Paul Kuhn, November 12, 2014

Title

Paul Kuhn, November 12, 2014

Subject

Cooperstown, NY
The Farmers' Museum
Santa Claus

Description

Paul Kuhn was born in Glen Cove, New York in 1938. He grew up in a modest Catholic home during World War II with his older brother and parents. He received his first introduction to Cooperstown in 1945 after his family rented out their home and spent the majority of their time at a summer camp in Cooperstown, where his father worked. This camp became an integral part of his family’s life, and Kuhn served as a counselor there until he graduated from college. After graduating from Villanova University in Philadelphia, Kuhn served in the military, then returned to work at an insurance company for several years in Philadelphia where he met his wife, Mary Margaret Kuhn. Once they retired, Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn moved to Cooperstown where they became important members of the community. Mr. Kuhn worked at The Farmers’ Museum as an interpreter in Bump Tavern for seventeen years and as Santa Claus for sixteen years.

Mr. Kuhn talks about how his exposure to Cooperstown during the summer was limited, but the overall impression it left on him as a child stayed with him throughout the years. In 1996, Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn moved into their dream home in Cooperstown and instantly became involved in the community. Mr. Kuhn started working as a volunteer docent at the Fenimore Art Museum, where he was introduced to the Director of Education at The Farmers’ Museum after an impressive interview for an opening in the museum's American Paper-Staining Manufactory.

Mr. Kuhn talks about his experience as an interpreter at Bump Tavern in depth, reflecting on his experience and the people he met, and the history behind Bump Tavern. Mr. Kuhn goes on to discuss how he became Santa Claus and how that role in the community has shaped his life substantially. Mr. Kuhn ends by discussing his role as Village Trustee and Deputy Mayor, reflecting on the challenges of the job and the successful changes he helped incorporate in Cooperstown.

I interviewed Mr. Kuhn at his home in Cooperstown, New York. He lives next door to me, so we found his home most convenient for the both of us. I have chosen to edit Mr. Kuhn’s speech slightly for easier reading. I have omitted a few words and added a few for clarity, but I have not changed the feel or the meaning of his words. As it is impossible to reproduce the subtleties of speech in writing, I encourage researchers to consult the audio recording.

Creator

Kimberly McCleary

Publisher

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

Date

2015-04-16

Rights

New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, NY

Format

audio/mpeg
28.8mB
audio/mpeg
10.4mB
image/jpeg
3120 × 4208 pixels

Language

en-US

Type

Sound
Image

Identifier

14-027

Coverage

Upstate New York
1938-2014
Cooperstown, NY

Interviewer

Kimberly McCleary

Interviewee

Paul Kuhn

Location

51 Chestnut St.
Cooperstown, NY

Transcription

Cooperstown Graduate Program
Oral History Project Fall 2014

PK = Paul Kuhn
KM = Kimberly McCleary

[START OF TRACK 1, 0:00]

KM:
This is the November 12, 2014 interview of Paul Kuhn by Kimberly McCleary for the Cooperstown Graduate Program’s Research and Fieldwork course recorded at 51 Chestnut St. Cooperstown, New York. So, tell me more about where you grew up.

PK:
I grew up in a city on Long Island called Glen Cove; it's about 25 miles east of New York City. It is a city a little bit larger than Oneonta
.
KM:
What was life like for your parents and family?

