RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Michael Andrew Elliott, 61, passed away on Nov. 29, 2021 at the Regional Hospice, Danbury, CT, after a short illness with his loving wife of 29 years at his side.
Michael A. Elliott was born in New Brunswick, N. J. on April 26, 1960 the second child of Harvey W. Elliott, Sr. and Barbara Lockburner Elliott from Sussex N. J.
Mike’s family moved to Richfield Springs where he grew up on the family farm. He learned a life long work ethic being an active member of 4-H with the “Raised Heifer Program”.
Michael graduated with a New York State Regents Diploma from Richfield Springs Central School in 1978 with high honors. He also received awards in Math and Science as well as a Clark Scholarship and New York Scholarship.
He was active in cross country sports. He assisted the R.S.C.S. Marching band. He was selected to attend the American Legion Boys State program sponsored by Post 616 of Richfield Springs.
Mike embraced personal challenges. He also loved downhill skiing with his family, being a master of moguls. He also rode a motorcycle, white water kayak and canoeing. He completed the 72 mile General Clinton Canoe Endurance Race from Cooperstown, NY to Bainbridge, NY on the Susquehanna River. Biking was a passion that led him to the top of Mt. Washington Peak, N. H. in 2003.
He gave 100% to all he did, whether it was school activities, sports or play.
Dan Sullivan – the Town of Richfield Supervisor and co-founder of the Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative – invited me out last week for a tour of the store on the village’s West Main Street. I had been there only a few minutes talking with Kari James, the store’s full-time manager, when the proprietors of B. Blossom Catering came in with the morning delivery of vegan lunch plates to sell there that day. I knew right away what I was buying for lunch – a kale salad topped with jerk-flavored roasted tofu.
Dan and Kari looked at the dozen-or-so containers. “Hang on,” Dan said. “Let me count these. I’ve already had a lot of calls this morning to have one set aside.”
Fortunately for my lunch plans, not all of them had been spoken for. And Dan kept getting calls. Some for Town business (a surprise visit that afternoon from Rep. Antonio Delgado’s staff) and some for the Co-op. Customers, too – Co-op members get a 10 percent discount on their freshly-made coffee and plenty of them stopped in that morning for a cup and to say hello to Dan and Kari. And Dan peeked in an adjoining room to greet a half-dozen villagers who meet there each Monday for a game of mahjong.
They really weren’t interruptions at all – I had the chance to check out the locally-sourced, locally-grown, locally-made, and/or locally-packaged food and home goods. And the coffee – Dan gets it
A rendering of plans for soccer, softball, baseball, and T-ball fields (along with some sledding) in the works for Richfield Springs
They have to wait until the end of ‘mud season’ to start, but Richfield Springs is eager to break ground in the Spring on new baseball, softball, and soccer fields that could be ready for action in time for Autumn’s soccer season.
Town of Richfield Supervisor Dan Sullivan said the Richfield Youth Sports Athletic Complex got its start when a dedicated group of volunteers began a bottle and can drive – “literally putting nickels together,” he said – and raised enough to take a look at 18.4 acres on the border of the village and town near Lake Street and Cemetery Road. With money in the bank and a site in mind, Mr. Sullivan worked with the group to write a grant through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process – leading to an award topping $160,000 for the project.
“This gives exercise opportunities for everyone,” Mr. Sullivan said. “There’s an issue with rural poverty, an issue of rural obesity. These fields will be easy to access and open for play and activity. We can’t wait to get going.”
Mr. Sullivan said he hopes to include a walking track around the fields and is even eying 16 acres at nearby Roundtop for more adult recreation options.
His plans for the Village and Town include a study of a extending a walking and bike trail from the sports complex to Baker’s Beach on Canadarago Lake and even the city of Little Falls.
“The Empire State Trail runs through Little Falls,” he said, noting the state had considered ‘branch trails’ until COVID stalled the plans. “We’d like to do some study and planning for the next round of CFA grants. I think it’d be a great opportunity.”
