LETTER from DOUGLAS GEERTGENS
In a previous essay, I asked; Why Do We Have Schools?
Parents and other family members took on the major responsibility for teaching children whatever it was they thought they should know. As in much of the animal kingdom, the adults play a very important role in teaching their young what they need to know to survive. We are born and eventually we die. Those who best learn how to survive, usually live the longest. But is that really true for us humans?
My mother used to say, “ignorance is bliss.” There are times that I believe her, but in most cases, ignorance will not get you very far in life. When settlers first came to the New World, they embarked on a bold adventure. There were new challenges and survival was just one of them. After living in relative freedom for over 100 years, the rule of the King began to take its toll on some of those freedoms. From this frustration came the words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Where does that quote come from? If you cannot answer that question, then our schools have failed. The founding fathers realized that if each generation after them were not taught about the reasons for the revolution and the documents developed as a result of their frustrations with the king, then the experiment would fail. They knew the importance of teaching the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States to future generations. That is one answer to the title question.
In the early days of our country, our society had that role. Parents had that role.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, MAY 28
READING – 7 – 8:30 p.m. English professors from SUNY Delhi share their creative writing in literary & speculative genres. Includes Q&A session after reading. Sponsored by Huntington Memorial Library. 607-432-1980 or visit www.facebook.com/hmloneonta/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
HOLIDAY WORKSHOP – 1 – 3 p.m. Children are invited to decorate their own Christmas bulb, sing along to Christmas carols on player piano. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/index.htm
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
CONCERT – 3 p.m. Stamford Friends of Music present Pegasus: The Orchestra performing American masterpieces Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland, others. Suggested donation, $12/person. Stamford United Methodist Church, 88 Main St., Stamford. Visit friendsmusic.org
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, AUGUST 10
FAMILY SATURDAY – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bring kids for fun tour featuring hands-on activities for kids. Enjoy family concert by Dave Ruch featuring sing-a-longs, movement songs, more at 1. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. 607-278-5744 or visit www.hanfordmills.org/programs/events/family-saturdays/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JUNE 13
WORKSHOP – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Master Gardener Francine Stayter will co-host an interactive workshop, “Gardening for Health and Well-Being.” Free. Classroom One, FoxCare Center, 1 FoxCare Dr., Oneonta.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, MAY 14
READING – 5:30 p.m. Author George Hovis will read from his work, “The Skin Artist” and sign copies at 6 p.m. Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St., Oneonta. Info, (607) 433-8898, www.greentoadbookstore.com
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, APRIL 13
EARTH FEST – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Annual Earth Festival features a clothing swap, an art contest, free paper shredding, workshops and more. Milford Central School, 42 West Main St., Milford. Info, (607) 547-4488. occainfo.org/earth-festival/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUG. 17
HARVEST FESTIVAL – 3-6 p.m. Celebrate the bounty of summer with the Butternut Valley Alliance and the Morris Farmer’s Market. Guy Rathbun Park (behind the firehouse), 117 Main St., Morris. Visit butternutvalleyalliance.org
NATURE WALK – 6-7:30 p.m. Walk through Riddell State Park with Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent. Visit historic structures, fields, and forests along the Schenevus creek and learn the history of the land. Meet at the Main Entrance of the Robert V. Riddell State Park, Riddell Rd., Davenport. Call (607) 547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/nature-walk-robert-v-riddell-state-park/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 29
AWARDS PRESENTATION – 4:30 p.m. Features the presentation of the Ford C. Frick award for baseball broadcasting excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Gates open 3 p.m. Followed immediately by the Parade of Legends Doubleday Field, Cooperstown. baseballhall.org/events/Awards-Presentation-2017?date=0
PARADE OF LEGENDS – 6 p.m. The Legends of baseball ride down Main St. to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. baseballhall.org/events/Parade-of-legends-17?date=0
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JULY 24
MEDIUMSHIP READINGS – 6-8 p.m. Bring Questions, connect with Loved Ones. Fee, $25. At Darlinghill Farm Retreat, 404 Ed Herman Rd., Westford, RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or call (607)638-5111
THEOLOGY SEMINARS – 6:30-9 p.m. The Hartwick Seminary Summer institute of Theology begins. Cost, $45. Hartwick College Oneonta. View www.parksidelutheran.org/HSIT_Brochure2017.pdf or e-mail email@example.com
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JULY 4
PARADE – 11 a.m. Celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence at the 103rd Springfield 4th of July parade. Followed by a party with live music, Brooks chicken bbq, 4th of July Quilt Show, a Revolutionary War display by the Fort Plain Museum, the Utica Zoomobile, a bounce house, games, raffles, and more. Free parking. Springfield Community Center, 137 Co. Rt. 29A, Springfield Center. wskg.org/event/springfield-4th-of-july-parade-and-celebration-2/
FREEDOM – Noon. Listen to Frederick Douglas’ famous “History is a Weapon” speech about what freedom means to a slave as performed by one of the Templeton Players. Followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Tavern Green at 1 p.m. The Farmers Museum, Cooperstown. www.farmersmuseum.org/Independence-Day-July-4th-Celebration