PK:
Life was good. I was born just before World War II. I had an older brother George, and my dad was also George. He was the Director of Athletics at the Glen Cove public high school. My mother’s name was Helen; she was a music teacher in the elementary schools. We had a nice but modest home. Teachers did not make a lot of money, but we had a very comfortable life. We never had to worry about things. When the time came for me to go to school, neither of my parents wanted me to go to the public schools because they both taught there. So, I went to the Catholic School, St. Patrick School in Glen Cove. Then, when I got out of elementary school, I went to Chaminade High School, which was about 12 miles away. It was also a Catholic high school. When I finished there, I went to a Catholic university, Villanova University in Philadelphia. That’s very broad, but I had a very wholesome family life. Churchgoing, moral people and that’s the way it was for most of my friends and their families. They lived in modest communities, middle-class, blue-collar families. It was a good growing up. I didn’t know it at the time because I didn’t know what other friends had, what their experiences were like growing up. I felt as if mine was pretty safe and stable. I didn't have a lot of worries. But, my father died when I was quite young, only fifteen years old. That put a great deal of strain on my mother. Although she had a certificate to teach in music, she did not have a degree. She had graduated from Julliard School of Music, which is a very fine music school in New York City still till this day, very, very well known. But, they did not confer a bachelor’s degree, but the diploma from the Julliard School of Music allowed her to teach. She would have been allowed to teach for as long as she wanted to as long as the school system maintained her teaching certificate. My mom dropped out of teaching school when my brother and I were very young; then she would teach piano at home. When my father died, she felt it necessary to go back to work to support the family, and she found out that the school had not renewed her teaching certificate. She went in twice a week to Columbia University, which was no easy place to get to from where we lived, to get her degree. She got her degree the year she retired.

KM:
What did your family do during the summer?

PK:
In 1945, World War II was still going on. Germany had surrendered, but the war in the Pacific was being waged. Gasoline and sugar were rationed. Metals and rubber all went to the war effort. There was not much prosperity. In 1945, I was seven years old, and my brother was eleven. Many people from New York City were renting houses away from the city for the summer. They were coming to have more of a healthy summer for their family. So, my dad thought it was a good idea to rent our house over the summer at the end of the school year then come back in the fall. So, he looked for a job for the summer. He found a job in Cooperstown, New York at summer camps for boys and girls. The campers would come for eight weeks, but his job was to come for about ten, from right after school until time for school to start again. He was the head counselor in the boy’s camp. So, that was my introduction to Cooperstown. We came every summer after that. I came for fifteen consecutive summers. Toward the end, I became a counselor, and I even went back to the camp the year I graduated from college. Then that following winter I enlisted in the U.S Army. That was the end of my camp days. But, my children came every summer until the camp closed. All of my relatives came. My brother met his wife there. One of his sons met his wife there. So, this was quite an important place in my growing up. We had a reunion just this past summer; it was the hundredth anniversary of the opening of the camp. There was well over a hundred people; they came from all over the country. One woman even came from Australia to attend the reunion. It lasted for five days. We had a wonderful time renewing old friendships; it was really special.

KM:
How did your time here in Cooperstown during the summer shape your opinion of Cooperstown?

PK:
Well, we came into town very seldom. We were four miles down on the east side of the lake. We were in the woods. We slept in tents, and we had no telephone, no electricity, and no hot water. It was very primitive. It was all centered around very wholesome activities in the woods and on the lake. My main memory was the lake. The village of Cooperstown played a somewhat lesser role because we only came into town to do certain things. When I was a counselor, I would bring the campers into the Baseball Hall of Fame, to The Farmers’ Museum, to the Fenimore Art Museum, to Mr. Clark’s Wagon and Harness Museum, etc. These were regularly scheduled activities for the children, so I was able to come into town with the children and see those things. I used to bring the children in for haircuts. I would come in to pick up the mail sometimes and pick up supplies for the camp. Every Sunday, since my family was Roman Catholic we came in for mass at St. Mary’s, and that was something very special for us because there was only a few of us and we were able to spend a whole morning here. We went to mass and then we could stay and have an ice cream cone at one of the soda fountains and sometimes meet some famous people, ball players and that sort of thing. It was so much fun. So, my exposure to Cooperstown itself was limited, but I thought it was just a beautiful place, and the people were so nice. I thought if I could ever live there when I grew up it would be great.

KM:
So, how did you end up in Cooperstown after all of those years?

