VISIT WITH SANTA—Noon-2 p.m. Visit with Santa in Cooperstown to tell him all about your Christmas wishlist and get picture with your pets. Santa’s Cottage, Pioneer Park, Cooperstown. Visit facebook.com/cooperstownchamber.
SCHENEVUS – Ms. Shirley Ester Skinner, 106, passed away peacefully in her home in Schenevus, NY, on February 16, 2022.
She was born on her family farm on Badeau Hill, in Westford in the Town of Maryland, NY. She is the descendant of Pierre Badeau who homesteaded in the area in the 1700’s. Shirley is predeceased by her father, Stanley Wing Skinner, her mother, Pearl Gardner, her sister, Marjory, and her friend, Virginia Brady. Shirley’s grandparents were Fred and Jessie Stewart Gardner, and Amzy J. Skinner and Bertha Wing.
Shirley graduated in 1932 from The Town of Maryland Union School, then graduated from the Draper Schenevus School in 1934. She attended the Ballard School for Business in New York City for 2 years.
She had a remarkable life that included her love of nature, animals, politics, and travel. In the 1950’s, her trips to Europe, included sailing on ocean liners like The Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, The Constitution US, and the Mauretania. She also sailed on the last successful trip of the Andrea Doria before she sank off the coast of Cape Cod. She was proud of her ancestry as a Huguenot descendant from France.
BAKE SALE – 9 a.m. – Noon. Stop by to enjoy homemade Old Fashioned Donuts from the Town of Maryland Historical Society. Cost, $8/dozen. Amvets building, Main St., Schenevus. Call 607-638-9298 to preorder.
MARYLAND – When Joe and Elvira DiPeppi first bought the 5-acre property on Lichenburger Road, Town of Maryland, they nicknamed it “Chateau de Weeds.”
“Nothing was here,” said Patty Furlan. “But they did a lot of work, and they left me all these beautiful gardens and schematics.”
Furlan, who bought the house with her husband Joe in December, has a new title for it – National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.
“It was our Easter present to the house,” she said. “A habitat is the best thing it could be.”
To be a Certified Wildlife Habitat, owners must provide natural food sources, clean water, cover and nesting/burrowing places for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife to raise their young.
“It’s about promising to preserve the land for wildlife,” she said. “I got my love of birds and wildlife from my mother.”
In addition to registering, the couple made a $20 donation and received a plaque to put on their property.
Additionally, the gardens – the DiPeppis’ named them the Sacred Garden, the Holey Garden and the Sacrificial Garden – are part of the federation’s Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, aiming to provide habitat for the declining bee and butterfly populations.
“We call it the Holey Garden because of all the chipmunks,” Patty said. “And the Sacrificial Garden is for the deer!”
The Sacred Garden, meanwhile, is fenced-off in the center of the lawn, with a fairy garden off to the side and a planned vegetable garden in the back.
“I’ve always grown herbs, but it was in a one-bedroom apartment,” she said.
The rest of the land is forest, including a shallow shale cave and a long-forgotten rock wall. “The rumor is that there used to be a brothel up here,” she said. “The madam would go into town, lure men up and then kill them. But that might just be lore.”
She did, however, note that she did find an old foundation. “I’d love to have some forestry students come out and mark trails” she said. “We love to travel to state parks: But this year, this will have to be our state park!”
The Furlans aren’t just letting their land grow wild. “We want to put in willow trees to help soak up some of the moisture,” the wife said. “I don’t only want to maintain the property; I want to add to it.”
Other plans include building bat boxes to help control insects, and providing additional food for nesting seasonal species, such as hummingbirds.
“They got here early at the end of their migration, and they just sat down and ate,” she said. “When I went to refill the feeders, they were waiting there, like they were stalking me!”
As her gardens grow, she wants to expand flower boxes down the driveway and surprises outward into the forest.
“I want to hang picture frames, or maybe invite some art students to do some sculptures or carve a stump into something,” she said. “I love the idea that you could just be out for a walk and there’s some art hidden in the woods, making the woods more interesting than they are already.”
And she hasn’t ruled out additional protections for the property, including forestry and conservation easements.
“We like being in the woods,” she said. “If you can’t give me the ocean, give me the trees.”
SCHENEVUS – Ralph E. Pye, 96, Town of Maryland, a World War II Air Force combat veteran, passed away Jan. 11, 2020, with his devoted family at his side, at the state Veterans Home at Oxford, where he received outstanding care.
He was born March 29, 1923, in Dolgeville, son of the late Charles and Margaret (Hays) Pye.
Following high school graduation, Ralph enlisted with the military. He was a World War II Army Air Corps combat veteran, with the 459th Bomb Squadron, which conducted long-range bombing runs over Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia from its base in Germany. He was honorably discharged on Jan. 10, 1946.
MARYLAND – Elizabeth “Betty” Ann McNerney, 77, passed away suddenly on Jan. 4, 2020, at Bassett Hospital.
She was born Jan. 19, 1942, in The Bronx, the daughter of Alfred and Mary (Fisher) Pfraff.
Betty married Brian J. McNerney on May 20, 1981, aboard a boat in the middle of Port Jefferson Harbor. They lived in Lake Kanasatka, N.H., for 20 years, before moving to the Town of Maryland, “coming home to family” in 2008.
MARYLAND – Joan B. Krpata (Schnakenberg), affectionately known as “Nani,” passed away Aug. 27, 2019, at Bassett Hospital.
She was born Aug. 13, 1931, in Hollis, Queens. She was predeceased by her husband, Alfred, in September 1994. Joan married Al in 1950 and they lived on Long Island until they moved to the Town of Maryland in 1971. In 1992, after retirement, they moved to Boynton Beach, Fla.
TOWN OF MARYLAND – The stench could be smelled for a mile.
More than two dozen dead cows in various states of decay were found in a barn on Route 7 in the Town of Maryland last night, after Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted to the conditions on the farm.
“It appears they all starved to death,” said Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. “There was no food or water. It’s despicable.”
15 live cattle, as well as goats and pigs, were seized from the farm, and another 17 were put into the pasture while arrangements for relocation were made.
NETWORKING – 6 – 8 p.m. Mixer featuring opportunity to sample beers, meet other young professionals, maybe win a door prize with Young Professionals Network of Otsego County. Cooperstown Brewing Company, 110 River St., Milford. 607-432-4500 or visit www.facebook.com/YoungProfessionalsNetworkYPN/
RUMMAGE SALE – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Find good used clothing for women, girls, children, toddlers, babies, men, boys. Also, sheets, blankets, beach towels, bath towels, linens, curtains, kitchen utensils, toys, games, jewelry, more. First Presbyterian Church, 25 Church St., Cooperstown. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.facebook.com/CooperstownPres/
MEMORIAL CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Performance of “Musical Moods – Meditative to Manic” with Timothy Perry and Margaret (Pej) Reitz, performing on clarinet and piano. Free, open to public. RM 201 Fine Arts Center, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3419.