Oh great! It is Tuesday again, and it will be next week, and the week after that, and the Old Men of the Mountain will gather to enjoy each other’s company and exchange small talk, and big talk, laugh, and vent, and of course, eat. We gathered at the Hill Town Café in Rensselaerville on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2nd.
For those OF’s that did not vote in the primaries this would be their first time with the new voting machines. Some apprehension was detected but not much. The OF’s that did vote in the primaries assured them that it was simple and not a problem, at least in the communities of Knox and Berne where there is not large numbers of people to deal with.
The OF’s this morning covered a myriad of topics with most comments short and to the point. The OF’s discussed the depression which some of them are old enough to remember even though the OF’s were YF’s at the time. Most of the OF’s on the mountain were farmers and were not greatly affected by this tough period in our country’s history.
What really got us out of this depression was WWII, and the OF’s said the country was completely changed after that.
The OF’s discussed the church or organizational suppers that crop up around Election Time. One was the pancake supper in Gallupville, and the other was the chicken supper in Knox. The Knox supper has been put on every Election Day at the same place (the Church hall at the Knox Reformed Church) since 1917. Many of the OF’s have worked on both of the suppers for countless years. Time for some of the OF’s to retire; they say the old legs won’t handle it.
This time of year the sun has lowered to the point that at times it is right in your eyes. One group of OF’s reported that driving to the Hill Town Diner they approached the rise of a hill and when the OF’s broke over this hill (even with sun glasses on and the sun visor down) the sun shot across the windshield and blinded all in the car. The OF’s said it was impossible to see; the dash even went white. The OF’s said the driver stopped dead in the road and had no idea where he was. It was fortunate there was no one behind them, or ahead of them. Finally they were able to proceed because the OF riding shotgun could pick out the white line on the side of the road, and he was able to do this because he was looking sideways and not directly into the blinding sun. The OF guided the driver for (they said) about 500 feet and the road dipped a little and the sun’s position changed about half a degree and was enough that those OF’s in the car could see. In cases like this, this carload of OF’s could see why accidents do happen and it is no ones fault. One OF said there was absolutely nothing the driver could do except stop in the middle of road…to continue on blindly would have been a disaster.
The OF’s then discussed the former Knox Cave roller skating rink. The OF’s remember this and it was quite a meeting place. It is no longer there but most of the OF’s roller skated there and some were pretty darn good skaters. The skates today are nothing like the ones the OF’s used, but the maneuvers are the same. The OF’s mentioned some of the named skates — like all skate, couples skate, men’s skate, and of course women’s skate. And the speed skate where the best got out and tore around the rink as fast as they could go. That was the skate that if you were a beginner (or not a good skater) to stay out of, and if you didn’t bring a girl it was a good time to go and mess with the girls of the guys out there skating. It worked sometimes.
When the OF’s were YF’s they thought that the OF’s and our parents didn’t know anything. Now it is this group of OF’s turn. The YF’s of today don’t think the OF’s of today know anything. And like the OF’s parents, the YF’s when they became middle aged F’s began to realize the OF’s and parents knew a lot more than the young F’s gave them credit for, especially about life and living, and it is the current OF’s turn to fill that need also. The OF’s talked about this, and came up with “just wait, these wise guys will wake up someday, and find out they don’t know it all, just like we did when we were their age.”
Again we discussed the cars with the bright white or blue lights and what a danger they are on the road at night. They may help the person behind the wheel, but to on-coming traffic they are extremely dangerous, blinding the vehicles going in the opposite direction, especially when it is misty or raining out. There is a petition going about to have these lights banned in New York State, and maybe countrywide, and many OF’s would like to get their hands on it and sign it….Twice….
The OF’s that gathered at the Hill Town Café in Rensselaerville and all hoping the elections will turn out the way the OF’s want them to were: Roger Chapman, Gerd Remmers, Carl Slater, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Harold Guest, Ted Pelkey, Frank Pauli, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.