Tuesday, the 15th day of December, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. They had the tables in the backroom set up a little differently so that even the bigger guys could sit against the wall. Generally we would sort out who was the smallest (and in our group that is easy) and have them sit on the wall side but the way it was today anybody could sit on either side of the long table.

Again we had a couple of small earthquakes in the Hilltowns. Some of the OF’s felt the quake or if they didn’t feel it, they say they heard it. Some of those that heard it said it sounded like a thunder clap, and other OF’s said it sounded like a loud shotgun blast. Still others that lived very close to where the paper reported it never felt anything or did they hear anything, and they were home at the time.

When the news reported that we have had 23 shakes up here this year the OF’s were wondering where were we. That is almost two quakes a month and some of the OF’s have not felt any of them. One OF mentioned that maybe with our loss of hearing, the sense of feel may be on the wane also. Then another OG said feeling wasn’t one of the five senses. OH, OH! Here we go. The five senses were established as sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Feeling was not one of them. Then one OF said if you touch something and yet don’t feel it how do you know you have touched it? To avoid a long discussion it was agreed that feeling went with touch so the OF considered it a sense. This allowed us to say our sense of feeling was less like the others.

It is not like the sensations of the quake were not there these OF’s just did not sense them.

Last week at the Alley Cat, one of the OF’s went to pay his bill and walked his way to the counter to do it. This OF was distracted (which is not hard to do) by some other OG’s a couple tables back into the restaurant. Then he said to another table of OG’s that he had better pay his bill and reached for his wallet. Oops…no wallet. The look on his face was of complete panic. The OF started the normal routine of going through one pocket after another and to do the same thing over, until it became quite obvious that the wallet wasn’t on his person. A couple of the OF’s noticed his plight and offered to pay his tab. He was getting ready to accept these offers when the OF began to audibly retrace his steps of earlier in the morning and came to the conclusion he left it a Stewarts in Altamont. Then the waitress announced from the cash register, “Hey! Listen up did any of you Mountain Men lose a wallet?” Sure enough it was our OF that thought he had lost it, thirty miles away in Altamont and there it was only twelve feet away. But like anything else if you don’t know where it is, it could be on another continent.

Now this is what happens when your hair and/or beard becomes gray or white. When you are distracted there is this tendency to forget what you were doing before the distraction. This OG had taken his wallet out to pay his bill and was distracted. The OG then placed his wallet on the counter and walked back to talk to the table of OF’s that had distracted him. Forgetting he had gotten as far as taking his wallet out to pay his bill, he thought he had better go and do it, not realizing that he had already been to the counter to do just that. Happens from time to time to all of us.

It has been done again. What may you ask? Going to the wrong bloody place. Each occurrence has its own little twist to it. As regular readers know most of the OF’s car pool. On this day it was to the Alley Cat and the driver picked up passenger number one as usual. Then he proceeded to passenger number two who did not come out, so the driver went to the door and the OF’s daughter- in-law, and wife, and the dog, told the driver that they had already gone. OK.

So the driver continues on to the next passenger and no signs of life around the place, no lights on, yet both cars in the driveway. Passenger number one gets out and goes to the door, and gets no answer but he does hear the dog barking so he waited awhile and still no one came. The two OF’s continued on to the breakfast.

When the two OF’s arrived at the Alley Cat the ones that were supposed to be there on their own weren’t. Where were they? The two that went didn’t want to call the no-shows thinking that maybe the OF’s had made arrangements to do something else like Christmas shopping (wink, wink) and they might open a can of worms for the other OF’s, so no calls were made. This week we found out that these OF’s thought the breakfast was going to be at Duanesburg and were sitting waiting for the OF who was driving to pick them up in the Knox Reformed Church parking lot. More gray hair getting in the way.

Those attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner (the correct place) and all sitting comfortably were: Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Paul Paulsen, Robie Osterman, Henry Witt, Walt Hill, Gerd Remmers, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Ted Pelkey, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Dennis White, Harold Grippen, Willard Osterhout, Gerry Chartier, and me.