Darn! It is August already and the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner, in Duanesburg on the second. The OF’s filled up the room in the back and the conversation was light and furious.
Some of the OF’s talked about money, which is a topic of discussion quite often. How to keep what the OF’s have, how to spend what we have wisely, and how to make more now that most of the OF’s are on fixed incomes. The OF’s have mentioned this many times before about how things keep going up and how we have no control over this, but that was not the topic today. Today the topic was people complaining how other people spend their money when really it is none of our business. If an OF had a hundred bucks and spent it on anything legal that is no-one’s business. If the OF had ten million dollars and spent it on anything legal that is still no-one’s business but the OF’s. The OF’s say it is the greedy ones that want some of the other fellow’s money and do not want to do anything to earn it or even deserve a single penny. The only ones that have any claim on the money is who the OF with the ten million wants to use it on. One OF said, “If I want to spend three or four hundred dollars on a shotgun to go bird hunting with it is nobody’s business but mine. When the guy with ten million wants to spend two million on an airplane it is nobody’s business on that either. If he can do it let him do it.”
Because it is fair time the OF’s naturally talked about fairs, good ones, and not so good ones, and out and out bad ones. Most of the original OF’s were Hilltown farmers and we remember when fairs were basically for farmers, similar to what trade shows are for other industries. The farming industry had their fairs. Farm implement manufactures and retailers had their displays, building suppliers had theirs, silo people had theirs; so on, and so on. Farmers could see the newest in tractors, corn planters, and hay binds and the farmer’s wives could see the newest in many household gadgets. The spirit of competition was displayed in all facets of farm life in the judging of animals, baked goods, arts and crafts, sewing, crochet work, and all the activities that went on in a typical farm home.
Some fairs have lost that, and upon losing that are not fairs anymore and are losing what attracted people to the fair in the first place. One OF gave many reasons why this is happening and had many suggestions to go along with some of the other OF’s ideas. Some made a lot of sense. Many OF’s will now bypass a fair because all it is, is a carnie show and caters to some group (the OF’s don’t know who) but it is not farmers or the general public.
The OF’s have their breakfast in – wonder of wonders – a restaurant, and today it was the Duanesburg Diner. Next week it will be the Chuck Wagon, and after that the Home Front and on and on it goes. What the OF’s do not understand is why we can’t make breakfast at home the way they do in the restaurant. The French toast in a restaurant is so much different than French toast at home, and the breakfast sandwich on a hard roll cannot be duplicated at home, and the sausage gravy over pancakes — would we even make this at home? Home fries cooked on a well- seasoned, greased up grill are so much different than those done in a skillet at home. Why is that? Why are one or two short order cooks able to serve up thirty breakfasts in a short period and at home to get breakfast ready for the wife and friends takes forever; while one thing is hot another has gotten cold. One OF said when we have guests for breakfast we should slap a bowl in front of them with a box of Cheerios, bowl of sugar, carton of milk, and hot coffee and that’s it. When traveling one OF said there is nothing like breakfast on the road. Lunch can be peanut butter and jelly, and quite often the OFs do not really feel like supper, but breakfast in the morning is a treat.
The OF’s have mentioned mean roosters before, and the subject was broached again because one of the OF’s ran into another group of these birds. It is almost understandable why some people have cock fights. These dumb birds will attack anything and for no apparent reason — dogs, cats, people, horses, and sheets hanging on the clothes line. Then here come the roosters with their talons out, wings flapping, head back ready to attack the eyes, these birds mean business. One OF said it is a good thing they don’t have the herding instincts of wolves or coyotes because as a group the mean roosters in attack mode would quite formidable. As it is one rooster can be flying into someone’s leg while another rooster has its head down calmly pecking away at the ground around the other leg, not paying any attention to what the other screwball bird is doing.
Those attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner and planning on going to a fair somewhere that is a fair were: Bill Hared (I hope I got that right), Jay Thomas, Rich Donnelly, Duane Wagenbaugh, Art Frament, Miner Stevens, Walt Hill, Steve Kelly, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bob Dietz, Skip Skinner, John Rossmann, Harold Eck, Bob Benac, Joe Lubier, Roger Shafer, Frank Pauli, Ted Pelkey, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me.