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July 20, 2021

Fran Kurpil
Posted 7/20/21

Hello my faithful readers, from Fran Defilippi Kurpil. It is a mid July morning and as I’m typing I’m happy to see the sun coming in my windows after days of fog and rain. It’s a …

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July 20, 2021


Hello my faithful readers, from Fran Defilippi Kurpil. It is a mid July morning and as I’m typing I’m happy to see the sun coming in my windows after days of fog and rain. It’s a pleasure to write a bit about Liberty, the place where I was born and never left, for long.

To Our Home Town: Unlike our Vice President who said she never went to Europe…Sam and I have been across that Ocean a few times. And state-wide, when Sam was teaching and had summers off, our camper with six kids was their learning experience as we went from coast to coast to historic sites and little villages with home-town museums. They all wrote notes in their journals. So, when I say, “There’s No Place Like Home”, meaning Liberty, you probably know that feeling. At one of our family gatherings I will see who can find their Journal so we can share memories.

Our Town: As I’m out and about, someone is always telling me they appreciate a Liberty Column and yesterday at the Library, Janet Pellam told me it even gets to friends in California. It is nice to hear that people on the west coast still have a love interest in their home town. While my column is short and sweet, we now have a truly wonderful Visitors Association office in the Liberty Mall…right off Exit 100, across from The Liberty Diner. They took over Peters real-estate office and made a beautiful, expanded office which I’m sure is a very welcoming place for new visitors to our area. Roberta Byron-Lockwood is the CEO of the Visitors Association and certainly has a talent for making this office stand out with animated neon signs. The neon signs are running ads about area hotels and activities that are available. We had to pull up there recently, late in the day, to read the moving words and finish a delicious caramel-mocha latte. (I learned about that caloric no-no from one of our grand-kids).

A Bit More: For those who are no longer here in person or haven’t been back forever, our town’s busiest stores like ShopRite, Tractor Supply, Trading Post, Walgreens, Dunkin Donuts, Agway, Dollar General, Auto Parts and others have expanded our town. The other local business stretch is from Sam’s Gas Station, Liberty Mall, Liberty Diner, Pizza Hut and down past McDonalds, Burger King, Professional buildings. Ok…lest I am boring here, I hope we get some feedback… “wow, I didn’t know Liberty had grown like that”. Our Main Street, the same solid buildings with our hanging flower baskets and American flags, just waiting the finishing of the Theater Building. Looking good.

Liberty Library: Dr. Joyce Garber was the guest speaker at the monthly Senior Coffee Club meeting. She had a great message for our daily lives. She said, “I’m not trying to sell happiness, but we should make sure we have meaning in our lives, not just existing.” How can we do that? She got some chuckles when she said, “go out and hug a tree”. With a firm nod she said, sit under a tree with full leaves and you will feel the energy, smell the roses and pursue creative things. Happiness will be definitely felt. I’m a blessed Grandma who has little ones to hug. with one more on the way, so that fills my life with the greatest daily joy. I have to totally agree with Dr. Garber about being involved. When you belong to a group, Renaissance Chamber, Rotary, a church group, or any such gathering, it gives you a purpose, friends, and a sense of accomplishment. A good example is Diane Brady who spearheads these meetings and was President of our Liberty Chamber for many years with great, original ideas. Thanks, Diane.

Mel Cooperman: I just saw on Linked-In, a “Congratulations” to Mel Cooperman, a former Liberty High School teacher, celebrating twenty-nine years of working for New York State Unified Court System as a Spanish interpreter. Our daughter, Cindy Gieger remembers Mr. Cooperman as a nice teacher. He said he spent many years in Argentina and came back in 2014. It’s always nice to remember our old teachers. (Mel said using old teacher instead of one-time teacher was ok with him.) Enjoy the memories that you made with your students, Mr. Cooperman. Muchas gracias.

Harris Hospital: That was the name of what is now Garnet Health Medical Center - Catskills. I worked there in the Radiology Department as a receptionist for years. The other day I saw a post from Pam Jordan. I recognized the name even though it must be from twenty or more year ago. I thought, “could that be our Secretary-Transcriptionist”? Yes, it was, and it was so good to chat about some memories. Dr. Bilick, Gulekjian, Art and Janet Kaplowitz, April Austin Kissel, Pat Wood Hopkins, Mohammed Choudry from Nuclear Med. and techs, Anne Zytynsi, Ursula Good, Mr. Chu, Bill Abrams, and others. We were all races, religions, creeds, but bonded like a family with no such concerns that seem to be pushed today in our country. During the Strike…we gathered in support, sharing diverse menus prepared by our team-mates at the cabin down the road where we went to warm up those bitter winter days. That was my first lunch of delicious collard greens, Indian curry and other tasty distractions amid our struggle. We prayed at whatever church helped us reach out to the Lord with strengthening sermons and the warmth of fellowship. (Old, old memories.)

Joan Stoddard: Joan is our hard-working, devoted Deputy Mayor and long-time Board member. I was very happy to hear that one issue on the agenda is a bit of emphasis on our Village Store-Front Windows. That was a real up-beat thought for me as I remember empty windows being used for displays at the holidays, high-school art work and sports trophies, other businesses from side streets to connect with walking tourists. Oh Joan, we are on the same page, helping my great memories as well as other old locals like me, I’m sure.

Onward and Upward: Our best to our Supervisor: Frank Demayo and Deputy Supervisor, Nick Rusin…as we all happily enjoy a great Summer in our dear Liberty.

Next Column, Tuesday, August 10, 2021.


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