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Editor: Nancy DiPace Pfau Number 15
CONGRATULATIONS MAYOR PLUMMER
Douglas Plummer, co-‐owner of the American Hotel, shown above on right with his partner, Garth Roberts, is the newly elected mayor of Sharon Springs! We at the Chatter could not be happier and hope to see lots of positive changes occur over the next several years here in our little village. NEIGHBORING COMMUNITIES IN NEED
Our hearts are saddened by the tragic flooding in nearby Fort Plain, Canajoharie, Herkimer, Little Falls, and Middleburg – donations of cleaning supplies, food, water, children’s clothing, money are greatly needed. The Sharon Springs Fire Department organized a collection on July 1st, the Salvation Army and Red Cross welcome donations, and each community’s fire departments are taking items and distributing them as needed. ****Special Thank You to David DeVito for covering the printing cost this issue!****
July 4th celebration – a community picnic at the park and in the newly painted temple! All expenses and work on the park has been donated and there’s still much work to be done including another community clean up day – so stay tuned and help get this park in shape with us! Don’t miss the first concert: Scotty Mac and the Rockin’ Bonnevilles July 10 at 7 PM. Future concerts: July 17th Annie and the Hedonists, July 24th Barnaby Bright, July 31st Open Mic, August 7 Three Quarter Moon, August 14th Soul Sky, August 21 Singer Songwriter Night. JOGGING MEMORIES
CHALYBEATE PARK UPDATE
Last week my friend, Barbara Melera, of Landreth Seed Company graciously presented me with Praying Mantis Eggs to hatch in my garden [did you know they are cannibalistic? And, of course, they’ll eat other garden pests – so check with Barb and order some for your garden next year!] I started reminiscing about the years I taught at Iranzamin International School in Tehran – in 1970 to celebrate the first Earth Day, my 5th grade students and I started our own newsletter [the Chatterbox, believe it or not – I did not name this Newsletter, that was Leila!] We invited the younger classes to contribute essays and poetry hopefully with a nature theme. My all time favorite was this entry from a first grade student: “The Pramanis is a BIG Spitter!” I’ll let you translate that one for yourself! Now, some 43 years later we still need to be reminded that the Earth is a fragile home – let’s all do something nice for Mother Nature this month!
In a week that saw DOMA overturned by the Supreme Court, Sharon Springs celebrated elegantly! Josh Kilmer-‐Purcell and Brent Ridge, our very own Fabulous Beekman Boys, tied the knot in a ceremony held in the garden at Beekman mansion where the flowers were perfection – Hydrangea, Peonies, Roses all blooming profusely! As guests arrived by chartered van, each bringing a heirloom covered dish for the picnic, they were photographed for a wedding album. Each guest received a monogrammed picnic blanket [pure Beekman style] as a wedding favor. Just before noon, we all sauntered up the hillside for the ceremony, overlooking the mountains and fields surrounding the farm. Martha Stewart broadcast her Sirius Radio Program from the porch featuring an interview with the newlyweds. A grand picnic with barbeque, games, conversation, and a shower or two completed the magical day. Check out the photos on Martha’s blog! CHERRY VALLEY ARTWORKS SCHEDULE
WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS AT BEEKMAN!!