PK:
I went to the first camp reunion, which was in 1985. This was when Mary and I were just dating. This was the first time that she ever saw Cooperstown and that weekend she decided, "I'm going to live there some day.” I think thought that was great, I thought I would like to do that also.” I think I proposed not too many months after that. Then, we were married the next year. Two of my three children came to the reunion, so that was her first chance to meet them. They were children from my first marriage. But, of course, the reality of not being of retirement age yet, not being able to afford to just come here and live, not having any way to support my family here and not knowing what I would do here certainly made this a short term goal impossible. I had invested a lot of time in the company I worked for so this was going to have to wait until retirement. We kept on coming to Cooperstown all the time. We really fell in love with the village. Every time we came, Mary would almost cry having to leave and go home. We came probably three to four times a year. We would drive up from Philadelphia and spend weekends, sometimes long weekends here. In 1994, I did retire, and we started seriously looking for a house and a year later in ‘95 we found a home we could afford; Mary always wanted a brick house. I thought, Mary, you are making this really hard; there are not that many brick houses here. Then, we just happened to find a brick house. We bought this house that year, and there was a family renting it at the time. So, we thought we will just stay back in Philadelphia, and we will see what happens. So, we didn't really spend much time on the house for quite a while. It needed a lot of work. We thought we have not sold our house down there yet, so why don’t we just keep a tenant there for a while, that will help defray the cost. She was a teacher so she was afraid that she might be dislodged during the school year, so she decided over the summer she would find another place to live. So, we started coming up just about every weekend after that to try to make the house habitable. We moved in the following year of 1996 and we have been happy here ever since.

KM:
You mentioned your wife Mary earlier. How did you meet Mary?

PK:
We both were working, in Philadelphia. We met in a very nice gathering place that was close to where we both worked. Very nice Irish bar, kind of like Cooley’s.

KM:
Once you moved to Cooperstown, what jobs did you find here?

PK:
At first, we were retired. So, we started to acclimate. We got involved in our church, St. Mary’s. The woman we bought the house from was very active in Cooperstown Women’s Club, and she took Mary everywhere and introduced her to everyone. So, we had a nice social life, but we both came to the conclusion that retirement was not really all that it was cracked up to be. We were always very active people, and this really wasn't for us. We wanted to dive into the community, make ourselves useful and stimulate ourselves physically and mentally. So, we both got interested in NYSHA [New York State Historical Association]. I had always loved The Farmers’ Museum from my camp days. In fact, my first visit to The Farmers’ Museum was only in its second year that it was open and there was not much there. There was the main barn full of tools and equipment, and looms. Then, we visited the historic village and Todd’s General Store and Filers Corner School House. That was it. I didn’t know too much about The Fenimore, but Mary had a great interest in art, so we would go over to their receptions and things, and we started volunteering. First at the Fenimore, we were volunteer docents. Because we were volunteers, we were invited to the monthly staff meetings. I remember at the first staff meeting, there was a young woman who was just starting at The Farmers’ Museum’s wallpaper manufactory [American Paper-Staining Manufactory]. She had been sent to Paris to learn how to make eighteenth-century wallpaper. A friend of the museum had donated all of the equipment, presses, drying racks, and so on to make the paper. And, she was looking for two new staff members. Once I had retired, I decided I would never work for anyone else again. But, I thought this just doesn't seem like it would be like working for someone else, it just seemed like it would be really fun. So, I talked it over with Mary and I applied. Well, the head of the wallpaper manufactory interviewed me, I had given her a very detailed application and she interviewed me; I thought the interview went really well, and I was really excited about it. A couple days later, she called me back and I was disappointed. She said that she hired someone who had graphic printing experience and although she would love to have me working for her she had to go with a practical head; she had to go with someone who had a related exposure to the process of making period wallpaper. But, she said, “I liked you so much and was so impressed with you that I talked to the Director of Education about you and if you would be interested in something else at The Farmers’ Museum she would love to talk to you.” Ok. So, I interviewed with her, and that went well. She asked me if I would like you to join The Farmers’ Museum staff. She wanted me to learn how to make historic brooms. We teach you how to make brooms the way they were made back in the nineteenth century. After that we would like for you to be a relief interpreter. That was someone who goes around from exhibit to exhibit giving everyone their lunch breaks and their afternoon breaks. Then you can start to learn about each one of the exhibits at the museum. There are lots of reading material that you will have to study. “Then, after a fashion you can decide what you would like to do, which exhibit really interests you. I met Gwen Minor shortly after I started working and she asked if I would be interested in working a special event held at Bump Tavern, called An Evening at the Tavern. People pre-register, we get about twenty-four people that come to enjoy a 3 tavern experience. We dress up. At this point nobody in the village dressed up. We had blue shirts and brown pants. We did not have period attire. But, they had bought a few outfits from James Townsend & Sons. We start by serving mulled cider by the fire and play games. You interpret the Tavern and the time period as the host. There will be some period music, and then we will take everybody will be taken upstairs and served a period supper. It's very popular, and it cost about fifty dollars a person. It sounded interesting but I knew nothing about Bump Tavern. Gwen offered to teach me and asked if I knew of someone who could be my partner. So Mary and I started doing about six or seven of those a year. I got to really like Bump Tavern and Mary got to really like The Farmers’ Museum. From there, she became a museum teacher. Eventually she would wind up being the mistress at Todd’s General Store. Then, she was an Indian, from there the carousel. So, that’s when I first started working at Bump Tavern. Seventeen years later, I’m still there.

