family travel and classic baseball videos can be viewed
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Childrens' Free Online Book Series
Adventures of Goldilocks O'Brien in Cooperstown
series of short, fictional childrens' stories focusing on life in
through the eyes of a child -- a great Cooperstown travel resource, as
well a nice bedtime story!
by Eric H.
Goldilocks O'Brien was born with
flowing gold locks of hair in the beautiful
city of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Her parents were set on naming her
Apple Blythe, but once they saw the abundance of gold hair, they
formally named her Goldilocks. Thank goodness, thought
Goldilocks, when she was able to communicate her feelings at an older
age -- better to be called Goldilocks than Apple Blythe!
In the summer of 2008, eight-year-old Goldilocks
O’Brien and her family moved from very busy New York City
to the peaceful Village of Cooperstown, N.Y., in upstate New
York. She felt like the most lucky child on earth, living in
place she could hardly wait to return to after a summer, fall, winter
Goldilocks happily pictured spending her childhood
doing all the things her family did while vacationing here for the past
five years: swimming at beautiful Glimmerglass State Park, eating cider
donuts and drinking apple cider at the Fly Creek Cider Mill, devouring
chocolate sprinkle donuts at Schneider’s Bakery, watching free baseball
games at Doubleday Field, and running around Lakefront Park at the head
beautiful nine-mile long Otsego Lake. She loved going to the
National Baseball Hall of Fame to learn about the game, the Farmers
Museum for a taste of rural life in the 1800s (and for the great
carousel ride!), and the Fenimore Art Museum to view the variety of
amazing American art. Goldilocks really loved drawing so she really
looked forward to seeing more of the Fenimore Museum, and the art
galleries and associations in Cooperstown.
brother, Antwerp, had different likes about Cooperstown, however --
baseball, baseball, baseball!! He loved the cool baseball
collection covering a wall at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and
Museum, the baseball movies played there and baseball memorabilia gift
shops along Main St.. Antwerp also loved the gelati with root
beer at Carmen Esposito’s Italian Ices on Main St., as well as a
shortbread baseball-shaped cookies from the Cooperstown Cookie
Company that were purchased at the Cooperstown General Store.
After a peaceful Sunday morning at the
community church, Goldilocks loved the 30-minute Sunday country drives
to Brooks BBQ in Oneonta for a humongous barbecue chicken dinner and
slice of warm blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. In the
the colorful foliage was as nice as anything she’d seen in Vermont. The
winter would bring lots of fun visiting the nicest Santa (and Mrs.
Santa) in the world at his own cabin on Main St., and marveling at the
festive bright lights, decorations and celebrations gracing the toy
village look of the downtown. Down the street at the Farmers’
Museum, Goldilocks loved the December Candelight Evening, illuminated
by thousands of candles and warmed up even more by caroling, wagon
rides and a nice hot cup of wassail. She also looked forward to indoor
fun and games at the Clark Sports Center where she could swim, bowl,
and run the track. Spring would bring maple runoff, laundry-fresh
smelling warmer air, and lots of mud to play in, much to her parents’
The best time of year, however, was summer with the
warm days, comfortable cool mountain air nights, and the chance to get
outside. The O’Brien family could just walk up and down tree-lined Main
St. all day and be happy -- meeting the locals, visitors and
frequenting the fun shops, especially the Cooperstown General Store and
the Book Nook for books. They also loved the Fourth of July
parade in neighboring Springfield with the friendliest, down-to-earth
people marching, playing music, riding cars, trucks and tractors and
throwing candy at the crowd. The Fourth of July celebration
Lakefront Park was really fun, too, with lots of fireworks brightening
the clear, mountain skies. The O’Briens also loved going to
Otesaga Resort Hotel, a huge historic brick building with tall white
pillars where they could have a
family dinner at the Hawkeye Grille and then go upstairs through the
elegant lobby to sit on one of the veranda rocking chairs and see more
amazing views of Otsego Lake. As a visitor, Goldilocks would
asleep here in her mother’s arms. The world seemed so
here, as opposed to New York City.
Goldilocks thanked her
parents for moving to such a nice place. She certainly wouldn’t miss
the dirt, pollution, crazy drivers and lack of a backyard in New York
City. The only thing she would miss is a good, New York pastrami
Now Goldilocks could live in a home with a backyard that was
times bigger than her New York City yard, a cozy front porch to watch
the sun go down, a white picket fence and a neighborhood full of kids
her age that just
liked to get out to play. Everything was walkable -- the schools,
supermarket, downtown, restaurants, ice cream places and bakeries, and
lake. At eight-years-old, Goldilocks felt like she had moved
the best place on earth.
