This Tuesday the 22nd day of September, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. For those who have not been to the town of Rensselaerville, outside of town just past the bridge by the old mill, off on the right hand side is a small building. This building holds the Post Office, the Hilltown Café, and the Hilltown Food Co-op all in one little building. The OF’s were wondering if it was allowable to go to the Co-op, buy some food and bring it in the café and say, “Could you cook this well done?” and then sit down at the table. Probably not.

We had a discussion on families, and family situations that sometimes seem to get out of hand. It often times happens in all families according to the OF’s; at times there seems to be a starting point when family members stop talking to each other, and other times it is hard to find out when the differences started, and why.

The OF’s found that, unfortunately, some of these disagreements go on for years, and some are continuing to this day. One OF who had one of these situations could not remember why it started, or when. Even today now that it is over (and it was one of those things that went on for years) the OF doesn’t remember how it ended but for some reason it just ended and things are all hunky-dory now.

Another OF is still in a snit, and so is the other party, so the snit continues. Does it get any deeper? The OG didn’t know, but so far the snit shows no sign of waning.

This carried over to grudges; some of the OF’s admitted to carrying a grudge or two, while other OF’s said each day is new and they don’t remember if they had a grudge or not. If they did, the next morning it was over, and if someone brought it up the next day the OF would wonder what they were talking about.

Then the OG’s continued on in the same vein, and wondered if the time wasted on grudges was really worth it. What is a grudge anyway one OF wondered? What causes them? Then we started getting into deep water. Kids might cause them, said one source; property, ex-wives, girl friends, guys or gals on the job, politics, family, loaning money or other stuff, borrowing stuff, and gossip, were some thoughts others brought up.

It was mentioned by one OG that sometimes family members have a grudge and expect the rest of the family to hold the same grudge. And again one OF still said they are a waste of time particularly getting others or the whole family involved.

The time spent in military service comes up as a topic quite often in our conversations at the OMOTM’s breakfast. The OF’s seem to complain a lot about their conditions, and what they went through, so it is never far from their minds. One OG said we can laugh about it now, and the situations seem funny, but at the time it was a different story. It was mentioned how strange it is that the bad things seem humorous now, or the experience of going through them seems humorous, and the good times are looked at in the same light. Also being in military service, no matter the branch, places the OF’s in an elite group because when they talk about their ships, or trying to sleep in a foxhole, and the people around them have not been there, these people are left out of a very important conversation. This is similar to a group of computer geeks talking in a social group leaving all those who are not involved in computers out of the conversational loop. This leaves OF’s talking with OF’s, doctors talking with doctors, crane operators talking with crane operators, and so on and so on. But when there are OF’s that have been in the service, and doctors that have been in the service, and crane operators that have been in the service, no one cares what you are now, there is a common denominator and all can converse. It is a lot more fun, but this still leaves those out who do not have that common connection. The OF’s turn into philosophers when they want to.

This scribe hopes he has explained this well enough so the reader can comprehend what some of the OF’s discussion was trying to imply on these connected subjects. The OF’s talk right along no matter what table their butts are plopped at, or where the conversation goes. The common denominator with this group is we are old, and old is the connection. There are lots of common interests that connect people of all professions, ages, and gender yakking. NASCAR, hunting, boating, hiking, skiing, dancing, TV, and anyone can add to this list.

Those attending the breakfast at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville and chatting away on any topic and to heck with any common denominators were: John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Robie Osterman, Art Frament, Bob Benac, Henry Witt, Bill Thorpe, Ted Pelkey, George Washburn, Gerd Remmers, Wally Quay Sr., Miner Stevens, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Harold Guest, Carl Walls, Alvin Latham, Bob Snyder, Skip Skinner, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Roger Chapman, Duane Wagenbaugh and me.