July 12-‐13 Motherhood Outloud *** July 28 Fenimore String Quartet August 4th Klezmer Concert *** August 11 Life Cycles August 18 Ensembles Big & Small www.cvartworks.org for more information
SAHAJA MEDITATION RETREAT
Last year we had a couple stay with us that said they were attending a Meditation Retreat nearby. We didn’t ask too many questions and they were great guests, so we didn’t think too much about the retreat. This year we had a call from a gentleman who was a cardiologist in Tupelo, Mississippi looking for several rooms because they were coming to a retreat nearby. This time I was determined to find out more about this. They had parents coming in from India, a brother from Texas, an aunt from California and then we had other guests from Boston and Oregon, all here for the same retreat. All of these guests were extremely friendly and open about their beliefs, but didn’t push them on us. Normally we don’t accept young children, but the cardiologist and his wife had a 3 and 6 year old. They couldn’t have been more polite! The first morning the boys came down to say hi to Miss Kelly. The parents’ plan was to be out of the house by 8 AM at the latest. However the oldest boy went into the dining room and looked around at the food and had other ideas. Kelly told them she had made a breakfast pizza especially for them. He was a little skeptical about that until he smelled it! When the parents came down I decided I needed to know where this gathering was. At first I found out it was near Ft Plain and that this year was an international gathering with over 1000 people from around the world there. This puzzled me because I have lived in the area for over 50 years and couldn’t think of a facility in Ft Plain that could accommodate that large a group. They politely told me it was called the Sahaja Meditation Retreat. It is a world-‐wide organization but they have regional gatherings. Locally they own property off Starkville Rd outside of Ft Plain with a large barn. They put up large tents to house most of the attendees in primitive camping arrangements. In addition to the meditation, many members sell arts and crafts in booths set up in the barn. The attendees from foreign countries stayed there and they came from mostly European countries. I also found out that I had sat next to one of our guests on a plane from Milwaukee to New York about 15 years ago! She remembered me after I described my growing up on a dairy farm here and now publishing trade magazines that go to the agricultural industry. What a small world! If you want to find out more about this group, here is their website http://www.sahajayoga.org/ .
By Bruce Button, The New York House Bed & Breakfast NEWS FROM THE BLACK CAT Glimmerglass Festival starts this Saturday July 6th with The Flying Dutchman. And for the 7th summer, Black Cat provides wonderful gourmet picnics delivered 2 hours prior to the performances. They can be ordered online or by calling 518.284.2575. You can even order them if you are not going to the opera. We'll also be back at the Cooperstowwn Farmers' Market on Tuesdays (12-5) Black Cat is open 7 days a week, 8-3:30 or later.
Through its long history, Sharon Springs has seen a community ever changing and evolving. During the Nineteenth Century at its height of popularity as a spa town, Sharon Springs saw ten thousand people through its doors. It has welcomed visitors from all over the world. Visitors with many styles, ideas and vision. Now in the Twenty-first Century it doesn’t nearly see that many people, however we thought it would be an interesting idea to get to know our community by introducing you to the people who live here. As most of you know there are many talented artists, musicians, businesses, and interesting people who have decided to make Sharon Springs their home. Let’s begin with a man who has been here since 2001, he’s won numerous awards for his artwork, co-founder of the Studio of Fine and Decorative Arts and has travelled the world working with some of the most prestigious artists. In Sharon Springs he’s part of the Chartwell House Studios. Let me introduce you to Peter Cozzolino, a truly gifted artist who has shared with this community his artistic voice. Below are excerpts from a wonderful and informative interview. FULL NAME: Peter Cozzolino (Cozzolino means to strike lightly). WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Harrison, NY. PROFESSION? Sculptor. Being an artist. Medical Art. SCHOOLING: Graduated Boston University, School of Fine and Applied Arts, Illustration Major. Independent Art Study-Italy, Intense study of Master works of Marble of Ancient Greece, Renaissance and High Baroque. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SHARON SPRINGS: We found the farm and the neighbor wasn’t right next door, we had privacy. We had 254 acres, streams, it was a fantasyland with a cave. No dumps were nearby. We decided when all the kids graduated we would make the move upstate. IN YOUR PROFESSION WHAT TYPE OF WORK DO YOU MOST LIKE? Classic sculpture, romantic. Clean hard lines. BIGGEST INFLUENCE IN YOUR LIFE: Giovanni Bellini, Michael Angelo. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEDIUM: I will sculpt out of whatever you want. MOST INFLUENTIAL PROJECT? Sister Carmelina Tarantino. Carved out of Marble. Placed in Canada-Toronto and another in Italy MOST MEMORABLE PROJECT? The Life-sized Sister Carmelina Tarantino, carved, carrara marble for the Passionists of Rome. Peter spent a year In Italy working in the quarry’s while working on the Life-sized statue. Sister Carmelina was born in Italy in 1937 and moved to Toronto in 1964 in hopes of finding answers about her unexplained illness. Canadian doctors suspected a rare form of cancer, however it was never confirmed. She suffered through painful treatments, including the amputation of her leg and a mastectomy. She was transferred to Riverdale Hospital for her last few months, yet she lived. In 1977 she became a nun and lived in the same bed, same room, never sitting up or walking for an amazing 24 years. Transcending her own suffering Sister Carmelina helped the poor and brought comfort to those who visited her hospital. Sister Carmelina worked tirelessly with the development of the Passionists Society Community of North America in Canada. The Society called on Peter to interpret her combined
THE PEOPLE ARE THE STORIES by Gail Luna
suffering and the warm and welcoming love she extended to each and everyone. Sister Carmelina of Tarantino is now being considered for Sainthood. MOST NOTABLE CLIENT? We’ve worked with many celebrities including; Armani, Eddie Murphy for 15 years, Countess Albino Du Boisrouvray and the Association Francois-Xavier Bagnaud, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE? There are several different pieces, however I think it would have to be the life-sized statue of Sister Carmelina. As you advance it changes, as you evolve things change. I love Terra cotta pieces and flat release of the female form. Each piece generates new growth and challenge. THOUGHTS TO LIVE BY? Comes from the romans “Mens sana in Corpore Sano.”- “A sound mind in a sound body.” Another is “What you think is what you get.” “Those who give themselves to ready and rapid practice, resemble a sailor who go to sea in a vessel without a rudder.” In other words, learn your craft! Peter, along with Marguerite MacFarlane will be painting the mural in Chalybeate Park. When asked how long he thought it would take, he laughed and said “well that depends on the rain. There’s a lot to do”. You can learn more about Peter Cozzolino and his art on his website. http://cozzolinosculptor.com/beginnings.php There are many interesting people in Sharon Springs. If you know someone in the community that you think would be fun to know more about, let us know! Next up, a conversation with Marguerite MacFarlane. Until then, Gail
CUPID, DRAW BACK YOUR BOW: A SHARON SPRINGS SILVER SPOON SERVING SOMETHING SWEET by
Souvenir silver spoons were the rage of the upper middle class at the turn of the 20th Century. Spoons marked important times in a person’s life (birth, graduation, marriage, and sometimes death), important improvements to a community (new post office, fire house, etc.) and for travel. In the 1890 – 1920 time period, most spoons sold at retail between $2.00 and $6.00. Those dollar figures would equate to $56.00 -‐ $169.00 in 2013 – hardly pocket change. Although we can find souvenir spoons for under $10.00 today, one must remember that these are mass produced and frequently made of low-‐quality silver or silver plate. Sharon Springs is a special place in the heart of anyone reading the Chatter; including my husband and I who were married on the side yard of The American Hotel in 2011. It is only fitting that I searched for an antique Sharon Springs silver spoon. What I did not know is how few there would be, yet how easy it was to find ours. Dorcas Comrie, Curator of the Sharon Springs Historical Society Museum confirmed my frustration in finding specimens. She knew of a New York City resident who claimed to have a Sharon Springs spoon. Records show that an enameled spoon with bowl depicting the Sulpher Springs Bath House sold on eBay in 1996. By and large there seem not to be many souvenir spoons out there. Our acquisition was not only local but familiar. My dentist who runs an antique showroom and online sales happened to have one! He knew nothing of S.S. prior to our transaction, but he could read the glee on my face as I told him about the village. Our spoon, pictured below, was made by The Watson Company around 1902. It measures slightly more than 4” long. The handle is decorated with Cupid holding a bow and arrow aimed at the heart-‐shaped bowl of the spoon. The bowl of the spoon retains its gold wash gilding and features the inscription “Sharon Springs N.Y.” The reverse of the handle is fully decorated with the cherub’s exposed backside. The spoon may never have been used for anything other than display, yet it would work well as a sugar or demitasse. Should you start your own collection of Sharon Springs, NY memorabilia, do be cautious of new items “rusticated” to appear old. For a spoon, be sure to inspect how fine the script is engraved. Short jagged edges in bright silver may indicate an untrained hand recently engraved the item unassociated by location or time. Of course there are many items to be found including bottles, school pendants, postcards, and more. Online searches using “Sharon Springs” as a key word can yield marvelous finds! Remember to be gentle with these rare finds when cleaning your treasures. (photos of spoons on next page)