KM:
Tell me more about your experiences working at The Farmers’ Museum as an interpreter at Bump Tavern.

PK:
Well, you meet people from everywhere. Regionally and globally, I have met people from probably half the countries in the free world. Canadians come all the time. Mexicans come all the time. People from South American countries, Europe, British, Scottish, French, German, Russian, Scandinavians, Italians, Australians, Japanese, so on. You know, all over the world! Fascinating. We had people come from the poor nations of Europe. People came from Poland, for instance would say, “Well this is a museum right?” I would say, “Yes.” “This is how we live today. Things have not modernized where we live; this is all familiar to us. This is exactly how we farm; this is how we live, with very few exceptions.” I found that fascinating. In Bump Tavern I felt as though taverns, because of their history not just the United States but in the world, taverns were very central to community. Early taverns in this country were sometimes the very first buildings that were constructed along a major turnpike where people traveled in stagecoaches, horse and wagons, saddle horses. Along the major turnpikes a tavern would be built about 15 miles which was the equivalent of a half day travels. Then a town would be built up around the tavern. It was so central economically, socially, and politically. Everything was there, in fact if you go back far enough it would be the first church, it’s where the polling was done, it’s where trials took place, it was the post office, and on and on. Everything that happened was centered around the tavern. I found this to be fascinating because I could talk about history in general, not just the tavern. I could talk about how people lived back in the day, and I found that fascinating.

KM:
What did you enjoy most about working at the museum all those years?

PK:
I guess I really got to love the special events that we had. Those were some of my favorite weekends. Of course, now we have so many more special weekends. There are far more now. So, we have the Harvest Festival, and the Tractor Fest, and we have the Band Organ Rally and we have Civil War reenactments, and Fourth of July and Memorial Day. Really, really special and fun. Where the museum is different, it isn’t the same old, same old. It’s a different kind of a day, different atmosphere, very festival. Fun. I think those were my favorite.

KM:
Well, you went from being an interpreter at Bump Tavern to interpreting Santa Claus. How did you come about being Santa Claus in Cooperstown?

