On Tuesday, the 22nd of June, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont. The OMOTM were not the only ones to meet there this Tuesday. Some Albany firemen met there also, so the place was almost full. The Home Front has much more space than the Alley Cat in Schoharie and sometimes the OF’s gathering coincides with the Schoharie town supervisors with some of their staff also in attendance meeting there…now that makes for a full restaurant.

This paper is the Enterprise. It was called, I think, the Altamont Enterprise at one time which would lead one to believe that the most of the readers are familiar with the village of Altamont. At one end of town is Orsini Park, which is surrounded by Key Bank, the Post Office, the old Railroad Station, and across Route 146 there is the Home Front, the Park House, The Yarn Shop, Hungerford Market and a home, and Desolation Road Studio/Gallery. In front of the RR station is one of the town’s parking lots. Parking in this lot can be an experience.

It has been noted many times by the OF’s that when they are breakfasting at the Home Front (especially this Tuesday) that the lot could hold about 25 percent more cars if people using it, and (that includes the OF’s, as Shoe always says “ we done met the enemy and the enemy is us”) knew how to park. It appears that many parking in the lot are not too familiar with the right hand side of their vehicle and they do not know quite where it is. Or maybe it is the reverse. They are so concerned about the left hand side of their vehicle the driver does not even consider the right hand side. The OF’s are not talking about squeezing in so it is impossible to exit the vehicle — this is just as bad — but taking up two spaces for one vehicle is a little much.

The OF’s did take into consideration that some arriving are, well let’s say OF’s, and are using walkers and canes. This does require an astute driver to allow enough space for the doors to swing full width to permit the passengers so handicapped to get out of the vehicle.

One OF thought this might be the case for why there is so much space between some of the vehicles. As the OF’s themselves are for the most part all retired, so were the Albany firemen, and so were the three guys at the back table in this category. Until all the facts are in, the parking situation should be addressed after the breakfast. Then the OF’s can watch those who are leaving and check on which ones have to fold up their walkers or shove in their canes before getting into their vehicle. Only then will a reliable report be made by the OF’s.

The age of our group has a tip-off with the first two words “OLD MEN” which places us back to the thirties and forties when music was music. The conversation was when we danced to the big bands, and where these bands were playing at the time. Some of the OF’s danced to the likes of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Maynard Ferguson, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie (some of the big ones) and many local very good bands. These bands used instruments with no amplification to alter the music. Today it is just noise, done by electronic equipment that vibrates the speakers into raucous ear piercing sound. It is possible to achieve the same effect with a bearing going bad in a wheel.

We mentioned how so much is said and not remembered. How some ministers use “Sermon Cards” and every three years they start all over with the same sermons, just toss in a tad of current events and all think the whole sermon is new. The OF’s said people don’t remember. The biggest users of this well known fact are professional politicians. When is the last time you heard any politician on either side say they will raise taxes? The same thing is said year after year by either the same people or different people, it makes no difference, they all make the same speech.

The OF’s talked a bit about the state of Florida as a place to escape to during the winter months. The current state of affairs in Florida is worse than the state of New York as far as property values go. One OF said one of his relatives recently purchased a place in Naples, Florida, for five hundred thousand dollars, and it is worth tons more than that. The place is rented and the rent pays for everything mortgage…taxes, etc., and the relative expects that this property will soon increase in value and in five years he should have quite a nice little nest egg. This may be true. The OF’s hope so.

Those OF’s making it to the Home Front in Altamont (who plan on building bleachers across from the parking lot by the train station and charging admission to sit and watch the parking) were: Ted Pelkey, Gerd Remmers, Henry Witt, Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, Steve Kelly, Bob Dietz, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Jack Jellifo (guest of Arnold’s from Binghamton) Ted Willsey, Norm Madsen (guest of Ted Willsey) Duane Wagenbaugh, Jim Rissacher, Skip Skinner, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Jay Taylor, Art Frament, Bob Benac, Jim Watson, Bill Thorpe, John Brooks, Harold Eck. And me.

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