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Edward Rhyde passed on February 15, 2022. He was born in Cooperstown on May 7, 1936 to Rufus and Esther (Pope) Rhyde of Richfield Springs.
The youngest of three children, Edward attended Richfield Springs school until the sixth grade when he quit school to help on the family farm.
Edward worked at many different places in Richfield springs including The Gunset Ski Bowl, LD Whipple Construction, and more. He then worked for Berrett Paving in Litchfield where he spent over 25 years before he retired.
He was married twice before he married Barbra Rose Johnson on August 6 1983. Ed and Barb resided in Richfield for a time before then moved to East Springfield until Ed moved back to Richfield in 2012.
Four members of Otsego Area Rowing (OAR) will go to Boston, Massachusetts this weekend to race in the world’s biggest two-day rowing event, the Head of the Charles Regatta.
Lang Keith, Laura Kilty, Joe Novitski, and OAR founder and coach Andrea Thies, a two-time Olympian, compete with international rowers in mixed-double and single-rower events taking place on the city’s famed Charles River.
One week later, OAR sends more rowers, including youth members Creighton Williams, Charlotte Feury and Isabel Dudek to the Head of the Fish event on the Fish River, a few miles outside Saratoga Springs. Thies, Alison Lord, Faith Gay and Abby Rodd will race in the Women’s Masters Quad.
The club, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2017 to introduce local residents to the sport, is based at Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake.
OAR is open to rowers of all ages and any level of experience. This year, OAR hosted more than a dozen adults new to rowing and a similar number of youth rowers during week-long summer camps. OAR racers come from Cooperstown, Oneonta, Cherry Valley, Richfield Springs and West Winfield.
“We try to find a way to make rowing more approachable,” Thies said. “A big part of our mission is to give access to the equipment, to knock down the barriers and work with people who might not think about rowing as a lifetime sport they can enjoy.”
OAR stresses a safety-first regimen focused on rowing basics, steering, proper procedure and navigation. The club’s leaders, Thies and Steve Bohler, are certified U.S. Rowing Level 2 coaches.
“When you’re out racing, it can get pretty intense,” Thies said. “It’s not necessarily a Zen-like experience. You’re going to pass or be passed by other rowers. You’ve got buoys, bridges, and other boats. On the lake, we coach our rowers to be aware of motorboats, swimmers, sailboats.”
Thies said she and the board members guiding OAR hope to expand outreach to area schools, and revisit adaptive programs with revamped equipment for rowers who might require additional assistance.
“Rowing really is for anyone who loves to be outdoors,” she said, recounting her own experience as a Paralympic coach.
“People here had been rowing on their own for years,” Theis continued. “OAR tries to bring them all together in an organized way. Little by little it’s starting to happen. So many people are pulling up their sleeves to literally build this club from the bottom up, and they make my own experience of rowing a joy.”
RICHFIELD SPRINGS — Jim McKeever, an independent journalist, spoke about his experience volunteering at the southern border to a small group at the Richfield Springs Food Coop on Friday, Oct. 15.
McKeever, who went to the border in Texas and Tijuana, among other places, spoke of the Kafkaesque process asylum seekers needed to go through in order to enter the United States.
“Asylum is non-existent right now,” McKeever said, who volunteered at shelters and legal rights organizations, trying to prepare migrants for asylum, as well as doing water drops in the desert. “Asylum approval rates are horrible.”
Stewart’s Shops convenience store and gas station in Richfield Springs was moving to the center of town because its location didn’t provide enough parking.
To make space, the building that was previously occupied by Kinney Drug Store and Patterson’s Chrysler and Oliver Dealership before that, had already been demolished and cleared off. All of this activity took place under the watchful eye of Lenny Homes, a retiree who spent much of his time keeping track of village happenings while occupying one of several benches situated along Main Street.
From his seated position, which amounted to a stone’s throw across what is actually Route 20, Homes was deeply absorbed in watching workers excavate the brick-littered ground in preparation for new gas tanks.
