News of Otsego County

robert badger seaver

Robert Badger Seaver: The Badger

Robert Badger Seaver: The Badger

Bob Seaver was born in Boston in 1924 and spent his childhood summers on Otsego Lake in his grandfather’s camp, Wranglehurst, now called Highview, near Hickory Grove and, for reasons no one knows, across the lake at Camp Chenango.

His mother was from Springfield Center and his father was a pilot from WWI who was recuperating in Cooperstown. Bob attended Phillips Andover Academy and Amherst College, graduating in 1946 as an English major, then joined the crew of the U.S.S. Niblack as first Lieutenant in the Pacific at the end of WWII.

He taught school in Philadelphia and San Francisco and for several summers at the Mohican Reading School in Cooperstown, before he moved permanently to Cooperstown in 1960 to become supervisor of the experimental “talking typewriter” reading program for dyslexic and autistic children at Bassett Hall.

On the side, he taught at the Cooperstown Elementary School and ran an antiques shop near Hickory Grove.

He was president of the PTA in the early 1960s, a founding member of the Brookwood Foundation, a member of the Otsego Golf Club, the Mohican Club, the Friends of the Cooperstown Library and an original member of the Town of Otsego Planning Board. All these organizations, their members, friends and the people Bob ran into during his daily strolls on Main Street served as bait for The Badger.

In the early 1970s, Bob, who had been writing “Bits of my mind, written on paper,” regularly since he was in 7th grade, began submitting a weekly column about, in his words, “anything,” to The Freeman’s Journal. It was to be called The Badger, which was Bob’s middle name (and also a somewhat nasty omnivore that is related to otters, polecats, weasels, skunks and ferrets).

Bob left us more than The Badger; Badger Lane, near Hickory Grove, is home to a few old camps on Otsego, and Badger Park, once the Village Gardens, was donated to the Village of Cooperstown by Bob and his family to provide a skating rink for the kids.

The Badger—tales, observations and histories about everything and anything he found interesting, humorous or annoying, appeared regularly in the paper for the rest of Bob’s life. It was one of the most popular columns the Journal published. About half of them, 111 to be exact, have been compiled in a book—Cooperstown, Otsego and the World … as seen by The Badger, published in 2005, just before Bob died. The Freeman’s Journal has been given permission to reprint them here. Additionally, Bob’s wife, Veronica, is hard at work on Volume II, as envisioned by Bob, and we look forward to bringing these further stories to our readers in future editions.

Click To Read This weeks Excerpt of ‘The Badger’

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