This Tuesday, December 22nd ( the days start getting longer; the earth has tipped once again) the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh where the restaurant put on quite a spread for an OF Christmas Party. Cookies, cake, cheese and pepperoni, crackers, deviled eggs, salads, and a meat platter… all kinds of goodies lined the tables, and still the OG’s ordered breakfast.

A bouquet of flowers was presented to Loretta and Patty for going beyond the call of duty with all the OF’s. There was music and a little bit of singing. The OF’s are not into the singing thing (for lack of a better word) that early in the morning. We do have a regular in the group, Jim, a professional musician who is an instructor and performer and that is his livelihood, but he was not one of the suppliers of music. In this case (Jim) our young OF was part of the audience. With Jim the OF, or OG, or OT, tags do not quite fit because in essence he is none of those. The group did join in on singing “God Bless America” which is a good song but not necessarily a Christmas type song.

With the moving along of the health care (reform?) legislation to committee, and then to the House the OF’s had their own healthy debate on the issue. Both sides were defended. We do need reform of some sort but in the opinion of the OF’s we all agreed that the way this thing is going it is not going to work because there were too many sneaky deals done by the politicians. As the OF’s all know if there is anyone you can’t trust it is a politician and yet we are all placed in the bind that what they finally decide we are stuck with and have to pay for. The politicos don’t care because they are insulated from whatever they propose, and whatever they do. If they were not, as one OF put it, the whole kit and caboodle would all be in jail.

The OF’s have expressed that opinion over and over and they try to find anything a politician has said that will go down in cost, or will not get their hands into the OG’s wallets and we bet it can’t be done. The OF’s tried to get off this subject but it was hard; it carried over to what little we really know of how other countries work. We mentioned friends, and friends of friends that were involved in some way in the health plans of other countries. In order to understand how these plans work some of the OF’s would have to get involved on a personal level (either themselves or a close relative) so that the OF’s could be in contact daily so they could see what actually goes on, and especially how it turns out.

This whole health care issue is huge and in essence the OF’s, no matter what side of the reform they are on, haven’t much of a clue as to what is going to happen, and whether it will be good or bad. The OF’s, like everyone else, will have to wait and see.

The ad put out by Gilibrand, or one that someone did for her, is one big laugh. This was a bipartisan snicker because of timing and content, like she did all the work, all by herself on health care reform. Just our opinion.

This scribe was glad there was singing to get off this subject, however, in checking his notes there was not much else in them that wasn’t about the current cold snap, the wind last night, missing the big snow…normal conversation.

A small group of OF’s made a slight detour and stopped to view the construction of Jack Miller’s new building on the flats between Schoharie and Middleburgh. The group of OF’s was duly impressed by the new construction and the eventually heated floor.

Thos attending the breakfast at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and wishing all their OF buddies Merry Christmas were: Carl Slater, Miner Stevens, Ted Pelkey, John Rossmann, Robie Osterman, Gerd Remmers (who brought his squeeze box and led some singing at his end of the table), George Washburn, Roger Chapman, Skip Skinner, Harold Guest, Walt Hill, Henry Witt, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Roger Shafer (who brought his guitar and led the song God Bless America), Steve Kelly, Tom Hotaling, Paul Paulsen, Willard Osterhout, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, Mike Willsey, Rev. Jay Francis, and me.