On Tuesday May 5th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner, in Middleburgh, NY. This time no one went to the wrong diner, or got in the wrong car, or got lost going home. Under normal circumstances people would wonder about people like that, but you must understand we are The Old Men of the Mountain, and for us that is routine behavior.

Being OMOTM brings up another natural phenomenon. When babies are born for the most part they all look alike, so when visiting the viewing area people who are not the parents usually have to ask, “Which one is yours?” The same thing happens to people when we get old…we all look alike. The OF’s are mostly bald and gray, bent over, walk slow, creak when they walk, and basically dress alike; the ladies are the same except they have white hair, and for many it is thinning. So when at the supermarket, at the mall, or any large gathering the OF’s walk up to strange old women and start talking, somewhere mid-sentence the OG realizes it is not his wife, particularly when the one he is talking to gives him that “who the blazes are you” look. This, of course, also goes the other way. An OB (Old Babe, the scribe’s at home editor says the scribe should clear up the OB point or no one will know what the scribe is talking about. The scribe prefers Old Babe, over Old Broad, or Old Bat but the reader can enter whichever he/she thinks is the better fit for OB) starts talking to some OF and it is not her husband. An OF though will give the OB a good look over and if she is better than the one he came in with, the OF will keep the conversation going.

As the OF’s gather at the eating establishments they frequent (following our by-laws of spreading the wealth rotation) we are continually running into people we know. Some of those we meet we know well, and some fall into the category of – do I know that person? Both of these scenarios bring up conversations on those we bump into as to who their relatives are, or were, how we know them, general gossip if there is any that has a little juice to it, what their kids are doing, and sometimes their health. It is the discussion about the children of the people we encounter, and what those children are doing now that we start to find out what dinosaurs the OF’s really are.

It was mentioned that with our own kids, and kids of people in whatever inner circle that a particular OF travels around with, it is the kids that do not seem to age, and neither do the OF’s grandkids, and even their great-grandkids. The ages of that group does not seem to affect the OF’s sense of being old but rather it is the kids of the seldom-seen acquaintance that make us feel old. Their kids and our kids may be of the same age, but it does not seem possible at times that the people we know on the fringes can have kids that old. Their “kids” are 50 or 60 years old, while ours are only in their 30’s. Aren’t they?

Another subject came up on the question of aches and pains that are normal with us OF’s (note the bent over adjective used above) and that was how much Aleve, or Tylenol etc. you can take so these aches are kept to a minimum. The OF’s say they know what it says on the bottle but many take these things like candy. Some OF’s say their legs ache at night so bad that they swallow whatever painkiller they use so they can sleep. One OG said he thinks it is better to alternate. One day take Aleve, and on another day take Tylenol so the OF doesn’t become tolerant to one or the other, and eventually the OF’s body becomes so used to it that it doesn’t work. Another OF said it doesn’t matter what they take, they are all made from the same stuff, except have different names.

It might be a good time for the OF’s to do a little research on this dilemma and check it out so they can report back to the group. Most likely the report is going to be, “Suck it up, and deal with it!” even though we know it is not fun to hurt all the while. Wow! This weeks report is a downer.

Those OF’s who made it to the Middleburgh Diner (without getting lost) and able to get out of bed and dressed were: Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Gary Porter, Robie Osterman, Dave Williams, John Rossmann, Roger Chapman, Mace Porter, Harold Guest, Steve Kelly, Frank Pauli, Ted Pelkey, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Dennis White, Harold Grippen, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, Gerry Chartier, Bob Dietz, who we welcome back from Arizona for his summer visit with us, and me.