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Edward Landers, November 18, 2011

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Title

Edward Landers, November 18, 2011

Subject

Cooperstown (N.Y.)
Business
Tourism
Hospitality
Baseball
Baseball Hall of Famers
Wall Street (New York, N.Y.)

Description

Ed Landers has been a resident of Cooperstown, New York for the past sixteen years. He and his wife Marjorie own and operate the White House Inn on Chestnut Street in Cooperstown, New York. In 1996, they opened the White House Inn after remodeling the building from a practicing dentist’s office to a bed and breakfast. Ed is also a managing partner of the Landmark Inn, which is also located on Chestnut Street, and owns and operates Cooperstown Wine and Spirits on Pioneer Street.
Ed graduated from Georgetown University in 1963 and spent thirty years working as a trader on Wall Street. Following his retirement in 1993, Ed and his wife, Marjorie, decided to make Cooperstown their permanent home, and proceeded to open the White House Inn. For the past 16 years, Ed has been an active member of the Cooperstown community, and recently spent seven years as president of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce. Ed’s past experience as a finance professional gives him a unique perspective on the entrepreneurial realm of Cooperstown, and what it takes to succeed in an economy fueled by tourism.
Ed’s recollections focus primarily on the business world of Cooperstown, including benefits and challenges to owning and operating businesses in a rural area of New York State. He also shares two stories involving the history of the White House Inn, which he discovered by performing research at the New York State Historical Association Library. Most of our discussion focused on the hospitality industry and the seasonality of Cooperstown as a tourist attraction, as well as his thoughts on the three museums in the Cooperstown area.
Ed is a very friendly, talkative individual, and I have attempted to include our laughter over his funny comments in this transcript. I have made minor grammatical adjustments to his speech and eliminated false starts, as well as sentence transitions; he tends to interrupt his own sentences with phrases like “so” and “ah,” which have been eliminated from the transcript to aid in readability. For particularly lengthy portions of speech, I have broken these segments into shorter, more manageable sentences for the reader. I would encourage researchers to listen to the transcript to fully appreciate his knowledge, as well as the tone of the overall interview.

Creator

Jessica Mayercin

Source

[no text]

Publisher

Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta

Date

2011-11-18

Contributor

[no text]

Rights

New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, NY

Relation

[no text]

Format

audio/mpeg
27mB

audio/mpeg
15mB

image/gif
2448 x 3264 pixels

Language

en-US

Type

Sound
Image

Identifier

11-066

Coverage

Long Island, NY
New York, NY
Cooperstown, NY

Contribution Form

Online Submission

No

Contributor is Creator

[no text]

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Jessica Mayercin

Interviewee

Edward Landers

Location

46 Chestnut St.
Cooperstown, NY

Transcription

Cooperstown Graduate Program
Oral History Project Fall 2011

EL = Ed Landers
JM = Jessica Mayercin

[START OF TRACK 1, 0:00]