PK:
Well, it started at the museum, the Candlelight Evening. Historically, St. Nicholas would appear and tell stories. The museum has a costume that’s fashioned after some of Thomas Nast’s illustrations that were in Harper’s Weekly back then. So, they had made an 1840’s Saint Nicholas costume. There was another gentlemen there when I first started working at the museum that was traditionally Santa Claus. This is kind of an aside. When I worked in Philadelphia, I worked for a very conservative insurance company. You wore three piece suits and white shirts, and ties, and you never wore any facial hair, ever. All of Mary's brothers had facial hair. So, Mary said, “Now that you’re retired why don’t you…

[START OF TRACK 2, 0:00]

grow a little fuzz.” Oh, I don’t know. Finally, I said, “Ok, ok I'll try.” It came in pure white! I had no idea. So, I guess it was around July or August this one particular year and I had a pretty good one, not like this. I kept it trimmed. The guy that used to be the St. Nicholas decided that he didn't want to do it anymore, and he recommended that I take his place. That was only two years after I started at The Farmers’ Museum. So, I kept growing it and the costume fit. I started studying about St. Nicholas, and I still study to this day. This will be the sixteenth year that I will be St. Nicholas at The Farmers’ Museum. Now the next year, I'm already going to be St. Nicholas, and it’s in the summer time. I’m already growing my white beard. The gentleman that had been the Cooperstown Santa Claus was a retired teacher from Cooperstown, and he dropped dead. He had a bad heart; we knew that. All of a sudden, he just fell asleep at the wheel. He was driving and all of a sudden he died. The car crashed, everybody was fine, but he died. The Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee had been formed way, way back when. I had some good friends that I learned were on that committee, and they came to me and asked if I would take over. I said, well, first I have to clear it with The Farmers’ Museum, because I have to go to Candlelight Evening. So, I called Gwen Minor and said, “I have been invited to be Santa Claus in town. Does the museum have any objections?” She said, “Would you still be at Candlelight Evening?” I said, “Yes.” “Well, then we have no objection at all, I think it will be great.” Well, that was the beginning. I’m still doing it [Laughter]. That’s how I got to doing it.

KM:
What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus?

PK:
Well, there’s a certain look in the face of a child and it’s so hard to explain, and it's so genuine and so magical. When a child looks at you right in your eyes, and it’s kind of meek. And, you just know that in their minds I am the real deal. It's so hard to explain. It's just; it's enchanting. Let's use that word. It is enchanting. It really is. That's the most special thing. It's a lot of hard work, a lot of hard work. Mary and I, we put in probably a hundred and fifty or more hours being Santa and Mrs. Claus. We travel all over. We go as far away as Rome, Oneonta, Cherry Valley, Richfield Springs. Then, we're in the cottage for all these days, it’s a lot of hard work. But, it’s the most wonderful thing in the world. It’s just enchanting. That’s all I can say about it.

KM:
Well, how has being Santa Claus impacted your life so far? It's so enchanting, how has it impacted you all these years?

PK:
Well, I feel as though I am Santa Claus, and I'm here year round, and that's why I wrote my book. Because, sometimes the kids, especially the parents are puzzled when they see my beard starting to get longer, and they see me here and there. Kids will say to their mother, “Mom, I thought I saw Santa Claus today, what’s he doing here, he’s supposed to be at the North Pole.” That’s why I wrote the book. Friends call me Santa, so many. The older kids that I have seen when they were little things, they’re walking home from school, and I'm outside doing the lawn or something and [they say] “Hi Santa” and it’s wonderful. This is the most special thing that I do, and it's such an integral part of my life in Cooperstown. Living here would not be the same if I was not Santa Claus. I hope to be able to do it forever.

KM:
You mentioned your book. Tell me more about your book. What’s the title?

