The Old Men of the Mountain met at a new place on January 12th. It was at the Maple Inn, in East Berne. This was a very unusual meeting because the Maple Inn opened for this breakfast just for the OF’s; because they are not open for breakfast on week days, so we had the place to ourselves.

An OF calls each restaurant the day before we attack so the eating establishment has enough help, eggs, and some oatmeal on hand for that morning’s business. (Oatmeal – we are OF’s and mush is the word). This OF was told that they were not open for breakfast on Tuesday only on weekends. The OF caller identified himself as from the OMOTM and the one that answered the phone went and checked with “the boss” who said the same thing; now we have a great big Oops. This OF then called the OF who made the arrangements for the OMOTM to go there for breakfast and he called someone apparently of higher authority than “the boss”. Then he called the first OF back and told him everything was copasetic and the breakfast was on. The first OF (the one who called the first time) put his nitro down and relaxed, now the problem of initiating the phone call list was not necessary.

We started talking old times and current events and tried to bring them together. Some were funny, and one was kind of sad in a way. The OF’s started talking about how we worked when we were young. Not how hard, but the tools and equipment that was used to do what the OF’s had to do. Words like whiffle-tree, traces, and hay hooks – words that young people today know little about but were common back then. Today young kids use words that the OF’s know nothing or very little about, like Blackberry, apps, twitter, bytes – words like that. To the OFs Blackberries are something you eat; apps. we have no clue; twitter is what young girls do in the hen house and bytes are something you take out of a blackberry pie.

If anyone wanted to take the time there would be quite a list of terms common to then and now. Then being 100 to 50 years ago and now being 10 years ago to the present. It is fun to read the bit in the Enterprise about 100 years ago today, and focus on the English, and what is being described. One thing though that hasn’t changed, although some people say it has, is how tight-knit the communities were then. According to the OF’s when someone is in trouble or having tough times today people still band together to help out in whatever way they can.

The sad connection was an OF was in a restaurant and the OF’s bill was $19.44. When at the cash register to pay his tab the OF commented that, “Well this is a neat amount the war was almost over,” and thought nothing of it. The waitress who took his money followed him to his table and said, “What war was almost over?” The OF answered “World War Two.” The waitress then asked “and when was it over?” The OF said he just looked puzzled and finally said “1945.”

This was an event in history that changed the world forever, and the OF’s wondered what in heaven’s name do they teach kids today? We know they have a lot more to learn than the OF’s did but there are a few things that are critical to understand as to why we live like we do.

Another very topical note is again some of the OF’s brought up the new(???) light bulbs. One mentioned that he has just taken all of them out of his fixtures after spending about 80 bucks to purchase them. He said he was having continual minor type headaches and a friend of his told him it was the light bulbs. He took them out and the next day the headaches were gone. Another OF said he can’t see with them they make his eyes water. He too took them out…problem solved. The OFs say no matter what the advertising says leave those things on the shelves, they are physical and environmental disaster.

When the OFs were kids many of their parents were from the old sod and English was not their first language, and some never really mastered it. The odd part about this is working on the farm the dogs, horses, cows and other animals did not necessarily understand English. Dogs would not understand when called to come in English but they would understand come here in German or Dutch; neither would the horses understand commands in English they would understand the language of the fatherland.

One OF said if this is a problem with animals, think of airline pilots going from country to country. One OF mentioned that air traffic controllers all over the world are supposed to speak English, and all major airline pilots are supposed to speak English. Another OF commented that many of the world’s problems would be solved if we all spoke one language, and he didn’t care if it was Chinese, or Russian, or Polish, or Swahili, just as long as it was one language worldwide. This makes sense in a way but what an undertaking it would be.

Those that made it to the new place in East Berne and enjoyed the Maple Inn were: Roger Chapman, Gerd Remmers, Miner Stevens, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Gary Porter, Ted Pelkey, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Rev. Jay Francis, Bob Galusha, Paul Paulsen, Steve Kelly, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Dennis White, Gerry Chartier, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Tom Hotaling, and me.

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