JM:
This is the November 18, 2011 interview of Ed Landers by Jessica Mayercin for the Cooperstown Graduate Program’s Research and Fieldwork course, recorded at the White House Inn, 46 Chestnut Street in Cooperstown, NY. So, could you please tell me your full name and where you were born?
EL:
Yes. Edward P. Landers, Jr. and I was born in Jamaica, Long Island.
JM:
Okay, and can you tell me a bit about your childhood and growing up in Long Island?
EL:
Well, I just spent a year there and then the family moved to Westchester, a town called Eastchester, which is between Bronxville and Scarsdale, and that’s where I went to grammar school, and I went to high school up in White Plains, about thirty minutes away. Then I went to Georgetown University and I graduated in 1964. I stayed down in Washington for about 7 years after I graduated and came back and went to, looked at going back to Westchester which I was familiar with but interestingly enough, my wife thought the pressures of Westchester were very difficult to bring up a family, so she suggested that we look in New Jersey, right across the river. That’s where we bought a house which was in Glen Rock, New Jersey, and then eventually moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. I was there for about thirty years working on Wall Street, trading – well, starting out doing equities, stocks, and then I moved to government bonds and then at the end, I was trading government bonds and financial futures actually arbitrating the two. I retired from that in 1993, so that’s, then I did some private stuff for a while and in 1995, Marjorie and I bought the White House Inn here in Cooperstown, and we moved in in 1996. When we bought the house, we bought it from Dr. Ed Whalen, a dentist. This is a twenty room structure. It has seven guest rooms, other rooms obviously, living room, dining room, et cetera, sum up to the 20 rooms, and the house is circa 1835, and it is a Greek Revival, very popular during that period. It also has an 1835 carriage house which was in difficult straits and we went and we refurbished it; foundation, and actually cabling it back together again. It’s post-and-beam, so most of the strength is upstairs, so that’s where the cabling came into play. So that was the beginning of our start in Cooperstown.
JM:
Okay. And can you talk a little bit about the pressures that you felt – that your wife felt – she would face when you were first looking for a home? You said the pressures would be too great?
EL:
Oh, yes. Well, we had thought it would be a lot of fun to do bed and breakfasts. She had done bed and breakfast over in Cherry Valley, and her clientele, if you will, was the opera, so it was very seasonal, just for the summer. When we got married in 1994 - my first wife had passed away - so we got married in ‘94 and when I was looking around for something to do, she suggested that we consider looking at doing bed and breakfast. She was a native up here, if you will, and so, you know, she was pretty comfortable with the area, and I really enjoyed the area. I thought this would be a lot of fun. So we bought Dr. Whalen’s house and then we went and had to – the structure was good, but it needed a lot of attention, particularly transforming it from a dental practice-slash-residence into a bed and breakfast. It took a lot of work adding bathrooms, redoing bathrooms and rooms and decorating and stuff. So that all got done but it was her intention to do all the business, to do all the work, herself. So, she was booking guests, and preparing breakfast, and cleaning rooms, and it was pretty obvious this wasn’t going anywhere too fast, and so I said you know, for this to make any sense, we’re going to have to do a couple things. One is we’re going to have to expand so we could have more business so we could afford to hire people to do some of the other tasks. It turned out, you know, when we first started, that she would be up at 6 and she wouldn’t go to bed ‘til past midnight, and I mean, she was just working crazy. So anyway, once we started to expand and got more help, it became very, very enjoyable.
JM:
That’s excellent. How long did it take for those renovations?
EL:
Well, we started out with a couple rooms doing our business. We bought it in ’95 and we actually opened up the B and B in May of ’96. The shock there was we opened it up on Mother’s Day of ’96 and we had two rooms rented to guests who came from New Jersey and they were going to see their sons, respective sons, play in Doubleday Field. We wound up with, like, three inches of snow, so obviously the game was called off and I’m thinking to myself hey, what did I get into? Mother’s Day and here we have snow. It was an auspicious start, shall we say.
JM:
Had you visited Cooperstown before you bought the inn and moved up here?
EL:
Yes. Marjie had a house in Westford, and she had worked in the area. She was a nurse – she worked for NYCAM, New York state health program, farm program, and that’s run under the auspices of Bassett Hospital. She was well aware of the area, and obviously she took me around and I got comfortable very soon. The dynamic of the business is that you really have to be in Cooperstown, in my estimation, if you want to do this as a business, otherwise – you know, you can do it for a couple of months in the summertime if you’re in the outskirting, outside area, but what happens is, to me it seems to me you build from the inside of the village out, as far as occupancy.
JM:
So you guys stay open year-round here?
EL:
We are open year-round, correct. Yeah.
JM:
And have you been able to expand, as your goal was to have more staff and to have more help as well?
EL:
