Today the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie (May 19th, 2009 is the day by the way). We had quite a crowd; as the summer rolls around and the travelers return our numbers do increase and it is good to see these OG’s return.

This morning we had a lot of news to talk about and the local earthquakes were first on the list. Some of the OF’s felt it and others didn’t. The OF’s that live going from Willsey road toward Rte. 145 felt the quake while most of those going from Willsey road toward The Bernes and Knox did not. Those that live in Huntersland and Middleburgh said the quake was accompanied by a bang, something like a cannon going off. One OF said he went outside to see if a branch of a tree had cracked and fallen on his home, but saw nothing and then wondered what happened. Maybe with quakes at each end of the country, and happening at the same time it might be an indication that the country is going to split down the middle and separate so the country will have another Grand Canyon, only this one will be dry unless the Gulf of Mexico rushes in and fills it up. Now the floor of the gulf will reveal its secrets and also will become prime farmland. Could happen. If the History Channel can make these wild shows, or just as wild predictions, then so can the Old Men of the Mountain. Besides we have more years on them and have lived a lot longer so have more knowledge of what has gone on in the past. We are more suited to tell the future than those thirty somethings that produce these far-fetched shows on the History and Discovery TV Channels.

In more current news we discussed the car dealers who were being handed their pink slips…so to speak. The OF’s do not understand the logic here. It seems to us if we had a product to sell, and they were basically priced the same that the more people that were trying to sell them, the more would be sold.

The OF’s maintained that they do not like large dealerships where the people don’t know you, and the turnover of employees is so great, that if you purchase a vehicle every three years the place is so full of new faces it just doesn’t seem like the same place. With a family run dealership most people know a good number of the people that work there by name. There also know the service manager’s wife and kids, and many of mechanics are seen around town. In a large dealership this is all gone. The other complaint the OF’s had was who wants to drive 40 to 50 miles or maybe even more to get to a dealership for service, and to look for a new car. What a mess, and who thought this one up? The media has yet to reveal a reason why GM and Chrysler are doing this. If the dealer has to purchase the cars what do they care how many dealers there are? To the OF’s a smart vehicle manufacturer would have a large central, well-stocked vehicle and parts depot. It would have a service area that would handle large problems, and a series of franchised satellites with well-qualified. These dealers would have good repair shops, and the central warehouse could not sell and compete with the satellite dealers. The satellite dealers could compete among themselves, etc.

Then, as usual, we switched topics and started talking about how fast the current situation with the price of gas going up and the price for crude oil going down. The OF’s have always smelled a fish in the fuel oil industry, and it has been there a long time and is pretty darn rotten. Then again we returned to the subject of the stupid use of corn for fuel. It is unconscionable to the OF’s to burn up something that will feed thousands of starving people, and it is of no value environmentally as a fuel additive. It seems to the OF’s that nobody seems to care, and it is getting to the point of why should the OF’s care…but we do.

Groceries are another item with prices going out of sight the same way as fuel oil. The farmer get $11.80 per hundred weight today for milk, and when the OF’s were farming they were getting the exact same amount i.e., $11.80 per hundred weight for milk 60 years ago. ?????? We have covered this problem many times in our little report, and now we have something new to add. The stimulus (?) package to it and it makes even less sense. Those on Social Security are getting $250 dollars. What are they going to spend it on? Gas and groceries. You don’t hear much about either one of these industries hurting. With the price of groceries and gas now at $2.50 a gallon and medications being in the hundreds, the stimulus for the common Joe isn’t going to help the economy very much. Add to that the taxes and fees in New York State which keep going up and up, the stimulus money will also be going to help pay for those increased taxes and fees. Who are we putting to work? Nobody. The OMOTM were on a tear.

Someone used an obscure euphemism, so we started talking about them where they came from and how they came to be. This scribe quite often drags one of these euphemisms up, so in the conversation we found out we didn’t know much. Some were simple: Bun in the Oven, Big Boned, Concrete Shoes, some not so common, Hot and Bothered, Hanky Panky, Walk the Line etc. By taking them apart maybe an OF might be able to figure out some of them, then again maybe not. We found that we do use them most of the time in their proper context, but it is because, the OF’s think, we have heard them over and over. It could develop into a fun quiz game. It could be called “Big Boned, Hot and Bothered, Hanky Panky Trivia Game” by the OG’s, and or OF’s. Hey, we could make a fortune here.

Those attending the breakfast at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie, and each ordering their own special breakfast that they claim the Alley Cat is good at, were: Harold Guest, Henry Witt, Steve Kelly, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Paul Paulsen, Dave Williams, Bob Dietz, Robie Osterman, Frank Pauli, Ted Pelkey, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Roger Shaffer, Tim Thompson, Willard Osterhout, Jim Watson, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Gerry Cartier, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Dennis White, Skip Skinner, and me.