On August 11th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Knox Country Store in the village of Knox. The store was forewarned that we were coming in larger numbers than usual and forewarned is forearmed. The store went out and obtained more chairs and another table and the group filled them all up. Nice touch to accommodate all the OF’s; no one was left standing.

The first order of business to report is that Willard was picked up and was at the breakfast. Willard mentioned that he waited about 30 minutes and finally realized that he was going to have to have a breakfast for one. His wife told him that on Tuesday once he is out of the house to go with the OF’s he is out of the house and he is not coming back in. She stuck to that.

We talked about Williamsburg Village in Virginia, and what a great place that is or was, none of the OF’s at this scribe’s table has been there in awhile. What was discussed was how often so far this summer the OF’s have had to mow their grass, along with every one else we suppose, and in Williamsburg they mow the grass with herds of sheep and sheep herders, and no fences. They keep the grass as neat as a pin, and one OF who has been in Europe said they do the same thing with the levies of dikes, and they use sheep and sheep herders the same way. Sounded neat to us but we thought just taking care of the sheep is more work than mowing the lawn. Sheep have to be housed in the winter, shorn, penned at night, and birthed, which entails vet bills and all that goes with that type of care of the animal. Give us a riding mower any day.

Somehow this led us to talking about the Amish and the Mennonites and their particular life styles. Those OF’s that have been to Lancaster county in Pennsylvania, and in the Johnsonville area of our own state, see how neat the Amish keep their properties, and this is done with the old push mower. The OF’s wondered if anyone has ever done a study on the quality of life in the Amish later years, comparing those who are not Amish to those who are, and if there is any difference in the life span. We keep hearing about going back to the old ways of doing things, and many of the OF’s say don’t mess with us, you do it if you want, but we are doing fine the way it is.

Then we ventured onto shaky ground and for a little while touched on politics, and at least at our table we felt there is a lot of sneaky stuff underfoot. Our two senators are holding town meetings and the location, day and time are being kept secret by both of them. They want as few people there as possible, and in the opinion of the OF’s it was suggested (in New York State anyway) that these are not town meetings, but more like a democratic caucus, so only people who are in agreement with them are in the crowd. We quickly go off this subject because the OF’s can’t get too excited for the reason that their pace makers go haywire, or they will have to double up on their blood pressure medicine.

Those attending the breakfast, and all getting a chance to put in their two cents worth were: Wally Quay Sr., Roger Chapman, Henry Witt, George Townsend, Jim Watson, Bill Thorpe, Jay Taylor, John Brooks, Duane Wagenbaugh, Rich Donnelly, Robie Osterman, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Bob Dietz, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, Paul Paulsen, Carl Walls, Walt Hill, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Willard Osterhout, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, and me.