Yes, correct, and then in 1999 we bought the Landmark Inn, which is bigger actually than the White House Inn, and we bought that with a partner. That worked out well. In 2003, our partners sold out to my son and his wife, so in effect, we became partners with my son and his wife. The beauty of that is now I have young legs to go and do the business, and just do a lot of the work. That’s the good news. The bad news is that his wife, who is from the west, Texas and Arizona, wanted to go back, so they, my son and his wife, moved back in late 2005. What was a great plan turned out to be now I was running, literally running, between two places. I give all the credit in the world to my son, who manages the Landmark from Arizona on the phone. I just kind of oversee and step in if I can help. That worked out pretty well.
JM:
That’s great. You mentioned that this house, the White House Inn, has quite a history to it, quite a story. Would you tell me about the story behind the house?
EL:
Well, yeah. There’s a couple of stories here. The first story is that when I went up to the New York State Historical Association and I looked for the dossier on 46 Chestnut Street, people had done some research on it and the research that I found showed that the house was built by a Mr. George Bowne who was reported to be a pirate and worked in the straits of Florida. I was all excited about that, we put that in our brochure and were really, really happy about that. So then, about five years later, we have a physician who came up and he was going to give a talk at Bassett, and he was staying here, Bassett Hospital, so he was staying here. He goes, George Bowne? Oh, back home in Key West we have the George Bowne Society and it’s a very prominent group, and he says, but George Bowne was not a pirate, he was a legitimate salvage expert. So he went out, and with his crew and his craft, and they would recover treasures and it turned out that, according to him, George Bowne was the richest individual in Florida at the time. So you’re talking, like, 1820 when Florida didn’t have a lot of people, but nonetheless he was pretty prominent. So, it turned out that he had a lot of problems breathing, and the like, and so in the summertime it was too humid down in Florida so he came up to Cooperstown, built this residence, and he would spend the summers here when the weather is really delightful. There is not a lot of humidity in Cooperstown vis-a-vis New York or Philadelphia or Washington or any of those other places, and it’s pretty comfortable. It’s about 12 to 14 degrees cooler than New York or Philadelphia, so it’s very attractive in that respect. That’s one part of history. The other part is that at the beginning of the Civil War, Congress passed the Conscription Act, and the Conscription Act is where they can draft you into the service. The bill was passed and became law and it was challenged in the Supreme Court. One of the judges of the US Supreme Court was Judge Nelson, who lived on Main Street, and so he was sitting on the bench, and I understand he was the longest serving justice on the Supreme Court, at least as of, like, 15 to 20 years ago. I’m not sure what the status is now. Anyway, it turns out Lincoln wanted to understand how the Supreme Court was going to vote on the issue, so Abraham Lincoln sent an emissary to see all the respective judges, get their take on the situation, obviously he would then know what the outcome was going to be and then he would be better prepared to deal with it. That being the case, this emissary comes up from Washington and it turns out that he was in disguise, a pretender. There were two local newspapers at the time, the Freeman’s Journal of course, and I forget what the other one was, so anyway, it was reported in the newspaper that the pretender, or the emissary I should say, came to address a crowd up in Cooperstown. One disguise was, I should say one paper reported, that the French ambassador was up here, and he spoke to the crowds from the steps of what is now the White House, and he was housed here, he overnighted here. The other newspaper had him as the Spanish ambassador, and I find that absolutely remarkable, that two newspapers at the same week, would come up with completely different renditions of who the person was. Anyway, that’s my thinking that this house did play a part in history. Of course, it was a pretender, but hey, what can you do? [laughter]
JM:
Claim to fame, right? [laughter]
EL:
Claim to fame. Abraham Lincoln – doesn’t get any better than that
JM:
Right. That’s amazing, yeah! I know you said you have a son and daughter-in-law; he’s a partner for the Landmark. Do you have other children or just your son?
EL:
Yes, we have seven children.
JM:
Oh, wow.
EL:
I have three children of mine, and I have two boys out in Gilbert, Arizona, and I have a daughter that is in Ithaca, New York. Then we have two boys that are in the Cooperstown area, one is in Cooperstown, the other is in Cherry Valley, and then we have two daughters that are in Hingham, Massachusetts. Yeah, so there’s seven of us and it really is nice to have a big place with the holidays. For instance, this holiday, and not all the kids could make it, but between our children, grandchildren, and some guests, we’re expecting 29 people for Thanksgiving.
JM:
For dinner on Thanksgiving?
EL:
For dinner, yes.
JM:
Oh, my goodness. [laughter] You will be busy cooking!
EL:
[laughter] I would say so, but we love it. Absolutely love it.
JM:
Has it been difficult at all, you said you were widowed and then remarried, in terms of your children and your wife’s children? Or was it an easy process? I mean, I know it’s not easy, obviously.
EL:
No, they blended in beautifully, and they’re all very close, which is absolutely terrific.
JM:
Yeah
EL:
So when they come in from the west or there’s some occasion, we do get together and everybody stays in touch with one another.
JM:
Oh, that’s excellent.
EL:
Yeah, and the grandchildren, of course, are very, very close.
JM:
How many grandchildren do you have?
EL:
We have fifteen.
JM:
Oh, my gosh!
EL:
Yeah.
JM:
Are they in New York and out west as well?

