Tuesday, November 23rd the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie. This scribe was unable to attend because he was, along with Mrs. Scribe very ill, and it was (according to the internet, and the internet is always right) highly contagious. Not only did this scribe not feel like being anywhere, but shouldn’t be. The assistant recorder of events was also not in attendance because he had fallen off a ladder. Now at 80 years old electricians, plumbers and the like should not be up on ladders anyhow, but don’t tell that to the OF’s. Some are still doing their own roof repairs.

Fortunately, one OF looks after another OF, who looks after another and someone did take down who was in attendance and took the time to drop it off at this scribe’s home. The OF called and said he was coming but he was instructed to leave the attendance record on the doorstep and not come in lest he should contract the nasty viral bug we had running around. With the collected effort of the OF’s at the Alley Cat there will be a semblance of a report for this Tuesday morning’s breakfast.

One of the laments of getting older is the OF’s cannot do what they used to do with ease, like climbing a ladder. It was mentioned that (oh dear here the OF’s go again) when the OF’s were on the farm and putting in hay, and oats, and wheat, cutting wood, milking, fixing fence, and all this really physical stuff even at ages of 12 and 13 we found no problem with working on the combine and slinging 100 pound sacks of grain. Some times with wheat and with the large number bags the weight could be 180 pounds in the bag and the OF’s then thought nothing of it. Competition between siblings would get rather fierce and when loading wagons from shocked hay it was who could fold and throw the larger fork of hay, or who could throw it higher on the wagon.

Today, the OF’s look at their little grandkids, and the kid is too heavy to pick up and the OF so desperately wants to pick the youngster up and cuddle it. Wrestling with a twenty-pound turkey is now a lot of work. It now takes two people to get the thing prepped and in the oven. The OF used to sit on a mower seat and when the OF’s were real young the mower was drawn by horses, and the sickle bar was only six foot. The OF then thought nothing of dropping the bar down to begin the first swath on a ten-acre field. Now we look at the seat of the yard tractor and look at the seat of the yard tractor, and look at it again and all the OF is going to do is mow the lawn.

One OF reported that his doctor told him that he never should have started throwing that 100-pound sack when he was young. This is why that OF is having back problems now. The same with hips and knees. The OF’s ground them up (their hips and knees) when they were young, and now they are paying for it. We grow too old smart.

As young OF’s our work and chore schedule was like going to the gym all day everyday. The doctor’s warning to the OF’s of overdoing it should apply now to all those body builders who will pay for this excess later on. Is it really worth it? Case in point — a couple of OF’s, wives and kids were vacationing with other couples at the beach at Ogunquit, Me. With that group were the wives and some young girls of even younger families. Four guys with muscles on their muscles, and no necks were literally strutting down the beach. The girls looked up as well as the OF’s in the group and two of the ladies said almost in unison, “Those guys do not look comfortable in their bodies,” and all immediately looked back and went about their business. All that strutting like some Tom Turkey to impresses the ladies had exactly the reverse effect. Some kind of lesson to be learned here and that lesson is keep in shape, eat right, BUT don’t go overboard.

One OF reported that when his carload was the last to leave the restaurant after the breakfast the waitress came running out to the car, and she had a book in her hand. “Did any of you guys leave this book, it was on the table?” “What kind of book is it?” the driver said. The waitress looked at the title, smiled and said “Sex for Dummies”. All the OF’s looked at each other in the car and no one owned up to it. “It has to be one of yours or one of the other OF’s — it was on your table,” she said. Still no one admitted to it or took it. The driver said, “It can’t be one of ours we all have too many kids to be dumb about that! Or are you inferring that this group is a bunch of dummies, if you are then, in that case you are right about all those other OF’s, except me of course.” At this time the driver was beat up-side the head by a bunch of caps.

Those well enough to attend the Alley Cat restaurant in Schoharie, and having breakfast and commenting about how rotten it is to get sick around the holidays, but it is quite common were: Harold Grippen, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, Carl Slater, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Dave Williams, Roger Shafer, Skip Skinner, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and not me.