THREE ARGUSVILLE MURDERS
In 1826, a murder took place in Argusville by a man named Van Alstein. It is said that when the sheriff came to collect unpaid taxes, Van Alstein took him down by the Argusville Bridge and beat him to death with a stick. He was tried in Fonda, convicted of murder and hung by the neck. The murder weapon is at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie. Another murder happened in Argusville around 1855 and was described in the Cobleskill Index. A family (name not known) was an argumentative type and when they argued, the whole town knew. One night a dispute broke out. The mother forced the daughter to hold the father’s legs while she beat him. The mother was tried, convicted and hung. A third murder on March 17, 1905 stirred up the small community of Argusville as nothing had in many years. A local newspaper account of the incident reports Daniel Smullen, 35 years old, fair looking and very fond of hard cider, was charged with the murder of Peter Conrad, 67 years old, described as an aged farmer. Both men were said to have visited the hamlet of Argusville on March 17th and joined heartily in observance of St. Patrick’s Day. There were bad feelings between the two men because of a previous incident over missing chickens. Peter Conrad lost 18 fowls one night and claims he followed tracks to the Smullen residence. Another time, Smullen’s cattle broke out from their pasture and got into Conrad’s grain. This added to the bad feelings. On the day of the murder, an argument broke out between the two men at Lehman’s Store in Argusville. Smullen was said to have been in a partially intoxicated condition from having consumed too much hard cider. Witnesses observed the argument and the two men leaving the store, and then racing their horses up Main St. Mrs. Conrad reported her husband missing and Smullen even joined the party to help search. Peter Conrad’s body was found near his cow shed. The left side of his forehead was crushed and a trail of blood drippings was found. Blood led to the Smullen homestead and blood was also found on Smullen’s sleigh. One of the buttons was missing from Peter Conrad’s shirt and said to be found in Smullen’s yard. There was blood on Smullen’s jacket hanging in the woodshed, still wet. Human flesh and bone were found in Smullen’s yard. Dr. Fred Diefendorf of Sharon Springs, being the physician who examined the body, was called to testify at the trial. He testified that Conrad’s body was badly bruised having the skull smashed, the right wrist broken, the left arm broken, nose flattened and smashed, upper jaw broken, scratches on neck, and bruise on the side of the face. Peter Conrad’s body was later disinterred and the remains again examined by physicians to see if the bone fragment fit the hole in the dead man’s head. However, at the end of the trial, an announcement of an acquittal was received with applause and cheers, but also wondering where is the guilty man. The jury declared Smullen innocent and the so-‐called evidence was explained away. The prosecution’s vast amount of testimony was all circumstantial. Smullen claimed his horse had cut its foot which explained the blood in the snow. Peter Conrad’s wife said she removed the button
from her husband’s shirt and gave it to Charles Conrad (Peter’s brother) so he could find it in the yard. There was no attempt to hide the bloody jacket. A cow was recently butchered which explained the blood on both the jacket and sleigh. After the body was disinterred, it could not be sworn that the bone fragment came from Peter Conrad’s skull. The murder trial ended with Conrad’s brother seeking revenge. Charles Conrad stopped at the Mohawk Hotel after the trial and flashed a loaded revolver, declaring that someone had murdered his brother and that he would take the law into his own hands. An officer happened to be at the hotel and told Conrad to put up his gun and close his mouth. The officer emptied the revolver of bullets and gave it back. Conrad took the officer’s advice and went home; otherwise an arrest would have followed. So ends the Conrad-‐Smullen conflict and hopefully the last of the murders in Argusville. Editor’s note: For more great stories of “Murder and Mayhem in Schoharie County” don’t miss the September 16th meeting of the Sharon Historical Society when Karen Cuccinella will speak on this topic.