On my way home, while passing over the Elmer Sitts Road that links Monticello to Hyder Road, I always note a sign that marks “The Stauring Retreat,” which amounts to several small camps situated in the woods. Invariably, I think, “what ever happened to Chick Stauring?” I haven’t seen him in more than 50 years.
I don’t even know if he uses the retreat or if he lives anywhere near Richfield. I do know that I am and will always be deeply indebted to him.
When I was about 12 or 13, all the kids used to go to swim at Perkins on Canadarago Lake. There was a long dock that took you out into deep water and beyond that a large float on which we played innumerable games of tag. At that time there was a gas pump, boat rentals and a store up by the road where the Perkins sold everything from fishhooks to hamburgers.
My son Jonathan called me the other night to tell me he missed the old house in Brooklyn. He had lived there his whole life, as I did mine, except for the Army and my longest winter in Richfield Springs.
I told him I missed the house, too, and described my last days there. We had sold to a builder, so I knew the old Victorian was going to be demolished. In the meantime, we rented a one-room studio apartment only a block from the school where my wife Alice was finishing up her last year as a teacher. Both our kids were away working or at school. All of the furniture had been moved into the studio or up to the recently purchased farm, but I was still holding out at the house, sleeping on a mattress on the floor and using cardboard boxes to replace tables and such. Alice stayed at the apartment, but old Rufus, our yellow lab, was an outside dog all his life and I didn’t think he’d do well in the confines of our temporary digs, so I stayed at the house for as long as I could. It was late December, a few days before the closing date, when I had the gas, electric and telephone turned off. The main water valve, I could close myself.
Robert W. Bibik, 78, of Fernandina Beach passed away Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Warner Center for Caring.
Born in Richfield Springs, NY, he was a son of the late Edward and Agnes Zilega Bibik.
He served in the U. S. Navy and soon after his discharge he and his wife, Cheryl, moved to Florida.
For 27 years he worked as an engineer for Florida Power and Light. He also worked for Duke Power and Progressive Energy before complete retirement. He and his wife moved to Fernandina Beach from Vero Beach six years ago. He was active member of the Civitan Club for many years.
THEATER – 7 p.m. The Glimmer Globe Theater presents ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)’ with 3 actors (in tights) performing all 37 of the bards plays. Cost, $15/adult. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1453 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
MUSIC ON THE MEADOW – 7 p.m. Come out for free music by Bill Scranton and Jeff Ruzich performing Classic Jazz/Rock. Bring a chair and blanket, sit in your car, or roam the trails. Enjoy a relaxing evening out. Meadowlinks Golf Course, 476 Co. Rd. 27, Richfield Springs. 607-432-4026 or visit www.facebook.com/Oneonta-Musicians-Association-AFM-443-281548775389405/
Cooperstown will host the Lakefront Concert series, which began Tuesday, July 6, and will take place every Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and non-alcoholic beverages. The next concert will be Tuesday, July 13, and will feature the Kennesaw Mountain Boys.
Richfield to host concerts in the park
The Richfield Springs ‘Concert in the Park’ series, a free event, will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesdays on state Route 20, starting Wednesday, July 14.
Attendees should bring a blanket or chair.
The first event will feature classic country from the Nelson Brother’s Band.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – About 15 people gathered Sunday, May 24, on Main Street in the village to turn the site of a formerly blighted home into a “pocket park.”
The property at 177 Main St. had been abandoned years ago, one of a handful of old houses in the area that had gotten too run down and where the former owners could not afford to restore it.
The Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank bought the property and demolished the house, but rebuilding on the L-shaped .67-acre property is complicated.
“According to the modern zoning laws, this lot is too narrow in the front to build a house,” said Allysa Dupont Rader, who works as the “zombie quarterback” for the land bank, finding abandoned houses and shepherding them back onto the tax rolls.
The village will revisit the zoning laws this summer, but the location of the property and its status as having the only remaining outdoor, uncovered sulphur spring in the village, made it an ideal candidate for a park in the meantime.