EL:
Yes. Four out west, three in Ithaca, and two here in Cooperstown, and six in Hingham. I sure hope that adds up to fifteen.
JM:
We’ll check that [laughter] Alright. So, I remember you saying in the past that you do own other businesses in Cooperstown – the wine and spirits store in town. What are some challenges that you feel come with owning a business in Cooperstown?
EL:
Well, it’s interesting to me how the composition of the community here - and what I’m referring to, what I’m thinking about right now, is that I’ve had to use a lot of trades people, as you would imagine, with properties, because we have some other properties in addition to those that I mentioned. It turns out that in upstate New York a lot of the workers have multiple jobs, or talents. So, the plumber might also be your electrician, and your heat guy is also your plumber, and doing other things. So, in order to prosper, people have to have multiple talents and works – work – going on. I think that that also moves up the line to the entrepreneurs where it helps to have a couple different businesses, because what I am involved in, which is the accommodation business, we’re extremely busy in, I mean it’s terrific, in the summertime, but the winter time can be pretty slow, and so an offset to that is the wine and liquor, which does quite well as you would imagine with Thanksgiving and Christmas and stuff. Then it gets quiet in the true winter time, January, February, March, but you know, a little diversity certainly helps out.
JM:
And what are some benefits to being in a place like Cooperstown and being a business owner?
EL:
Well, I think it’s primarily the lifestyle here. It’s very sophisticated here in Cooperstown. You have a hospital with 3,000 employees, 250 physicians. These physicians are looking – are demanding – service. The service could be good schools, good restaurants, et cetera, so that upscales your community right away. At the same time, you’re in a remote area with a terrific viewshed and natural resources here, so Cooperstown is about a half an hour from anything commercial, if you will. What I’m suggesting is, it’s, we have two interstates that have Cooperstown in the center, between the two. So you’ve got Route 90 25 miles north of us, and you have Route 88 17 miles south of us, so that’s where your commerce is going, coming from and going to. It bypasses Cooperstown, so a lot of people look at, like, Cooperstown’s in a remote area. Well, it is, and that’s a blessing and it’s a curse, because you know, you keep the natural beauty but yet it’s not easy to get here.
JM:
In terms of tourism, because obviously you’re very involved with tourism being an innkeeper and you’ve been here for 16 years, how has tourism changed since you’ve been here full time?
EL:
Oh, it has changed dramatically. When we bought the White House Inn in 1995 – or opened it, I should say, in 1996, we were told by people that knew the industry, tourism industry, that there was a hundred days to the season, and by gosh that’s exactly what it was. It started in Memorial Day and wound up in Labor Day, and once that happened, almost everything in the town kind of closed up. In the interim, what’s happened is, and I give all the credit in the world to the Clark dynamic here with their Otesaga and behind the other three major museums, that they kept adding venue to their various properties. The season has since – and it was like, two weeks at a time, a week on each side of spring and fall – and it just kept opening up. I mean, the Otesaga would close sometime in September, and now they close the weekend after Thanksgiving. They used to open up pretty close to Memorial Day, maybe a little before that, and now they’ll open up sometime in March. So now, the season is, like, 220, 230 days, so yes, more than doubled. There are some other factors that have gone on with that. One of them is the Dreams Park, the baseball phenomena here for 12 and 13 year olds. They have expanded the number of teams. I think they started with, like, 60-some teams in the beginning, could have been less than that, and now they’re up to, like, 110 teams. What that has actually done is it’s been difficult for the museums, the Dreams Park, believe it or not, because what happens there is the families come up for a week at a time, which is absolutely terrific for the accommodations such as ourself. If we don’t get the Dreams Park people, we’ll get other people that are going to the museums, and the Dreams Park people take so many other places that, you know, we’re pretty sure of being full during that season. Well, what it has is, it’s the effect of crowding out, so if you’re going to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Fenimore Art Museum or The Farmers’ Museum, it’s not too easy to get accommodations here because a lot of them are taken. Now, the downside of the baseball is that they’ll go to one of those museums once and the other six days they’re not going to come back, and if they’re coming up for two years in a row, that family, they might never go back to the museum because they already went to it once. So it makes it difficult for those museums. What’s happened now, in my estimation, is because of this crowding out, you now have people coming up to the museums in the non-summer time and that’s helping, it’s just helping, you know, more business for the year, if you will.