from the Editor
1. The Sharon Historical Museum is open daily in July and August from 1 PM until 4 PM or by appointment with the museum curator, Dorcas Comrie. 2. A very hearty welcome to our newest village residents, Heath and Ben, who are renting the apartment above the Beekman 1802 Mercantile and are the creative forces behind the new, sumptuous magazine, Folk. Check it our on line www.folklifestyle.com or like the magazine on Facebook, or better yet, subscribe – it’s only $10 a year! 3. Harvest Fest 2013 coming soon, mark your calendars for September 20-‐23 so you do not miss out on the fun! If you’d like to sign up for a Village Tour Workshop between now and then to become a Sharon Docent, let me know at email@example.com and we’ll set one up! 4. Get your art on! The Fenimore Art Museum has two special exhibits this summer: A Wyeth Family and The Hudson River School, both breathtakingly beautiful. Do take time to visit. 5. Summer time is Opera Time – Glimmerglass has a stunning array this summer: The Flying Dutchman, Camelot, King for a Day [based on Verdi’s Un Giorno Di Regno], Stabat Mater and The Little Match Girl. 6. The American Hotel is open daily through July and much of August. 7. Beekman 1802 Mercantile is open late on Saturday nights for a Village Ice Cream Social. If you haven’t tasted their new Beekman Ice Cream, you’re in for a treat. 8. Cobbler & Company will be open 7 days a week 10 – 6 with an additional hour tacked on to Wednesdays so everyone can buy some treats on the way to the concerts in Chalybeate Park!
LET’S TALK RENEWABLES
The controversy over Hydraulic Fracturing continues with rallies and documentaries showing the dangers to the environment, our health, and farming. Unfortunately the Gas and Oil companies have more money to buy the media; and, as we all know, money talks-‐-‐with many farmers and others who have been scraping by financially watching others become wealthy, money from fracking looks too good. After the most recent rallies in Albany and New York City [June 28, 2013] protesting against Hydraulic Fracturing and promoting renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, the New York media ignored the protests. When I searched the New York Times for an article on the rallies, the page that popped up had several pro-‐gas advertisements but nothing on the anti-‐ fracking rallies. The only news article found was in a San Francisco paper. It is disheartening to realize the extent to which the Gas Companies control the media. However, people can make a difference and the struggle will continue with a new emphasis on renewable energy sources. The Don’t Frack Sharon Springs group chaired by Mike Schuster and Lisa Zaccaglini will set up a table during the Cobleskill Fair days to hand out materials on alternative energy sources. They welcome contributions to the cause to help pay for materials – donations can be left at the NBT Bank in Sharon Springs. Let’s all try to save our beautiful land!
COBBLER INTERN TO TRAVEL Cobbler & Company bids farewell (for now) to Samantha Johnson who will be studying abroad in Argentina. Sam graduated from Cobleskill-‐Richmondville High School in 2012 and recently completed her freshman year at the College of St. Rose in Albany making the Dean’s List for academic achievement. She was the recipient of the NYS Youth Advocacy Award in 2012 and has been working at Cobbler & Company for five years. Fellow Cobbler employees and owner Maureen Lodes have enjoyed watching Sam grow up from a nervous 14-‐year-‐old starting her first job to a confident young woman. Everyone will miss her smile and her energy but we also look forward to her return in December and all the great stories she’ll have to tell about her adventures in Argentina. Good luck, Sam, have a great time and we’ll see you in December! By Mary Ellen Wolfe Sharon Springs Free Library Hours: Monday 10am-‐4pm & 6-‐9pm Wednesday 4-‐9pm Thursday 7-‐9pm Friday 12-‐6pm Saturday 9am-‐2pm
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
August 3rd – FIRST ANNUAL WEE WHEELS AUTO SHOW in the Village July 20th – Sharon’s Annual Garage Sale with 50 sites to visit July 27 & 28 – Classes in Weaving at Thistle Hill Weavers, call 518-‐284-‐2729, space limited! July 17th – GASLANDS II showing at Ommegang Brewery, call 607-‐544-‐1800, reservations a must!
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