This last Tuesday, July 14th 2009, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie. The summer crew is getting larger and we are beginning to fill up the places we visit. This makes for very an interesting morning with all the new stories, and all the new opinions. (As if that is all we need are few more opinions.)

This scribe has a scene in his mind’s eye that if the OF’s were selected to be on a jury, 12 would be jurors and the rest of the OG’s would be alternates. Because of the ages and physical well-being of this group a good collection of alternates would be a must. Every case brought before it would end in a hung jury because these guys never agree on anything. There are some exceptions though. Most of the OFs would vote to hang anyone from PETA, the ACLU, Greenpeace, Environmentalists, or New York State Legislators from New York City or Long Island. The opinion of many of the OF’s is that his eclectic group is considered to contain the most dangerous people in the country. .

We had a brief discussion on hair cuts. One OF with thinning hair kept observing another OF with a similar problem only not quite so bad. The OF with the thinning hair went and had all his hair cut off, then as it started to grow back he wanted to shape it like the other OF who looks very good the way his hair is, …well…styled. The OF with the thinning hair looks like a dork, and it does nothing the other OF’s hair does. His lays flat, and looks neat, while the other OF’s hair sticks up in all directions.

At this breakfast the thinning hair OF confronted the rather nicely styled hair of his OF friend hoping to get some styling tips. The reply was: Number one you are butt ugly (this scribe’s aside… What is butt ugly? Not all butts are ugly, some are downright cute, but if you are considering the butts of all the OF’s that is a correct description; with the butts being plopped in the chairs at the Alley Cat you truly have ugly butts). Number two, the OF continued, is your hair is way too fine. The OF who had the hair the other OF was trying to emulate, said he had to give up shaving with an electric razor because his beard was so coarse it would not go through the holes in the guide on the razor so that the blades could cut them off. Now he straps a straight razor.

Next the OF’s started talking about eyesight (and we have discussed this before) and how some of the OF’s have given up driving at night because they have problems with their night vision, especially when it is raining and how the spray from trucks makes it very hard to see the road. It was suggested that someone should develop a way of trapping that mist so it doesn’t spray like that on wet roads. It would make all the roads that much safer and someone quite wealthy.

One OF related the story that many people are not deterred from doing things just because they can’t see. This OF said he had a friend that was a pilot and had his own plane, and loved to fly but he could not see. To read the paper or a catalog the OF’s friend required a large illuminated magnifying machine. To the OF the letters on the screen of this magnifier looked to be 2 inches high.

The friend of the OF also had a friend that liked to fly with him and quite often when the OF stopped in the friend’s office to see him his wife would say, “The stupid old fart is out flying, with his friend that is just a dumb as he is to go with him, and they have that pest of a monkey with them,” and she would retreat back to her little office.

The friend of the OF knew how to fly and was a good pilot but the friend of the friend had no clue how to fly, and neither did the monkey. This monkey would jump around the cabin, or sometimes just look out the window sitting on one of their laps. The friend of the friend of the friend had good eyesight and would let the OF’s friend know what was going on.

On take off he would let the OF’s friend know if there were any planes in the area, and what was going on, on the ground. In the air he would call off the altitude, weather, and headings. On approaches he could call off distances, altitudes, angles of decent, and air speeds, and according to the friend of the OF all their landings were basically right on the money.

All this went on while the OF was a younger man, and these two were considerably older (both must have passed on by now) but the OF didn’t know about the monkey, for all he knows the plane is still flying and monkey is at the controls. (True story)

Those attending the breakfast at the Alley Cat in Schoharie and filling the place up were: Wally Quay Sr., Carl Slater, Carl Walls, Skip Skinner, Miner Stevens, (with Brian, and Bradley McClaughlin grandson’s of Miner, who Miner claims eat him out of house and home, and by the size of their breakfast we can believe it), Robie Osterman, Bob Dietz, Paul Paulsen, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Ted Pelkey, Steve Kelly, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, (Carl ? who was just a customer in the restaurant and the OMOTM took over his table and he became a temporary OF), Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Duane Wagenbaugh, Jim Watson, Jay Taylor, Bob Benach, Art Frament, Bill Thorpe, John Brooks, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Willard Osterhout, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me. Phew, this scribe hopes he has recorded them all.