JM:
Do you see a lot of dynamics change over the course of the season? I mean, are there more of one type of person or group who stays here over the summer compared to other times?
EL:
Oh yeah, yeah. Another terrific force that I haven’t mentioned is the opera people. Now, the opera seats a little over 900 people in the opera theater. That goes on for about seven weeks in the summertime. The beauty of that is that the opera patron comes back every year. Usually comes back every year. The repertoire, they’ll have maybe four operas in their repertoire, so an opera patron will come up and usually spend three or four days with us, and as they’re checking out, they’ll say same time next year. You’re half-filled in the summer from the year before, people indicating what they wanted to do. I think that’s actually wonderful. Then you get to know these people and it becomes a lot more social, if you will. It’s like family, if you will. That’s a wonderful force that has developed over the years. I mean, the opera has been absolutely terrific for this area.
JM:
In terms of the winter months, which I know you said are pretty slow for accommodations, when it’s the true winter, obviously, what kinds of guests do you usually get in the, you know, “dead of winter”? I mean, are there still people coming through in the winter months here?
EL:
Oh yeah. There will be, but certainly not in the numbers as before. What happens is, a lot of the accommodations will close down, and so the choices – there aren’t as many people that are cutting the pie, shall we say.
JM:
Right
EL:
That certainly helps out. People that come up are certainly baseball people, because they’re coming up all the time, but not in droves in the winter time. You’re getting, the hospital is such a force here, that you’re getting a lot of people that are going to the hospital. Not necessarily as patients, but they’re forever recruiting people, there are sales people calling on the hospital, and it turns out that, you know, since we’re located in the center of Cooperstown, it makes it very convenient for people to stay here and not have to drive the 3-5 miles from a place out of town, so that certainly helps out.
JM:
With Cooperstown being such a summer destination and all the busyness of the summer, and just the amount of places where people can stay here, do you feel that competition is, you know, is it a fierce competition in town or do the people in hospitality tend to kind of have a bond from that?
EL:
Ah, good question. I think it’s tiered. I think there is a bond among the bed and breakfast people. It seems to me developed with people in town and out of town and upscale and not so upscale, so yeah, I think people get along pretty well. The Chamber of Commerce is a great clearinghouse for getting the news out, what places are available, and they’ve got a – so now you can go online and see, from one website, you can see all of the accommodations that are out there and there are quite a few. I’m reluctant to put the number on it, but there’s 70-some bed and breakfasts in the greater area, greater area going out for 15, 20 miles around. Of course, it gets tighter, fewer, in the center of town, by definition. There’s a lot of people vying for guests and yet there’s an awful lot of guests, so in June, July, and August, you’ve got an excellent chance of being filled.
[START OF TRACK 2, 0:00]
JM:
And what are some ways that you personally try to set your establishments apart, whether it’s the bed and breakfasts or the wine shop, a way to get people in?
EL:
Well, we do it on personal service, I would say. It’s upscale, what we have, very nicely decorated. The physical part of it, with antiques, and very meticulous with the cleaning and we’re actually known for our breakfast, which is a full breakfast, so we take great care to present nicely. If you look at the various people that will rate you, such as Trip Advisor, which is a very dynamic force in the travel industry, we’re rated number two for bed and breakfasts. How that goes about is, I would say it’s the personal service, so we get an awful lot of repeat business and people seem to enjoy it, so I think that’s what distinguishes us. At the same time, in the wine store, the wine shop, we have a tremendous amount of inventory. Different types of wine, and you know, maybe 600 different wines in a small community is pretty nice selection, I would say. That’s how we’ve always tried to run the businesses, is making it upscale. I think that’s what Cooperstown is. A term I like to use, and I give it pretty much to the museums and the Clarks – the