COOPERSTOWN – Austin Sears, 72, creator, manager and actor at the Cooperstown Summer Theatre Festival for three decades, exited life’s stage on Dec. 17, 2019, in New York City.
“We met in 1979,” his wife Margarita said in an interview this week. “The 40 years I knew him, it was all Cooperstown. It was all theater. That was his life. That’s what he talked about and did every day – looking for actors, soliciting scripts.”
The curtain went up on July 6, 1984, inside the renovated barn on West Lake Road about a mile south of Glimmerglass Opera. The first performance, Noel Coward’s “Private Lives,” played to a packed house. At the end, it poured, and cars got stuck in the mud looking to exit. “Kirn’s was coming back and forth to pull cars out,” Maggie said.
COOPERSTOWN — Suzanne Smith Dean (Susie), 96, of East Orleans, Mass., passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.
She was born on April 15, 1923, in New York City, daughter of Dorothy Bostwick Smith Campbell and W.T. Sampson Smith, Sr. Mrs. Dean spent her early years in that city attending Shipley School and Miss Hewett’s Classes.
She was a member of the Red Cross Nurses’ Aid Corps and later volunteered at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She was married in September 1942 at St. Thomas Church in Gilbertsville to Dr. John Van Benschoten Dean.
BE INFORMED – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Learn about past, present, future of 2 invasive species in Otsego County. Research Specialist Holly Waterfield presents ‘A Decade of Zebra Mussels: Impacts & Challenges in Otsego Lake.’ Director of Ecological Research Institute Dr. Jonathan Rosenthal presents ‘Emerald Ash Borer: Current Status and the Way Forward.’ Free, open to public. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/be-informed-lecture-series-invasives-species-past-present-and-future/
ON HYDE BAY – Jon Maney wants Hyde Hall to be more than just a house museum – (although, what a house!)
He wants it to be a destination for music and arts.
“We’ve done a lot of classical music, but we need more contemporary music,” said the National Landmark’s executive director. “George Clarke loved jazz, so we want to start having a whole range of music from different eras.”
On Oct. 6, the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, an Albany-based band that’s become the museum’s house band, will debut Max Caplan’s “The Hyde Sextet,” a work scored for flute, harp and string quartet and inspired by the ghost of Hyde Hall.
Caplan, is the composer of the suffrage-themed opera “Aleda,” which premiered in June 2018.
“It’s a really spooky piece that’s in the spirit of the season,” said Maney.
COOPERSTOWN – There are plenty of places in Otsego County to get drive-thru food.
But the Blue Mingo is the only place to get boat-thru food.
“On busy nights, we’ll come and serve you on your boat!” said owner Michael Moffat. “We have a lot of people who come and order while they’re out on the lake – we know they’ll bring the silverware back.”
Now in its 25th year, what started as a humble hot dog stand is now destination dining for baseball stars, opera fans and anyone who wants to enjoy a meal overlooking Otsego Lake.
PHOTO EXCURSION – 6-8 p.m. Walk through The Farmers’ Museum with photographer Kevin Gray and learn tips on composition, lighting and camera techniques, and return home with your own beautiful pictures of Otsego Lake and the museum’s historic village at sunset. Bring lenses, camera battery, tripod (if you have one). Cost, $17/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum & Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
OLDEST PARADE – 11 a.m. The second oldest parade in the country kicks off again, with a full day of festivities to follow, including a concert and fireworks at dusk. Springfield Center Community Center, 129 Co Rd 29A, Springfield Center.
NO FIREWORKS – An item that appeared here for a few minutes was incorrect: Fireworks are planned Friday, July 5, at Brookwood Gardens, not tomorrow.
CONCERT – 3 p.m. Town of Springfield Appreciation Concert will offer an overview of The Glimmerglass Opera’s 2019 season. Proceeds will benefit the Springfield 4th of July Committee. Alice Busch Opera Theater, 7300 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info, 315-858-0304 or visit www.glimmerglass.org
There was a new Bubba on Otsego Lake this afternoon: “Bubba” the Tug Boat, that is, which Lakefront Hotel proprietor Paula Wickoff purchased from Seattle’s harbor last fall and was delivered to the docks at Cooperstown on Thanksgiving Weekend. Ice-breaking is a spring ritual, to avoid damage to the docks at the Lakefront or Landland Shores; last year, however, the ice was particularly thick, and Paula spent hours on end in an icy, unheated cabin. Today, “we never cut this much ice in one day,” Wickoff – waving in photo at left – said by phone from Bubba’s cozily heated cabin. “I couldn’t be more pleased.” In the background is steel-hulled “Blue,” manned by Joe Lepetich and Brian Murphy, which “cut through the ice like steak,” Wikoff said. “Bubba” then broke the ice into smaller harmless pieces. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Parasites. That doesn’t sound good.
But SUNY Oneonta biology professor Florian Reyda says having a variety and plentiful parasites “is a sign of a healthy ecosystem, of biodiversity.”
By that measure, Otsego Lake is quite healthy. Especially now that Margaret Doolin, a student in SUNY’s master of science biology program and one of Reyda’s advisees, had discovered a parasitic