode on the Fort Plain that night.
T.R., TAFT IN ONEONTA:
It’s said Congressman George Fairchild hosted Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft at different times at
his mansion at Main Street and Grand Avenue, Oneonta, now the Masonic Temple. Fairchild, publisher of the Oneonta Herald, would later be first chairman of IBM.
3 FOR COOPERSTOWN:
The past three sitting presidents, Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all visited the Baseball Hall of Fame at some point, Obama while he was still in office.
Cooperstown #8 On Fodor’s List Of Best Small Towns
COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown, celebrated this spring by “I Love NY” and honored by President Obama’s visit, has another promotional feather in its touristic hat: Fodor’s Travel has just selected it as eighth on a list of ten of “America’s Best Small Towns.”
“Cooperstown isn’t just a destination for sports lovers,” the listing says, “with cultural attractions including the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, the annual Glimmerglass Opera season, and the Fenimore Art Museum. Outdoorsy types, meanwhile, can enjoy golfing at Leatherstocking Golf Course, boating on Otsego Lake, and hiking in Glimmerglass State Park. Beer lovers shouldn’t pass up a chance to tour the esteemed Brewery Ommegang.”
Fodor’s numero uno is Telluride, Colo., “replete with small-town charm that many other major ski areas lack,” and numero diez is Bardtown, Kty., “a stopover in Kentucky bourbon country … where it’s easy to be charmed by the Georgian architecture and local hospitality.”
COOPERSTOWN – Mayor Jeff Katz discusses fracking and President Obama’s visit in a guest column in the current edition of The New Republic magazine.
“The sense that, even in intense disagreement over the major issue of fracking, there was a core connection between the people and their president, that they could be opposed but still together, gave truth to the words of the (other) Boss,” he concludes.
Editor’s Note: Adrian Kuzminski, Sustainable Otsego moderator, distributed these observations on the President’s visit to Cooperstown through various listserves.
The most fascinating thing to me about Obama’s visit to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame was the wierd emptiness of it all, which I think says a lot about our current public political culture, or the lack thereof. The organizers of the anti-fracking rally I was part of anticipated (hoped for) large crowds, and worried in advance about off-street parking and other relevant contingencies.
If you picked up the special editions that day of the local papers celebrating Obama’s visit, and read them at face value, you would anticipate a festive, popular occasion, with lots of local pride on display, supported by the testimony of copious open letters and commentary welcoming the president, seasoned with respectful criticism regarding fracking and other national issues. We are all in this together with you, was the story line; we live in a common community, was the presumption.