On Tuesday the 9th of March the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Maple Inn in East Berne. We opened the place for breakfast on a week day, and they were prepared. Coffee was hot, and the breakfasts were good and plentiful. All the OF’s behaved themselves and no one had a breakfast dumped on their head. That has been threatened before at other eating establishments. This does not mean to say the OF didn’t deserve it but that the waitresses show a considerable amount of restraint. To find the Maple Inn just whipping through on 443 is going to get you there. It is necessary to turn either by the Post Office, or by the airport with all the military equipment out front.

Two OF’s with recent back operations sat kitty-corner from each other and anyone can guess what the topic of discussion was for awhile. If you guess women or booze it would be wrong, it was (drum roll please) BACK OPERATIONS. It is great to see both these OF’s walking straight and one with little or no pain and the other with less pain but still some. When the OG’s were younger most said that when they got older they wouldn’t act like their parents. Well, the OF’s are older and they not only act like them but many look like them. When the OF’s were younger they complained about OFs getting in their way, now they are the OF’s getting in the way. But and there is a big but here (no pun intended) with the advances in medicine the OFs are not in the way like their parents. The quality of the OFs lives, though still not able to run 50 yard dashes, is much better than their parents knew.

The OFs discussed the bright blue skies that we have been blessed with these past few days (at least they start out that way) and then the contrails show up. No one can convince the OFs that these things do not affect our weather. A beautiful early morning clear sky can have high thin clouds by nine from these things. This Tuesday morning the OF’s counted twenty one contrails criss-crossing the morning sky, and when leaving the breakfast there it was…that high, thin, haze of clouds. We don’t care what Bob, or Steve says, these contrails do change our weather. Those OF’s that hunt in Colorado, or Montana say the morning sky is crisp and clear when getting up, not marred by contrails all day, and the evening sky winds up the same way…crisp and clear. Coincidence? The OF’s don’t think so.

The next was a topic the OF’s talk about a lot because it directly whacks us in the wallet (and the OF’s are on fixed incomes) and that is the price of gas. Gas now is darn close to three bucks a gallon again, and as one OF put it “If you think the government is going to do anything about it, think again.” The feds take 31.0 percent of the price of a gallon of gas in tax; the lovely state of New York takes 31.9 percent of the price in tax of the same gallon. If gas were a buck a gallon the government would get 62.9 cents per gallon, at three bucks a gallon the government’s take is 1.88.7 per gallon. Actually, with their forked tongues, the government in secret likes the gas guzzler and hopes gas goes to five bucks a gallon. The OF’s said that if anyone thinks the government is going to rein in this cash cow then we have a bridge in Brooklyn we will sell ya.

The OF’s had a good discussion on this but it would be a tad long for this column. The OF’s will be more than glad to offer our plan to our elected officials but we are sure they don’t want to hear it, and for two reasons. One it will work, and the other it is simple and honest.

The OF’s that made it to the Maple Inn in East Berne and drove around the town to see what snow damage was done at the airport were: Gerd Remmers, Gary Porter, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Ted Pelkey, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Harold Guest, Gerry Chartier, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, and me.