PK:
The title is Santa’s Second Home. The premise of the book is that everyone of course knows that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, because that’s where the workshop is, the reindeer are, that’s where all the toys are made. That’s where Ms. Claus is to make everything special for Christmas. But, things have been changing at the North Pole. Global warming is here. The polar icecap is melting. It is no longer the same place. There is kind of a dampness now with the polar icecap melting, and Santa's arthritis is not so good. Modern technology has really changed the workshop. Santa is using all of the latest stuff to make toys, such as robots, and the communication network is super-fast, instantaneous. He can get the list to the North Pole, and orders placed and boxed and wrapped at lightning speed. Mrs. Claus has been wanting to have a little house of her own, just to spend some time away from the North Pole to have her own little house, and especially a garden to tend. She loves flowers. So, Santa listens to this and he of course wants to make Mrs. Claus happy. And, he thinks too that with the workshop running so smoothly now maybe it’s time that he slowed down a bit and maybe not spend the whole year at the North Pole. Maybe they should have a second home somewhere they can enjoy. So they start thinking where should it be. They start thinking about all the places where they have been over the many, many centuries. Suddenly, it comes to mind there’s this little village. Oh, they decide where should it be? It should be in a place that’s not too warm, not too cold. It should be not too big and not too small. It should have the very best Christmas spirit, and it should have children, lots and lots of children. So, that’s when they start thinking about a place where they celebrate Christmas in such a special way. Years ago they found this place to be a nice dry climate, not too cold in the winter time, not too warm in the summer time. Situated on a nice lake, with the very best Christmas spirit, tons of children, and they celebrated Christmas in a very special way. They decide that in addition to all the decorating that they would do in their town to celebrate Christmas, they thought that they should have a place for Santa to come. It was not fair for all of the local children have to go to a big city to see Santa Claus. Maybe if they built a nice place for him, he would come to them instead of the other way around. So, they drafted plans for Santa's cottage, and they worked out all the details. Where they can put it and where it can be stored. They got the mayor to agree to have it done and place it in the village park. They would invite Santa and Mrs. Claus to come. They said they would have a big parade to welcome him and Mrs. Claus. They had the big parade down Main Street, and they ushered Santa into his new cottage. They thought this is truly a Christmas village; they have the most wonderful Christmas spirit, and certainly wonderful children. This is where we should look for our second home. So, they agree. So they look and look and look. Well, Mrs. Claus wanted a brick house, and she thought it would be nice if it looks a little like the cottage downtown, kind of Victorian, lots of gingerbread, and arched windows. They look and they look and finally one day they saw the exact house for sale, just the right size. It had a nice little yard in the front and nice little yard in the back for Mrs. Claus garden. So, they move in, and this is their second home. So, at the end of the book it has been many years now since Santa and Mrs. Claus have been in their second home. The people in the little village see them all the time. They are going to church; they are cutting the grass, raking the leaves, going to the market, and on the lake in the summer time. It sort of ends with people surprised to learn that Santa Claus really is not fat like everyone thought he was, and that he trims his beard back really short right after Christmas. Mrs. Claus takes the whiskers and puts them out in the backyard so that the cardinals in the spring can come and take the whiskers and line their nest with them. Santa and Mrs. Claus are very happy with their second home and they’re seeing the young children growing up. Not just at Christmas time but all year. See them growing up all year long, and they're delighted to see the next generation come along. It’s the crux of the whole book. It’s a short book, about 50 pages and 18 or 20 of them are illustrations. It’s big type.

KM:
It sounds great. Santa Claus also served as a village Trustee. Can you tell me more about that?

