This morning we all gathered at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. Tuesdays seem to come so fast, as the summer is gone (well almost) and there is a hint of color in the trees. Pine needles are beginning to drop, goldenrod paints the fields yellow, while Queen Anne’s lace adds her dots of white; we now know we are in the throes of fall. It is hard to type the date without a little of that empty feeling that comes with this time of year. Yes, it is September 8th and the OF’s routines begin to change. Some OG’s said they would like to find out how those animals that hibernate do it, and then they would like to copy them…just wake up one day and it is spring again.

At one point in the conversation one would wonder if we were a bunch of OG’s or OH’s (Old Hens). The OF’s were talking about shopping, not for truck or tractor parts, but groceries. Things like fresh produce, meat, bread, cereal and who has what each individual OF considers the best, or the best prices. Most of the OG’s were farmers but they concluded that the farm stands do not have the best prices, nor do they always have the best product. It is still fun to go to the fruit stands, and if canning is your thing then the farm stand is the place to go.

The OF’s decided to do some price checking on their own, and purchase 12 items that they use all the time, and see what they would cost at various stores.

This scribe doesn’t know which came first, marriage or shopping, anyway it is now marriage time. For the OF’s who have been through it a bad marriage can be he$$; sometimes the arguments and fights really can get out of hand. It is hard to find out when the marriage started to go irreplaceably bad, but when one starts attacking the other with a knife that is a pretty good sign things aren’t going well. Now is time for the attackee to shop for a good lawyer.

That is tip one from the OF’s – be the first to get a good attorney. Some from the OF’s have been taken to the cleaners by a shrewd better half and the OF didn’t see it coming. The OF’s now know why they are called the shrewd better half because it is usually the guy that gets stuck. Hmmmm.

The OF’s say they don’t know of any marriage that does not have rough spots, most of the OG’s have been through them, some worse than others but they all claimed to have traveled the rocky road of (wedded bliss?). One OG said he does not think there is such a thing as a perfect marriage.

All agreed though that they would not change the wife they have now for anyone else, because each knows the faults of the other and when they hear of other family problems they are glad the ones they have are the ones they have. The OF’s came to the conclusion that no one is perfect, and if they were, to an OF, they couldn’t live with them. The OF’s say can you imagine living with a perfect person?

The OF’s also discussed health, i.e. their own health, not the health plan which is being bantered about by the government. This dialogue mentioned that when an OF is really laid up due to illness beyond his control it sets him back on what projects he was planning on doing, or projects already started and in different stages of completion. Each OF gets quite upset when he is under the weather, or has an operation or something unexpected comes up like a heart attack. The OG becomes really ticked because of whatever project has to be put on hold until he recuperates and gets back to whatever project was in the works at the time. Now it is catch-up time, and that can take a year depending on the size of what was being tackled. Getting sick or hurt sure gets in the way of the OF’s routine.

The OF’s suggest that while you are young take care of your eyes (safety glasses, UV sunglasses), and protect your ears around loud noise (ear plugs or ear protection). DO NOT smoke, and stay out of bars…it is tough to watch people who did most of the above when THEY were young. The OF’s say if you don’t watch yourself when you’re young then when you are sixty you are the one with the cane waiting for the handicapped bus, while the other 70-year old is running to hop in his new convertible and head down the highway. One OG said it is hard knowing I didn’t take care of myself because of the life style I chose when the I thought I was invincible. Some of these OFs speak from experience.

So much for the lecture; those OF’s attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner and being great fodder for such a lecture were: Paul Paulsen, Bill Bartholomew, Carl Slater, Dave Williams, George Washburn, Duane Wagenbaugh, Walt Hill, Robie Osterman, Henry Witt, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Roger Chapman, Ted Pelkey, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Willard Osterhout, Harold Guest, John Brooks, Jim Watson, Bob Benac, Art Frament, Bill Thorpe, George Townsend, Bob Snyder, and me.