Clarks in general and in particular – they’re in search of excellence. They’re always upscaling, they’re always improving, whether it’s a physical brick and mortar, I mean, it’s just absolutely astounding when you sit back and you see how much is invested in the town in plants and equipment each year. All the museums are growing, they’re all hiring just absolutely top of the line people, and one of the real crown jewels – and this isn’t patronizing – I think is the Cooperstown Graduate Program, that is so select. I mean, if you look at the graduates of that program and the museums that they represent throughout the country, it is absolutely astounding. So, they’re kind of the forefront there, and I’m hoping that at some point they’re going to get the recognition that they justly deserve. It has a great reputation, but we should all, you know, be raising the flag higher, is what I’m saying.
JM:
Thank you for that! [laughter] I appreciate that.
EL:
And I so mean that, yes.
JM:
Going back a little bit, when you were talking about obviously furnishing the White House Inn- I love this house, I love looking around it, in terms of outfitting it with antiques, I’m just curious – are the antiques that you acquire for your property from this area? Or items that you happen to find, say, online?
EL:
Well, very little online. Most of these were either ours that we came with, again it was two families coming together, and within that spectrum, we both my wife and my side, were always improving things, so over the years we would be buying, purchasing things that we liked quite a bit and retiring other things, silver and the like. If you notice, what we do here, is we use fine china and a lot of this china is heirlooms that we have brought from our houses. It could have been my grandparents’ and my parents’ and mine, so we have a lot of that. We try and use nice crystal, silverware is sterling, and it’s all stuff that we enjoy and we feel that we should share this with our guests. Now, we do take children here, and people get very concerned. A, Do you take children? And I say how can you be in Cooperstown and not take children? It’s un-American, it’s got to be against the law. [laughter] And so that’s for openers, so they have an entre into here. And either other guests or even the parents of the kids are always worried, like oh, my gosh what’s going to happen with the child? I’m telling you, in the 16 years we’ve been here we’ve had almost zero problems. The kids seem to rise to the occasion, so it’s a pretty unique experience. I think it’s wonderful.
JM:
Sometimes the kids are better than the adults!
EL:
Yeah, I guess that could happen too!
JM:
Are you, personally, a collector of anything in particular?
EL:
Ah, no. I appreciate things but no, I don’t have any specific big time collections.
JM:
You have beautiful things here.
EL:
Thank you.
JM:
Just generally speaking about Cooperstown, the town and village itself, I know that you mentioned the Clarks a lot and obviously they’ve done a lot of wonderful things for Cooperstown. Have you worked with them personally on anything?
EL:
Well, they’re just terrific support. It’d be presumptuous of me to say that. I was the president of the Chamber of Commerce, and I held that for 7 years. You do get to know people, and if something came up that we were looking for support, and not necessarily financial support, but support in general, through their various museums and stuff they were always very supportive of projects. If you think about it, to me, here they started three world-class museums, and what they wanted to do, it seems to me, is that they wanted to share this. How do you share it but by looking at the people that go through the turnstile to make it accessible? All of their museums are incredible value. If you were to go to a different place than Cooperstown, you would pay much, much more for the same product, if you could get the same product. They’re just generous to the community. I think they’re generous to the visitor, and they’re perpetuating excellence, as they say. Yeah, I think you couldn’t ask for any finer combination. After saying that, they’re cognizant of what they could do, but they are always in the background. They don’t assert themselves in a negative way. They’re wonderful, I think, for the community. I guess, in a sense, I’m like a person that’s very well taken care of. All of the citizens are in that state. I’m like a kept man. [laughter] But we all are. I mean that nicely.
JM:
[laughter] What was your favorite part of being the president of the chamber of commerce?
EL:
I thought interacting with the other people and making things happen; there was a schism before I was there, and the merchants had left the chamber of commerce. Now, it’s the chamber of commerce. If one thinks about it, how can you not have merchants that were there? So, we brought them back into the fold by doing things that we said we would do, and they helped out. I think we got a lot of the festivals going; Pumpkin Fest, et cetera, and that was fun because that has done well. It’s well known. Just working with the people and making things happen is the fun I got out of it.
