When anyone wants to make time fly, schedule something that is the same day, same time, every week, like bridge parties, chess matches, and golfing with buddies. By connecting with people that enjoy the same thing, time flies. It is the same with the Old Men of the Mountain. We met on October 6th (which was a Tuesday) at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh, and next week it will be the Mrs. K’s, again in Middleburgh on Tuesday the 13th. The OF’s don’t necessarily get along but the OG’s enjoy the same thing…eating. We know we are part of a species of beings that require social connections so we get together and are social. (Note: scribe’s comment on the last sentence. Being social does not mean everyone is lovey-dovey but we are able to get along in a social atmosphere with out too much rancor.) All this means is that the weeks seem to be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc. etc. There may be an occasional Sunday thrown in just for good measure but not all the time.
This scribe checked his notebook for items to use in the column because he noted, at least at his table, not much new mentioned in the line of conversation. Most of it was quite redundant, and yet topical. Politics: we can always talk politics but generally don’t. Taxes: we can always talk taxes, and generally do. Lending tools: we have covered that before and nothing has changed on this topic. (In the funny papers Pickles may have the right idea on loaning tools. Have at least one beat up old rake, or shovel, or hammer to lend out, one that the lender doesn’t care if it comes back or not. He probably found it at the dump anyway). We also talked about the trip to the restaurant and the leaves and how beautiful the ride was. It was mentioned that the leaves this year are changing by the hour, not by the day. The leaves they are a-changing, and time of color is so short, often to see them turn each fall makes the heart ache.
The OF’s did touch on one item that was a little different and that was balancing the check book. It came down to when the bank statement arrives we whip out the check register and if the two are reasonably close the OF’s enter the statement amount from the bank in their register, in pencil, and go from there until the next statement comes.
Not many of the OF’s bank on line. There is no official survey on this so this scribe has to assume that maybe some OF’s do, but no OF has bubbled to the top of the OF caldron yet. The OF’s, for the most part, just don’t trust a lot of this electronic stuff. Too many friends and acquaintances of the OF’s have had problems with this way of conducting business, and the OF’s understand it is a bear to straighten out once it goes haywire.
Ordering items on line is also a pain and in most cases according to the OG’s is not worth the few dollars saved. When it arrives and something is wrong most of the time there is not a store around where the item can be taken back to straighten out the problem. The OF’s said now all you have is the wrong item and a piece of glass with writing on it to b—h about.
Another OF said he purchased something on line because the stores that should carry it were all out of stock. The OF found it on line at Staples so he ordered it. What a mistake. The OF got what he wanted with no problem and it works great, but now he gets e-mails from Staples, almost daily, promoting this, that, and the other thing and this junk just clutters up his mail box, and he can’t get rid of these stupid e-mails. Whatever happened to the days when all we needed to know was, on and off, cars had clutches, soap was just soap, your clothes weren’t walking billboards, music had melody and tunes, and along with that singing was singing not screeching, and talking fast in rhythm was done a long, long time ago, they were called auctioneers and you could actually understand them.
Sticking with computers one OF brought in a list that he printed from the internet. It was called “Observations on Growing Old” and many of the little observations on the list are quite apropos to the Old Men of the Mountain, however, the title as listed is a tad of a misnomer. The OF’s are not “Growing Old”, we are already there. “We are OLD”; growing has nothing to do with it. What is old anyway? Conversely, what is young?
One of the items on the list was our growing use of four letter words, like what, when, darn, then what again all done with the hand cupping the ear.
Those who were able to make it to the Middleburgh Diner, and while still old but think young were: Walt Hill, Bill Bartholomew, Ted Pelkey, Robie Osterman, Carl Walls, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Miner Stevens, Paul Paulsen, Roger Chapman, Carl Slater, Wally Quay Sr., Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Ted Willsey, Jim Watson, Bob Benac, Duane Wagenbaugh, Mike Willsey, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, and me.