On Tuesday the 23rd of June the Old Men of the Mountain me at the Knox Country Store, and we filled the place up. We then had a difference between the BKW and Schoharie Central schools come to the fro. Alice was listing the specials, and she listed the item on one special which ended with the word scramble. This scribe remembers it as ham, cheese, and scrambled, with home fries and toast, and then she went on about her business. One OF then said, “Hey Alice, is that scrambled eggs, or is the ham and cheese just the two scrambled together?” “What do you think?” was the reply, “What a mess that would be just ham and cheese mixed together”. “Well,” the OF said, “I didn’t go to BKW I went to Schoharie.” Now whatever any of that means is beyond this scribe.

This morning we discussed the economy, not the political side of it, just the economy and how different it is now than it was in the 30’s. In the 30’s, like today, we had a bailout of sorts but nothing like today, and nothing as massive, or seemingly irresponsible, but the idea is the same in many cases. We mentioned the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the CCC (Civil Conservation Corp.) As a matter of fact, there was a good size CCC camp just outside of Gallupville where citizens were put to work on civil projects around the country, and they were paid by the government. One OG mentioned that even today there is much evidence of the work they did; the beauty and quality was outstanding. One such project is the arched stone bridges on the Taconic. The retaining wall with the logs on top for the Schoharie creek at Middleburgh is another. Many other construction projects of this type were done all over the country.

Today the government is just handing out money to a select few, and the public is supposed to purchase what they make. The question is with what? Then one OF said that this downturn has many bright spots, and there are companies that are doing quite well. We all agreed that it is a strange time in our history and wonder how the history books will handle it, if at all. It is important and tough to us right now but 100 or 200 years from now it will probably not even be mentioned.

Wouldn’t it be very interesting to come back one hundred years from now and see how they write about what is going on today. A fun thing to read in the Enterprise is the “Back in Time, A Hundred Years Ago” ergo the phrase often used to describe big projects that will never get off the ground is “Electric Railroad” and for that to mean anything it is necessary to have read the Back in Time column in the Enterprise. The OF’s find that many of the books that are written about the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and even the 60s are written so screwed up we wonder if we were even on the same planet when many of these events were supposed to have happened. Oh well, many of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast yesterday, so the writers may be right, but in many cases we really doubt it.

We discussed technology again, with the newer computers, and phones, and the TV change from analog to digital, and decided these changes are coming faster than the OF’s can handle them. We have had this discussion many times but to the OF’s it has gone beyond curiosity to downright scary.

Most of the OF’s live in the hills, or countryside and like their privacy. Now with the satellite maps on the internet snoops can zoom right to the OF’s home and read the numbers on his license plate. They can do this if they live in Alaska, China, England, Australia, Brazil, and somebody with a laptop on a tour of the South Pole can zoom to anywhere in the world. Just wait until it gets to real time, and some OF’s believe the technology is already here.

One OG suggested that the next technological advancement will be that when someone is born doctors will place a chip under his big toenail, (when this happens one OG said “mid wives, and home delivery will become quite popular.”) then anyone will know where whoever it is they want to check on and every step he takes. It was also suggested it will cut down on crime, the cops won’t have to chase anybody just follow where he is going and head him off at the pass. When, as one suggested, an OF is playing hanky panky with someone he should not be playing hanky panky with and this chip is in his toe…bingo! No alibing out of this one because your toenail chip will tell on you. One OF said he is too old to have this procedure, and wouldn’t consent to it anyway, so he will hanky panky with whom ever he wants to hanky panky with and hopes the sky snoops get an eyeful even if they had the opportunity to place a chip under his toenail.

Those OF’s who attended the breakfast at the Knox Country store and some ate standing up, just like home, were: Miner Stevens, Paul Paulsen, Arnold Geraldsen, Henry Witt, Wally Quay Sr., Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Bob Dietz, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Carl Walls, Steve Kelly, George Washburn, Willard Osterhout, Duane Wagenbaugh, Ted Willsey, Ted Pelkey, Jim Watson, Jay Taylor, Harold Grippen, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Gerry Chartier, and me.