On Tuesday, July (is it really July?) 7th 2009, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in the middle of Middleburgh. Many times small things can make your day and today – for one van load of OF’s – was one of them. Mrs. K’s is on the right-hand side of the street as you head toward the Schoharie creek. This is necessary to know because the restaurant is in the middle of town as mentioned. The village of Middleburgh is a busy little town so to find parking on the street close to where the OF’s need to be is challenging. This Tuesday just as the van of five OF’s was approaching Mrs. K’s, and the driver the only truly ambulatory (and that is debatable) one in the vehicle, a pick-up truck pulled out of a spot DIRECTLY in front of the restaurant. This van load of OF’s whipped right into the vacated spot, and the OF’s in the van had only about 5 or 6 steps to take to be in the front door. Things like this do not happen all the time. It’s like that song, “Jesus Take the Wheel” and in this case apparently he did.

The main topic was of course the weather, especially on how it is affecting all the OF’s gardens. It was decided that if the dampness stops RIGHT now and the sun shines there may still be hope. It is not only the gardens that are getting a little soggy, but the OF’s are getting soggy too, and all this water is stunting our growth.

One OF brought in a sign-up sheet for a defensive driving course being offered, and those that take it will receive a 10% saving on their insurance (in some cases insurance companies do not go along with this, the way those who have taken the course understand it). This is a redundant test for the OF’s as no longer do we drive offensively but we are always on the defensive. Although that may not be true with many of us OF’s because we really are an offensive bunch, and offending people is what the OF’s do best.

Here’s another way to tell we are out of the loop and in this case being out of this loop might be a good thing. The OF’s think all the attention given to Michael Jackson was a waste of time. He died and so what, so did thousands of other people at the same time, and on the same day. That’s it. All the OF’s are going to die; there is no getting around it. It is now up to the type of angel that comes to lead the soul; whether it is white with wings, or red with a tail there is nothing anyone can do about it then. What your life was while living (including the OF’s) at this point in time there is no changing it.

The OF’s discussed the recent trend of closing churches, and how beautiful some of these buildings are. What happens to these closed churches? In Albany there is evidence of some of them just falling into disrepair. The OF’s mentioned the closing of St. Bernadette’s in Berne as the parishioners of this church will now have to travel off the hill to be able to attend Mass. The OF’s mentioned how much it must cost to heat and maintain these church buildings and as attendance drops it is quite a burden on the few that do attend to keep them up. It is a dilemma. As one OF put it…does God really need such fancy buildings? This OG didn’t seem to think so. If a group of whatever denomination gets together and rents a fire hall and holds worship service there this OG says, God feels just at home at that fire hall as he does in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Many OF’s are cynics and say big fancy churches are not for God, but a case of one up-man-ship by the parishioners, just like fire departments, the OG added. Then again another OG said we are a small town. Large cities with large congregations need large buildings to hold them all, so if a big building is required why not do it right i.e., build it to last hundreds of years and serve both the believers and God at the same time. The OF’s have a grand time no matter what the topic is and we don’t get mad at each other. This scribe thinks all the New York State Senators should be sent home and The Old Men of the Mountain should take over until we straighten the whole mess out and then the Senators could return.

Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and not holding any kind of worship service were:

Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Bob Dietz, Walt Hill, Harold Guest, Skip Skinner, Frank Pauli, Miner Stevens, Wally Quay Sr., Roger Chapman, Carl Slater, John Rossmann, Robie Osterman, Ted Pelkey, Gerd Remmers, George Washburn, Henry Witt, Carl Calls, Steve Kelly, Paul Paulsen, Jay Taylor, Duane Wagenbaugh, Jim Watson, Art Frament, Bob Benach, John Brooks, Ted Willsey, Willard Osterhout, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.

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