Today seems the same as yesterday and tomorrow will seem the same as today,or will it, yesterday was nothing like today it just seemed so. Last Tuesday will be nothing like next Tuesday. First off the restaurants will be different, the sun will be higher, and the OF’s will have one more ache to add to the list.

On Tuesday, the 25th of January, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Alley Cat restaurant in Schoharie. For some reason this was a three-shift operation. One group came as another group was about finished; the group that was finishing must have arrived at the Alley Cat right after chores because even the second shift was early. The third shift arrived later around the original time the OMOTM went to the restaurants when we first started this organization. This was just about the time the second shift was finishing.

It all depends on what the wives have planned for the day as to how early some of the OF’s arrive for the breakfast. Originally when the guys were in charge we were a smaller (and younger) group, and gathered much later in the morning, and the breakfast would interrupt the whole day, so the OF’s didn’t have to do anything. Now with more OF’s in attendance, there are those that do have things to do, so the breakfast has inched slowly to an earlier starting time on Tuesday morning now there is still time left in the day to get something done. The question is, is this a good thing? One OF commented “Hey, we are all retired what’s the rush?” To which another OF retorted, “You don’t have a wife breathing down your neck to do this or that.” Another OF said “You have to pull in the reins. She is just jealous because you are out and about and she is not.” “That’s not it,” replied another OF, “She doesn’t trust that OG out of her sight for more than ten minutes, that is why she reads the Enterprise every time it comes to make sure his name is on the list.” (This scribe did not realize his job was so important or even maybe dangerous.)

OK, again we talked about the weather, only this time it was interesting from the standpoint as who recorded the coldest temperature. The range was from minus eleven to minus eighteen degrees below zero. One OF mentioned that his basement was 32 degrees, but it is worth mentioning that only part of the basement of this OF has a berm. The east side is exposed, but he did not have any frozen pipes.

The other part of this weather conversation was how much fuel oil we used, or how many cords of wood was burned and all the OF’s are way over their normal usage. One OF said that he has burned six cords of wood so far, and another said that his fuel usage this year has reached what he consumed all of last year. It may be an old fashioned winter but now that we are 40 to 50 years older it isn’t any fun.

The OF’s typical lament is that prices for the items we use every day are way out of sight. And our all-knowing government says that there is no inflation. The OFs say we know that that little pinpoint of geography in our country called Washington DC is shielded from the rest of us, but the OFs maintain right now they are not even on the same planet.

Now we talked about OF’s and the phenomenon known as ‘mid-life crisis’ because one OF purchased a scooter, from another OF, and he has just registered the thing. Then another OF who also has a scooter, and the OF who just registered his scooter, were making plans to go riding together in the spring, and included some others who might want to tag along. This is a warning to drivers from the flat lands who decide to take a drive through the Helderbergs. Beware of OF’s doing the same thing — enjoying the mountains on their scooters. These things are not toys, like the ones that are used in senior housing communities in Florida or Arizona. There (along with their three wheeled bikes to get around in or getting about in golf carts, or on SCOOTERS) these OF’s on the mountain are on scooters that can move.

Imagine some flat-landers taking in the scenery along Rock Road and around a corner coming at them are four or five OF’s taking up the whole road on their scooters doing the same thing. The roads on the hill for the most part are no more than paved farm roads, or cow paths, and a few are just paved over stage coach, or cattle drive roads. What might ensue would be very similar to that famous cartoon where the circus worker is pulling a leopard in a circus wagon past the cage where the lion tamer is doing his act with his head in the mouth of the lion. The lion’s tale is sticking out of the cage and the wagon wheel on the cart with the leopard in it is just about to roll over that lion’s tail. Anyone can imagine the chaos and pandemonium that will break out when that wheel crosses that tail.

Those OF’s attending the breakfast at the Alley Cat in Schoharie, and who did not drive their scooters because of the weather were: Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Gary Porter, Skip Skinner, Carl Slater, Roger Chapman, Gerd Remmers, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, Mike Willsey, and me.