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News of Otsego County

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The Old Badger: The Badger contacts aviators

The Old Badger

The Badger contacts aviators

First published in The Freeman’s Journal August 2, 1978

“They tell us at the drugstore that since the aviators came here, the business done in lip rouge, ordinary rouge, and other forms of calsomine has almost doubled. And Schneider and Raubacher, who do most of the clothes cleaning say that the way the officers’ uniforms catch up talcum powder along the sleeves and shoulder is something awful.”
— The Freeman’s Journal, July 16, 1919

The year of “the flyers” in Cooperstown was 1919. (Pete Hollis sat up and looked around that year, too. Maybe that had something to do with it.) Almost 500 handsome, young aviators were housed in the village that summer, some for a few weeks, others for much longer – officers and gentlemen of the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army who had been ordered to Cooperstown for rest and relaxation before being mustered out of the service after World War I.

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83 September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

In Memoriam

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83

September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, born in Budapest, Hungary, to Jenö Seléndy and Irén Kosma on September 5, 1937, passed away peacefully in his home on July 5, 2021, after an intense and devoted life of public service and study in three countries. He spent his last years in the pursuit of lifelong passions, including for reflection, writing, reading, karate, and photography, living quietly with his beloved Patricia Gambitta in Fly Creek, New York.

Balázs grew up in war-torn Hungary, spending his childhood in the midst of the deprivations of World War II. With Calvinist and Catholic parents but a Jewish paternal grandfather, his family stayed beyond reach of the Nazis due in part to his father’s military service to the Austro-Hungarian empire during WWI.

In October and November 1956, as a young medical student, Balázs fought in the spontaneous, student-led revolution against the Soviet-backed Hungarian People’s Republic. After a large Soviet force invaded Hungary and destroyed the uprising, rounding up revolutionaries, Balázs was forced to leave his family, including younger brother Szabolcs, and to emigrate with other Hungarian refugees under cover of darkness across the border to Austria. His father gave him a treasured Leica camera to pay for his crossing, but, after Balázs helped a fellow refugee escape, she paid for him, and he photographed with the Leica for decades.

TRIBUTE: Al Colone

In Tribute

Family Remembers Al Colone By
Looking At What He Loved Most:

Family

Remembering The Saga Of Ma And Pa Colone

Editor’s Note: Our columnist and Oneonta businessman Al Colone died April 13, without finishing a two-part series about his ancestors. As a tribute, his brother, Frank Colone, wrote this memorial about their parents.

Albert L. Colone
July 8, 1944 to April 13, 2021.

By Frank Colone

In the aftermath of World War I and the pandemic of 1918, Ma and Pa Colone returned to Oneonta and Depew Street. Oldest son Ani and baby Adelia (Ethel), who was born in Italy, came with them. Ma and Pa were determined to provide a better life for their family, both those in Italy and those in America.

After living for a time on Depew Street and West Broadway, Pa bought a home on River Street and the family settled permanently in the Sixth Ward in Oneonta’s “lower deck.” They were proud of their home and the fact that they could call Oneonta “home.”

Pa resumed work for the D & H. He worked briefly at the roundhouse and eventually spent most of his working years in the shop.

An unfortunate accident in the shop cost him an eye, but it did not cause him to stop working. He worked in the shop until he retired.

As a young man, Pa served in the military in Italy and acquired reading and writing skills there.

After returning to America, Pa worked to learn how to read and write in English. He so valued education and he constantly preached the value of learning to his family. Pa became a naturalized American citizen in 1928, a very proud moment in his life. Like many immigrant families, Ma never learned to read and write English and, therefore, could not become a citizen.

The Old World ways and skills learned in Italy helped them survive the Great Depression. Without a lot of money, Ma and Pa worked hard and used all their resources to keep their growing family secure. Despite her lack of a formal education, Ma had the primary role in maintaining the household and in raising the family.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, AUGUST 9

Theatrical Performance

‘Billy Bishop Goes To War’

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THEATER – 7:30 p.m. Performance “Billy Bishop Goes To War.” Set in 1914, follows journey of underachieving Billy Bishop on his journey to become a great fighter pilot. Explores complexities of heroism, cost of war, Britain’s colonial past. Free admission. Franklin Stage Company, 25 Institute St., Franklin. 607-829-3700 or visit franklinstagecompany.org/events/billy-bishop-goes-to-war/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Great War Memorials, Controversies

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PRESENTATION – 7 p.m. “Commemorative Controversies: British Memorials in the Aftermath of the Great War, 1918-1939” by Dr. Stephen Heathorn on controversies around British WWI memorials in context. IRC 5, SUNY Oneonta. Visit oneonta.campuslabs.com/engage/event/2842330

SIT N’ KNIT – 1 – 2 p.m. Work on knitting or hand stitching project. Richfield Springs Public Library, 102 Main St., Richfield Springs. 315-858-0230 or visit www.facebook.com/Richfield-Springs-Public-Library-1068210423236404/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, AUGUST 12
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, AUGUST 12

Great Piano Music In Concert

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MUSIC FESTIVAL – 7:30 p.m. Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee, Piano, present selections by Mozart, Debussy, Stravinsky, Granados, others. Includes works for solo piano, four-hand piano. Cost, $25 general admission. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 877-666-7421 or visit www.cooperstownmusicfest.org

RENAISSANCE FAIR – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Medieval Ren fair features crafters, vendors, games for kids & adults, auctions, performances by variety of musical groups. All welcome to come in period costume. Windfall Dutch barn, 2009 Clinton Road, Cherry Valley. 518-993-2239 or visit www.windfalldutchbarn.com/renaissance-fair.html

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, AUGUST 5
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, AUGUST 6

‘The Truth – What Is Yours?’

Art Exhibit Opening Reception

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OPENING RECEPTION – 5-7 p.m. Exhibit “The Truth – What is Yours?” Featuring works by both guest, member artists. Displayed thru 9/2. The Smithy, 55 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. 607-547-8671 or visit www.smithyarts.org

THEATER – 6 p.m. Operatic rendition of Homer’s “Odyssey” features rollicking sailor songs, storms, siren songs, more. General admission, $20. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School. 607-547-2255 or visit glimmerglass.org/events/odyssey/

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103