The Old Men of the Mountain by John R. Williams

          On a beautiful spring day, and St. Patrick’s Day at that, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh. This scribe would like to report that he was there and what if anything happened on the way, or in the bucolic little village of Middleburgh but he can’t. The scribe was under the knife again at the same time the other OF’s were enjoying their breakfast, and my mother’s maiden name was Murphy. This scribe is getting a tad tired of being cut, but it is necessary. It is a good thing it doesn’t really hurt much. This scribe hates hurt.

          The assistant scribe reported when they showed up, there were flashes of green among the OF’s; that is a nice touch. The OF’s commented on when the Irish first came over to this country there was much prejudice against them.  Then the Italians and the Chinese came, along with others who labored long and hard to help build America. Now the prejudice seems to have settled on the Hispanics. All the others worked out of being known as gangs, and laborers, and whatever other labels people wanted to paint them with. Now it is the Hispanic’s turn and eventually they will be in the mainstream, and another group will be the one to go through the “Americanization” process. This time though the OF’s think most of the ethnics groups are here so it will have to be either Martians, or some alien creature being disgruntled in another galaxy and who have decided,  after roaming around through space, that this country is a great place to live, so they pile in their space ships to come and join us.

          This country has had presidents that have been Irish, English, Dutch, and whatever; Catholic, Protestant, Quaker, and whatever. Now we have one that is half white and half black, and in the future one that will probably be Hispanic, so why not in the distant future one who happens to be a Martian. No matter who it is, as long as they can do the job RIGHT, who cares. Could happen.  All this from the OF’s wearing of the green.

          The other thing that fits right in with St Patrick’s Day is the singing of Irish songs. According to the assistant scribe that is actually what was going on with the OF’s this morning. They even had other patrons of Mrs. K’s Restaurant chiming in. The assistant scribe said that with the singing though there was a lot of conversation going on at the same time, and try as he might it was hard to make out some of the songs. (Nothing like trying to perform to a bunch of drunks.) Entertainers that work in clubs have it tough. Those that want to enjoy whatever the entertainment is whether it is a comedian, singer, juggler, or stripper (take that last one back, a stripper probably would have all the attention) have a problem dealing with the din of those who don’t give a hoot and just want to drink and talk. One OF mentioned that it isn’t only that group of people but most of the time now if the OF goes to a concert, (with this organization it is country music for the most part) the fans holler and sing right along with the performer and hearing the professionals do their thing is almost impossible. It is better to get a CD and enjoy the music in the car or at home than it is to go to the concert. Boy…are we old or what?

Those OF’s that showed up at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and sharing the green, or not were:

Harold Grippen     Mike Willsey                   Ted Willsey           Willard Osterhout

Don Moser            Garry Porter          Steve Kelly            Skip Skinner

Robie Osterman    John Rossmann     Ted Pelkey            Gerd Remmers

Frank Pauli            Harold Guest                  Dave Williams       Carl Slater

Miner Stevens                 Roger Chapman    Paul Paulsen          George Washburn