Her parents felt the same way, too,
about Cooperstown. Goldilocks’ Dad, Biff, found a part-time
at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and her Mom, Fiona
McWeenie O'Brien, another part-time position at the Bassett Hospital
the street from where the O’Briens moved on Eagle St. This
great, her Mom and Dad would be walking to work instead of commuting an
hour. No more day care: both parents would be home when
Goldilocks returned from the Cooperstown Elementary School!
the first day living in Cooperstown, Goldilocks, Antwerp and her Mom
and Dad walked downtown to share a hot fudge sundae at T.J.’s Grille,
play some virtual computerized baseball at the Heroes of Baseball Wax
Museum, catch a few minutes of a baseball game at Doubelday
Field, and walk around the corner to Lakefront Park to enjoy a Tuesday
night concert “on the green.” The feeling was magical, as the
opened up, the stars came out, people huddled together sitting on
blankets, and the boats in the lake bobbed up and down as if they
were nodding approval to their owner’s choice of location.
big band era music played throughout the old-fashioned village as
Goldilocks snuggled into her mother’s arms. She shed a happy
and felt no shame knowing that she was not alone: looking up, her Mom
shed a few
more tears and, surprisingly her Dad even a few more tears as they all
knew they had arrived at their dream location.
however, bad dreams come with the good. Enter Lewie Eekel, the biggest
eight-year-old geek, this side of the Susquehanna River. Just
look at Goldilocks and Lewie instantly fell in love. He had
dreams of taking her to a Jonas Brothers concert and trading Webkinz
cards until they grew old together.
Lewie Eekal has frizzy brown
hair, thick glasses held together with tape, and a San Diego Padres
t-shirt from the 1970s -- the last time it appeared to be washed, mind
you. There he was with a beanie propeller hat on his head and
huge green glow-stick that he used to have a mock sword fight with his
best friend and fellow misfit oddball, Schoog Dalrymple. Their horse
ended up near the lake where Lewie and Schoog bumped into Goldilocks
and knocked her magical stuffed monkey, MonkeyFriend, into the
lake. Goldilock’s dad, Biff, reached into the lake to
MonkeyFriend, and returned him to a crying Goldilocks. Biff lectured
Lewie about the need to be more careful. Lewie seemed genuinely
remorseful and apologized immediately -- sort of.
said Lewie. “It won’t happen again. I’d like to make it up to you. Can
I take you to Carmen Esposito’s for an ice cream? We could
Webkinz cards there in which I would take your best cards for my worst.”
Goldilocks could say anything, Lewie Eeekal went silent, turned green
and looked as if he saw a ghost. It actually wasn’t a ghost, but
MonkeyFriend who came to life, pointing a finger at Lewie and saying in
a squeaky, high-pitched voice, “Now don’t you do that again to my
friend, Goldilocks. If you do that again, I’ll throw a
you and make you watch 10 straight hours of the Wiggles!”
Lewie heard that Wiggles comment coming from a toy store-bought chimp,
he did the feet-don’t-fail-me-now motion, going nowhere for a few
seconds and then running faster than any Olympian runner could back to
his home -- which, by the way, was right next to the O’Brien's new home.
didn’t call MonkeyFriend the magical monkey for nothing. Now
MonkeyFriend was actually very good-natured, sweet, loving and loyal, a
bit mischievous and always grateful to his master,
None of that mattered, however, to Lewie Eeekal. He stayed away from
Goldilocks for the rest of the summer. School would be starting soon,
however, and they would be in the same class. Wouldn’t you
it, one of the first activities during school was “Bring your stuffed
animal to class” day!
for another exciting episode on
The Adventures of Goldilocks O’Brien where we learn what happens on
“Bring your stuffed animal to class” day!
H. is a Boston-based writer who vacations frequently in Cooperstown
enjoyed this childrens' story on Cooperstown, please share with others
at your favorite
COOPERSTOWN ONLINE MOVIE THEATER Featuring
Cooperstown travel videos and classic baseball clips to get you in the
All videos are rated G for the whole family to enjoy!
This page features a laugh-out-loud cartoon with the immortal Woody Woodpecker -- this cartoon is "not for the birds!"