PK:
Well, the mayor had asked me if I would want to run for a village trustee post. At the time, I was the chairman of the village planning board, and I had been on that for five years. I had been on the planning board for seven, five of them I was the chairman. Her name was Carol Waller. She owns the flower shop up here, Mohican Flowers, she was the Mayor. I said well, “would you rather that I ran for trustee or would you rather I keep being Chairman of the Planning Board.” She said, “I want you to run for trustee.” So, I did. I said I will. I had never run for a public office before, but I'll do it, and I'll plan on winning. I'm not going to do it if I don't think I can win. So, I won fairly handily. That was a three-year term. Half way through the three-year term, the deputy mayor which was appointed, the mayor appoints one of the trustees as the Deputy Mayor, to serve in the mayor's absence. The Deputy Mayor decided to step down for health reasons, so she asked me if I would take his place. “Do you want me to take his place?” “Yes [emphasis]!” Ok, that’s what it will be. At the end of the three years, I decided that I had had enough of village government, and I decided not to run for a second term. But, I had some great accomplishments I believe. I was the one that pushed through getting all of the loading zones mapped out in the village. Under some enormous public resentment, I was able to get the paid parking law passed. There was a lot of resentment about that, but four of the six trustees, me included, we broke with public opinion and voted for it. We got lots of nasty grams. But, now everybody is happy. The loading zones are working beautifully. Paid parking is bringing in about, 20 percent of the entire village budget comes from paid parking and parking tickets. If it were not for that, we would have to foot that ourselves. I cleaned up Main Street. People were selling goods out on the sidewalk on public property, t-shirts, putting up rickety looking tables, packed with t-shirts and all kinds of really odd merchandise. Nope, back in the stores. That was not very popular either among the merchants. That was enough; I did enough. Then, I became the President of Rotary, Cooperstown Rotary Club. I had been a Rotarian for a number of years. Cathy Raddatz actually asked me to become president. You know Cathy? She was the current president and she asked me to take over the club after her term ended. That was a one-year term.

KM:
What is life like in Cooperstown during the tourist season?

PK:
Life is good in all the seasons. It is just different; each season is different. Summer is crazy. I work for the Chamber of Commerce down at the information kiosk by the flag pole there, corner of Main and Pioneer Streets. I help people enjoy themselves. It’s great! Kind a lot like being in Bump Tavern, you meet people from all over. They're just different kinds of people, not museum people mostly, some of them are. In that season, in the summer time, it’s mostly about baseball. The other two museums are of great interest too; the opera is of great interest as they are to me. But, baseball is king. It's very busy, and it's good. The other seasons are different. This is the season when things are slower, but there are lots of fun things going on. The holidays are coming up, all these we have been through are all fun. Spring is just great. Quieter. Then, there’s mud season in the winter [laughter]. That’s what you have to go through to get to spring. Life is good.

KM:
What do you enjoy most about Cooperstown now?

PK:
That’s hard, really. I guess it’s all the really good friends that we have. I never imagined that you could move to a…I spent all that time on the lake and never really knew many people in town. Small towns, I know lots of small towns are not always very accepting of the newbies. I’m certainly a newbie. But I found just the opposite here. I found that it was so welcoming from day one. Mary and I just have so many really strong friendships. People that are just so good hearted and community-minded people helping each other. We never have to worry if we have a problem there would be fifteen people you can call that would help you. It’s just a really special place to be. All of the other things we have here for such a small community, three world class museums, a sports center which is wonderful, a resort, the lake, summer opera, all the history and beautiful architecture. It’s like a dream. It really is [Laughter].

KM:
Well, we are nearing the end of our interview. Is there anything else you would like to say?

PK:
I think I have spoken enough already.

KM:
Alright, well thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

PK:
You’re welcome.

KM:
I had a great time listening to you; it was just so much you had to offer. So, thank you for being able to do this.

PK:
Well, it’s easy to talk to you when you smile that beautiful smile back at me. It’s a pleasure to talk to you.

KM:
Thank you.

[END OF TRACK 2, 22:00]

Duration

30:00 - Part 1
21:41 - Part 2

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps
64 kbps

Time Summary

5:06 - Summertime
15:30 - The Farmers' Museum
28:36 - Santa Claus
12:50 - Village Trustee (Part 2)
17:13 - Tourism in Cooperstown (Part 2)

Files

Paul Kuhn.JPG

Citation

Kimberly McCleary, “Paul Kuhn, November 12, 2014,” CGP Community Stories, accessed May 21, 2022, http://cgpcommunitystories.org/items/show/200.