On Tuesday, September 14th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner.

At this breakfast suspicions confirmed were confirmed; the OF’s now know who runs the restaurants we go to. It is the waitresses. How do we know for sure you might ask? WELL! The OF’s started showing up at the restaurant and there was no extra help and the waitress said in effect what are you guys doing here, no-one called. WELL! When this scribe showed up he was met by a bunch of OF’s ready to commit mutiny, and run this OF scribe off the plank. WELL! This scribe most certainly did call. As usual early in the morning the day before these cantankerous, peg leg, pirates show up, and furthermore this scribe has a witness. The scribe told the waitress that he did call and who he spoke to, and when he called. WELL! It was not marked down that the OF’s were going to be there. The waitress then told us all not to tell the bosses but to ask for a waitress so then that way the waitresses will get the notice of the OF’s being there posted so that then all will know the day before that the OMOTM are coming! Chalk one up for the real workers to get things done and get them done right.

The OF’s started talking about living on the hill, and each household having to supply its own water. The water systems can be very simple or very complicated. Those lucky enough to have an artesian spring and who are located downhill from that source do not need a pump and good ole mom nature and natural physics takes care of it. Some have wells that are so deep that occasionally egg drop soup comes up with the water. Some have sulfur, and some iron, and some a touch of sediment that requires a filter to duh, filter the sediment out.

This is just one of the chores an OF has to adapt to and master in order to live on the hill or anywhere private water supplies are part of owning the home. Just something else to remember as part of the OF’s normal routine. Drain the hot water heater, change the filters in the furnace, clean the screen and filter on the air conditioner, add salt, add chlorine, screens and storms, clean the gutters, put away the summer outdoor furniture, get the summer outdoor furniture out, clean the grill, shut off the water to outside faucets, and the list goes on and on. No wonder the OF’s are tired. To add to all this when one or more of these things go haywire having to fix them, and they don’t go kaflooy one at a time — it is three at once or none at all, add that to the list.

This conversation was making the OF’s tired just talking about it.

One of the OF’s standard topics is wandering around our hills and getting on roads that we are not familiar with and wondering where we will wind up. The OF mentioned that we keep going and most of the time some of the terrain will become familiar and the direction finder in the OF’s brain will click in and say, “Ah, I am beginning to know where I am.” Turning around, the OF’s said, in not an option. It is like “Acres of Diamonds” and the right path, or right direction is just in front of the OF so keep going. This makes for some interesting rides. Most of these trips occur when under much duress the OF is hauling the wife around to garage sales. Maybe the OG just wants to get lost.

The OF’s discussed the problem going on where an elderly lady has lived in her home for a long time and a church wants to evict her. The OF’s in this instance agree with the church although the OF’s do not believe it is the lady who is at fault, but her family. Some of the OF’s, as farmers, have had the same problem with people using land that belonged to them and these people were using it as if it were their land. All the OF’s know is what is on the news and apparently the news is after the human interest side of the story. To listen to the news, in the OF’s opinion, the news presents the church as the bad guys, and they are not. (If you substitute farmer’s woodlot for church, turning this around to a private owner having the same thing done to them, then this whole family would be in court.) As the OF’s have said before very few of them watch the news just because it no longer reports news, like John Cameron Swazye used to do; now it is basically their opinion, or at least slants to the station’s way of thinking. There may be a smattering of facts thrown in but most of the time these facts seem to be twisted around. One OF said that he has been to events which have been reported and he has seen it completely 180 degrees the other way, however, in the eyes of who was doing the reporting they saw it the way they saw it. This does not necessarily make them wrong. Both sides being presented equally and fairly is very hard to do. The reporters say they do — but they do and they don’t. It all depends on who is listening; those listening hear what they want to hear. Hear, hear! The OF’s have spoken, but who is listening? The OF’s get on this topic quite often, but then again who is listening?

One of the OF’s at our table brought up the news about someone that most of the OF’s knew (or might have known) who has recently had a stroke. This prompted conversations about strokes, and at this table one of the OFs has had a major stroke and also some smaller ones (they think) later on. This OF described what it was like, that there was no warning, he just went down. The OF said his whole body had a tingling sensation but there was no pain. This OF stuck with the therapy prescribed at Sunnyview Rehabilitation center in Schenectady and he has done remarkably well. While he uses a cane (who doesn’t in this group) there is no indication that he had such an event. The OF that had the stroke says he cannot speak for everyone having the same sensations but he can say they doctors keep telling him his recovery was due to determination and not giving in, and doing what he was told. This OF did not want a pity party, and didn’t get one, and now does not need one. Each person has events like this and they handle them in different ways so again this OF says he can only speak for himself.

All those OF’s that managed to get to the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh on the right day, at the right time, regardless of being posted or not but were patient and well fed were: Carl Slater, Bob Dietz, Miner Stevens, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Walt Hill, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, Bob Benac, Duane Wagenbaugh (Duane’s birthday was today and we all sang; it sounded pretty good), Harold Eck, Art Frament, Harold Guest, Jim Watson, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Frank Pauli, Gerd Remmers and his guest Ellen Richter, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Jim Rissacher, and me.