On a beautiful fall day, Tuesday, November 16th the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh.

All the OF’s wish Loretta a speedy recovery with her current medical situation, a type that some of the OF’s have been through and have come out of, none the worse for the procedure. It is nerve wracking to go through this procedure because of all the dire connotations that have been associated with it, but now it is just like having the tonsils out. Although there are those that are alarmists and they could be correct in saying anything can go wrong with the simplest of procedures or even a scratch. True, but why worry about the scratch or procedure until something does happen, then take care of that.

Music, Music, Music, we had music this morning. One OF brought along a couple of friends of his that were musicians and they played a few songs with the guitar, banjo, fiddle and whatever, they even played as the OF’s sang Happy Birthday to another OF whose birthday was the 16th. If anyone wants to hide their birthday as they get older don’t join this group.

What brought this up was how some try to conceal their age with hair dye and facelifts. It is so noticeable and considered a good topic for behind the back talk. One OF said all they have to do is move their eyes or speak and their age becomes apparent. There is nothing bad about getting old, another OG said, as soon as you are conceived the aging process starts.

One OF continued that it is not the outside appearance that we should concern ourselves with, it is the physical condition with the aches, the pains, the dimming of the vision, the sounds turning into mumbles, and conversations sounding like adult- speak in the Charlie Brown cartoons. What are wrinkles? It is not being able to see the wrinkles that is more of a problem.

Another more pragmatic OF said, “What is the matter with keeping up your appearance, as long as the individual doesn’t start looking like a clown? Go ahead and dye your hair, but keep up with it, the talk behind comes when there are more gray roots than dark hair. Keep it real. Bright red or dark black, on an old face is out of place.” The OF’s were beginning to sound like one of those style shows seen on television. Who appointed these how-to-dress critics authority to pass judgment on people? To the OF’s some of them look like the clowns we were just talking about.

We went from this to discussing how much misinformation is on the GPS systems. For this story it is necessary to understand a little of the local geography and for that you may need a map, or go to Google Maps so the reader can follow how absurd this is.

Two OF’s were relating the same story, and one reporting how often the authorities are called in to handle this situation.

Say you are a trucker completely new to the area. You, the trucker, are going east or west on Route 88 and are supposed to get off at exit 23 and go to the huge Wal-Mart warehouse facility around Sharon Springs on Route 20. You, the trucker, are supposed to pick up Route 20 at Sloansville, NY; then take Route 20 west to the warehouse. Simple enough.

You, the trucker, are headed west on Route 88, and get off at Central Bridge (exit 23) and the ramp places you on Route 30A. The GPS says take a right on Route 30A to Route 7, proceed straight on Zicha Road, to Junction Road, to Route 30A, take a right on 30A to Route 20. This is great if you are in a car or pickup truck, not a tractor trailer. About three to four miles down Zicha Road is a very sharp Z turn that goes under a railroad bridge and has just about enough room for a car, and is only about 11 feet high. All this takes place is what is almost a cow pasture. The tractor trailer makes the turn with his 13-foot high box and there it is  ‘ THE BRIDGE’ There is no turn around; the truck is in the middle of a very tight turn, and just as the turn starts there is a farmer’s road into the field with a gate, Well Duh!!!

One OF said he thinks there is a sign where Zicha meets Route 7 that mentions the bridge; the other OF said he didn’t think there was a sign. It was the consensus of the OFs that if there isn’t a sign, there should be. The OF with the scanner mentioned how many times the authorities are called because one of these rigs has plowed into the bridge.

An experienced truck driver would make a left on Route 7 and pick up Route 30A at the Red Barrel in old Central Bridge, and go on to Route 20 at Sloansville that way. The GPS does direct the driver the shortest way and apparently has no idea what size of vehicle is being driven. Maybe there should be an app on GPS where it is possible to enter what is being driven. One OF mentioned that a large motor home could not get under the bridge. With an app like that the driver could punch in motor home, tractor trailer, or any over-height vehicle. This app might even have the capability of entering the max height of what is being driven. An app for weight would be another important feature for weight limited bridges; maybe the OF might be driving a Sherman Tank, who knows.

One OF mentioned these apps may already be available on some GPS systems, but none of the OF’s were too sure.

Those attending the breakfast and none having to get here via Zicha Road, and the biggest thing driven was an SUV anyway, were: Ted Pelkey, Henry Witt, John Rossmann (Happy Birthday to you) Robie Osterman, Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Skip Skinner, Steve Kelly Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer and his entourage, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, and me.

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