JM:
Did it take a while for that rift to heal a bit in the business owners?
EL:
Oh, yeah. Well, two to three years. We had to suggest good representation on the board, and if merchants at this point were a minority in numbers, if you will, we would make sure that they got their just due in programs that were put out there. Cooperstown is very unique in the sense that, I think, it is extremely synergistic. What I’m thinking of is, just take the three museums that are here. The Baseball Hall of Fame is obviously the big calling card, but once you’re here, then you definitely, definitely, want to go see The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum. I mean, they’re outstanding. So there’s more reasons for people to come. Once people come here, it becomes very efficient to have them spend more than one day. If you just have day trippers and stuff, it doesn’t do a whole lot for the community or business in general, but if there’s a reason to stay two or three days, then it can be a good experience for everybody. People have a chance to go out to dinner a few times, and just avail themselves to all that’s out there. I think it’s important to have multiple things for people to do, and that has all been supported here. Cooperstown, as I say, is quite unique.
JM:
Is there a favorite event or memory you have since moving here over the past 16 years?
EL:
Well, we’ve been blessed, if you will, very fortunate, to have inductees’ families stay here, and we have had for 14 of the 16 years. We have, again, provided a nice backdrop for people coming in. We make them feel comfortable with it. We’re centrally located. It just is a situation where we’ll take care of the needs of the guests, and that gets around. I think that the induction weekend is always just a highlight of the year.
JM:
That’s in July, right?
EL:
Yes. It used to alternate. It was July, August. What they’ve done is now committed to the end of July is when they do that. Once they made that determination, it really helped out the whole community. The whole community. For instance, prior to that, if it wasn’t announced until January or February when the induction was going to be, that could have, and has had, the effect of running into the Opera when they have the opera gala. They have their big celebration, so now you’re having two groups trying to vie and it’s all kinds of difficulty for people finding lodging and for the lodging groups. Once it became standard, when we knew when the induction weekend was going to be, the other groups (opera, etc. ) could make their plans and not have conflicts. It worked out well.
JM:
Good! And do you feel that your time, I know you spent 30 years on Wall Street, has that been a benefit to you owning a business and being an entrepreneur in an area like this?
EL:
Oh, that was good times. That was very, very exciting. High pressure. I just got a lot of satisfaction out of doing that.
JM:
The trading?
EL:
The trading, yeah. The highs and the lows, and you do get lows, obviously. That was a fun experience, and up here it is a whole different gear. It’s not as intense, but that’s a different time in my life, before and now. I absolutely love both of it. My wife gets a kick out of now I help out in the kitchen and stuff, and do most of the cooking, and I’ll get really happy if we have a full house and people want different things, and there’s a certain amount of chaos. I’ve always worked in chaos. A lot of my work associates here don’t share my passion for chaos. So yeah, maybe that did help me.
JM:
Sounds like it! Alright, well, I think that that is about all I have.
EL:
Excellent!
JM:
Are there any other stories you’d like to share about Cooperstown or anything?
EL:
I was just grateful for the opportunity to put this down because I’m a big believer in oral history. I might have mentioned that we’ve had some senior members of the family that we have promised that we’re going to make an oral history because they have so much to say. We didn’t take advantage of that, and I’m very disappointed in that and in myself. It’s great to be part of this, because I think this could be terrific as other people contribute, and people will know more about what happened in 2010 and 2011.
JM:
Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your time and I loved hearing your stories and your background, and I just really, really appreciate it.
EL:
It was a real pleasure to be a part of this and thank you, Jessica. You did a great job.
JM:
Thank you!

Original Format

[no text]

Duration

30:00 - Part 1
16:23 - Part 2

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps

Time Summary

[no text]

Citation

Jessica Mayercin, "Edward Landers, November 18, 2011," in CGP Community Stories, Item #102, http://cgpcommunitystories.org/items/show/102 (accessed October 25, 2014).