On Tuesday, the 20th of July, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh.

Some readers may recall that at times when the OF’s are at Mrs. K’s the name Patty sometimes crops up in the report. At today’s breakfast we found out that Patty had a heart problem while she was at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY last week. Maybe she hit the jackpot, maybe not, but something brought it on. She was in a good spot for something like this to happen, if it was going to happen. EMT’s are right there so Patty received immediate attention and was hauled off to St. Peter’s where a stent was placed in her heart, however, at our breakfast this week there she was with the coffee pot in her hand. Now she is bionic just like the rest of the OF’s.

The OF’s at our table talked a lot about the Civil War and they spoke about their relatives from Schoharie County who fought in this war. Two battles were brought up,  the battle at Gettysburg, Pa. and the one at Fredericksburg, Va. One OF brought up how the battle was fought in Fredericksburg and he mentioned a large cemetery that was across the road from a stonewall fence where much of the fighting went on. Another OF said that a relative of his was killed on the Nash Farm, in Henry County, Ga. and for safety reasons was brought back to Fredericksburg to be buried. We did not understand the safety reasons for bringing the body from Georgia to Virginia. This OF also said that another one of his relatives joined up from Schoharie County and wound up be assigned to the Missouri rangers in, of course, Missouri, yet Schoharie had its own contingent. The listing of names on the sign (by the covered bridge in Blenheim) of those who fought in the Civil War from the Blenheim area is more than those who participated in WWI, and WWII, and the Revolution combined. The OF’s imagined that even the great Roman army, and Alexander the Great’s army or Napoleon’s army did some screwy things that are not really understood. Even today’s military does the same thing. One OF said things like armies, large corporations, and most governments are just too big and have a tendency to get out of hand, so many times one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. In one hand work, and the other hand hanky-panky.

We talked about trips along the Erie Canal. One OF took the 1-1/2 hour trip out of Herkimer and reported that it was well worth it. Another OF reported that he took a trip on a canal with the boat being pulled by horses; this trip sounds quite different. Poor horses — they were more than likely mules. It is interesting to go to the internet and read the history of the Erie Canal. Most of the way it was constructed would never be attempted today. In 1882 it was completely paid for with the tolls, so the tolls were eventually eliminated. Our own NYS Thruway (which was supposed to have the same thing happen to it through the use of tolls) instead of eliminating the tolls raised them. One OF said in those days people were able to trust their legislators, today the legislative trust factor is rated below used car salesmen, and criminals, and quite often criminals are a more trustworthy lot. The OF’s can be a cynical bunch sometimes. Fifteen years on the Erie Canal with my mule Sal. Low bridge everybody down — great song.

Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K’s in Middleburgh, and who were concerned about Patty and her health (until she showed up) were: Roger Chapman, Tim Thompson, Robie Osterman, Walt Hill, John Rossmann, George Washburn, Gerd Remmers, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Bob Benac, Jay Taylor, Carl Slater, Harold Eck, Rich Donnelly, Art Frament, Bob Dietz, Frank Pauli, Ted Pelkey, Henry Witt, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Willard Osterhout, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Duane Wagenbaugh, Joe Lubier, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, and me.

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