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September 29, 2011

Cooperstown library to host lecture series

Staff Writer

COOPERSTOWN — A couple who caught salmon with grizzly bears in Alaska. An author of whodunit tales of murder and mayhem. Students with fresh adventures in the Outward Bound program.

Those are just a sampling of the diverse menu of presenters who will discuss their experiences at the Cooperstown Village Library during a lecture series that kicks off today at 7 p.m.

The lineup has been pulled together by the Friends of the Village Library — and all eight events are free and open to the public.

“I really admire what the Friends of the Village Library are doing with this special series of talks,” said Chuck D’Imperio, a WDOS-AM radio show host and Daily Star columnist, who is among those with a slot in the discussion series.

If you want to know where famous people are buried in New York, D’Imperio is the go-to guy. He literally wrote the book on the subject — “Great Graves of Upstate New York.” The self-published volume is not only a guide to the locations of the final resting spots of New York legends, but also is a collection of anecdotes about the 70 individuals whose burial sites were visited by the author.

These include “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling (buried in Interlaken), actress Lucille Ball (interred in Jamestown) and Kate Smith, the woman who made “God Bless America” a substitute for the National Anthem (whose remains are sealed in a Lake Placid vault).

 “I love to tell stories, and people enjoy finding out how famous people ended up in upstate New York,” D’Imperio said. “This series is really a wonderful opportunity for all of these speakers to share their stories with the good people of Cooperstown. And the Village Library is really one of the great treasures in this area.”

Deb Dalton, one of the organizers of the series, said Friends of the Village Library is an all-volunteer group. She credited the promotional efforts of Dottie Hudson of Cooperstown, who distributes posters advertising the series, for helping to make the series click with the public.

All of the presentations will be given at the library’s conference room at 22 Main St.

Here is the full schedule for the series:

Today at 7 p.m.: A panel of students and teachers speak about their 2011 Outward Bound experiences. Participants include Susie Knight, Grace Livermore and others.

Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. Michael Whaling, a Sharon Springs stone mason, carpenter and artist, and photographer Leila Durkin of Roseboom discuss their recent publication “The Garden Wall of Beekman Farm.”

Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.: D’Imperio discusses his book, “Great Graves of Upstate New York.”

Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.: Bill and Barb Harman share a slideshow and stories of their three-week journey into Alaska, where they kayaked in Glacier Bay National Park and hiked in Denali National Park, catching salmon within sight of grizzly bears.

Feb. 9: at 7 p.m.: Veronica Gil Seaver and others will present “Remembering Old Cooperstown,” covering the Smart Shop, Smalleys’ Theater, Glimmerglass Restaurant and more.

March 8 at 7 p.m.: Rabbit Goody of Thistle Hill Weavers and Famous Films will discuss her work weaving luxurious custom fabrics, carpet, and trim for designers, home owners, museums and the film industry.

April 19 at 7 p.m.: Off The Beaten Path will feature a panel of local people who will discuss their unusual wanderings, sightseeing and trips.

May 10 at 7 p.m.: “Why I love to talk murder!” with mystery writer Lesley Diehl of Morris discussing her journey from growing up on a dairy farm in Illinois to earning a doctorate in psychology to becoming a writer.