On Tuesday morning November 24th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner, in Middleburgh, New York. The village is not far from three forts that were along the Schoharie Creek.

The OF’s, almost without a break from the week before last, revived the conversation on major calamities that hit our country. Not only our country but most countries on the globe and how little prepared they are for any serious disaster. We tied this in with creating jobs and the stimulus money but we are sure none of this will ever take place.

The OF’s think that areas of large populations should have sections required to be cordoned off and in these section there would be enough water stored for both potable water, and grey water, to handle the number of people in that section for (the OF’s picked) fifteen days and latrines, similar to porta-johns and again with enough water stored to operate these facilities also. These areas would be secured and not used until it was absolutely necessary.

The OF’s said this would be no small undertaking, and also said it would never get off the ground because the politicians and robber barons would not make any money off the property. The manpower it would take to support this type of emergency preparedness center could be, for the most part, voluntary.

The next problem would be food, and medical supplies. The food would have to be basic and simple; easily stored for long periods of time, before being cycled out, and preprocessed so no preparation was necessary. Medical supplies would of the first aid type. Personal medicines for at least the people that are on Medicare, or those who have insurance, generally have enough for thirty days or more.

The OF’s feel that this plan would maintain large populations until the rest of the country would eventually come to their aid. One OF suggested there may be some form of this already but either it is not enough, or is poorly managed. Once something like this plan is started the money grubbers get involved and it begins to crumble like a house of cards from the inside again by people who don’t care. The OF’s from a long history of experience, generally turn into a bunch of cynics. The strange part of the cynicism is that for the most part this cynicism turns out to be right. Score one for the OF’s.

Then another OF brought up an interesting point. What if the calamity knocked out both the area and the area of supplies, what then? There is always one OG thinking, so the OF’s plan would have to be revamped. Give the OG’s some time and they will come with something.

During WWII the country had the Civilian Defense Corps, which was an organization under the Department of Defense that was manned basically by volunteers, who could be mobilized quickly and had training in rescue, first aid, crowd control, along with access to equipment and supplies in case of emergency. We may have something similar to this in the National Guard but this volunteer group was not a military unit of any kind, and most were older guys and gals because the young ones were in the military.

On OF mentioned the movie “The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming” that is very funny but does show how this Department was not supposed to function, but more than likely would. (You’ve got to see this movie).

To add to the collection of OF cynics at this morning’s breakfast outside the Middleburgh dinner were about 6 or 7 turkey buzzards hanging around a tree, and one kept circling overhead. These birds are not too dumb; they probably noticed all the OF’s hobbling into the diner with their canes, or a slow, labored pace and figured these OF’s would be easy pickins. Not so. The birds should have taken stock as to how tough the OG’s are that were entering the eating establishment. The scene did give a chuckle to some of the OF’s who watched the one lone bird circle above them.

Those OF’s attending the breakfast and getting ready for the next disaster were: Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Carl Slater, Ted Pelkey, Gerd Remmers, Dave Williams, Henry Witt, Frank Pauli, Walt Hill, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Miner Stevens, Kevin Cary, Sean Carey, Steve Kelly, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Roger Schafer, Paul Paulsen, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, and me.

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