December 13, 2015 – A day of adventure

Yesterday was a lovely day.  We got up and got ready and left home by about 10:30 or was it 10?  None the less it was a lovely day for a drive so we headed out Rt 20 through Cherry Valley with gorgeous views, lovely old homes and just so pretty.  It did not look like December at all.

North of Cooperstown we turned south on Rt 82 – State or County Road and drove down the western side of Otego Lake.  We passed the Glimmerglass Opera House along the way and various camps and lovely cottages. It is a windy, twisty road.   Then we arrived at the Fenimore Museum.  We have been to the Farmers Museum across the street many times but never to this art museum.

It is housed in the old Fenimore Home on the side of the lake.  They have some wonderful and interesting exhibits there.  Native North American art is a vast collection from the Arctic all the way South to Louisiana. Alaskan, Canadian, Northwest, Northeast etc art works from before the white man arrived to some current items.

The other one I found fascinating was the folks art of Lavern Kelley. He was a farmer from just south of Cooperstown living on the family farm and drawing from the time he was very young until he died. He also made things of  wood such as reproductions of farms, people, and trucks, all kinds of trucks.  Some of his work is in the Smithsonian.  I got to thinking about my brother Bill and his train set ups where he has replicas of historic family buildings – including our school house and his wife’s family home. Bill is also a painter so you never know. His work is in my humble opinion better than the work we saw yesterday.

I also enjoyed the exhibit of Marc Chagall’s 1967 costumes for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of the Magic Flute.  He also did all the set designs.  They were wonder to see. They had this little computer that you could watch some of the designs as they came together but it also played the music from the Magic Flute. It was great having the music playing while we were looking at the exhibit.

The museum was decorated so beautifully on the theme of the 12 Days of Christmas.  They had various rooms set up for each of the 12 days. If I can get them to upload I will include pictures of them. Tried to upload before I switched to this computer and they would not cooperate.

Then we went across the road at 3 pm for the Candlelight Christmas at the Farmers Museum.  It was lovely over there as well. All the walkways were lined with luminaria. There were horse drawn wagon rides around the museum, there were carolers stationed at various places so you could listen almost any place to someone singing.  All the buildings were open so we went into the school, and there was St. Nicholas talking with the children.  There was someone weaving and another fellow making brooms in another building.  And we saw how they roasted a chicken in front of the fireplace. That was darned interesting as it spun over a dish to catch the drippings. Would take a long time to cook for sure that way.  At about 4:30 we went into the Cornwallville Church and first heard the end of the performance by three folks who call themselves the Snowy Owls – fiddle, guitar and whistle I think.  They were followed by the Catskill Chamber Singers who were very good.  They sang old carols and various other songs until 5:20.

As we walked out it was really dark and the place was backed with people. The Worcester Central School band was playing carols on the balcony of the Tavern.  Had lots of offers from Boy Scouts for spiced cider but had already had some before. It was very nice but in the dark with no snow to reflect the light I found it was a little difficult getting around. Dodging tons of little kids running around and parents with strollers.  We checked out one of the meal sites there but felt it was too early to eat so made the decision to start for home and if we passed a place to eat we would check it out.

Well, do you think on Rt 20 all the way to Duanesburg there are any restaurants?  Not that you can see in the dark.  There was very little traffic so we were home by a little after 7 pm.  It had been a long day so was glad to be home.  Really enjoyed ourselves and on the way home I was grateful for the time with no computer, phone etc.

So much we saw there made me think of the life on the farm at Long Point.  So many of the same activities going on and in a diary I was reading there it sounded just like Charles’.  But wait until you read what is at the end of this month…. dear old Aunt Madeline…

September 1902

Sept 1 – wet morn. Madeline goes to Bryans for the day. Fishery duties.
Sept 2 – wet day. Got to Lyndhurst.
Sept 3 – helped Chas Chapman today.
Sept 4 – Fergus and I went picking long blackberries. In eve Fergus and Herb go to dance at Ellisville. Shook here.
Sept 5 – I commenced to dig potatoes. George Lee here all eve. Some other neighbors also.
Sept 6 – dug potatoes. Got 14 lbs. lovely fun. Shook, Fergus and F Slack get boat and take it to our point. Herb M rents stable room from us for the horse he got.
Sept 7 – John Dillon here for day.
Sept 8 – I dug potatoes. Fergus went to Lyndhurst and gave Geo Charleton order for a good suit. Geo is a good tailor.
Sept 9 – Mike Slack puts boat in shape.
Sept 10 – Emily and I go to Donnellys. I stop to see Dr. Gardiner and he gives me medicine.
Sept 11 – Finished potatoes. Fergus goes to Mrs O’Grady’s party.
Sept 12 – Fergus and I gathered rakings to top off stack then Fergus and Madeline went to Lyndhurst.
Sept 13 – wet morn. Fergus to Donnelly’s. Madeline and I go fishing. Catch 4.
Sept 14 – Emily, Ellen and Fergus go to Mass. Madeline and I get dinner. Knapp and his little girl come begging. We give them break, milk, cookies, eggs etc. Madeline sad about the little girl. Her first experience. Real poverty.
Sept 15 – Went with Shook to Gan with load of snaths. Mike O’Connor came home with me.

“The following pages of Dad’s diary follow same routine as past days of 1900 and 1901. The change of seasons bring change of work. I will just write of certain dates as my hand tires too much. Same – many visitors etc thro the pages.

Sept 1902 – his fishery duties became heavier as more were using nets. Some of the pages have faded so much I cannot read them.
Mother and father encourage Fergus re medicine and on Sept 30, 1902 he leaves for Kingston. Madeline and I take him to Seeleys Bay and he takes stage. Come home lonely again. In eve we went to reception for Frank Slack and his bride Maggie Leeder.


Note: I think this was so upsetting to Madeline and her father probably wrote about his sadness as well so she just eliminated all of it. Sad part is that she destroyed those diaries that she had transcribed with her hard to read handwriting.   So that is all of 1902 since the rest was destroyed.




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