Every week has a Sunday, Monday, and a Tuesday as well as all the rest of the days of the week. On February 22nd it was a Tuesday and the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. Next Tuesday it will be some place else because there always will be a Tuesday but there may not always be a some place else that is the same, but the Old Men of the Mountain will find another some place else to meet on Tuesdays.
This Tuesday the OF’s were to carry a hello to Amanda at the Hilltown Café from another OF, who could be an official OF but isn’t, and the message was conveyed.
This brought up the subject of how old do you have to be, to be an OF. We searched our bylaws and noticed this topic was not covered. After much discussion it was decided that if you have the time, and want to sit in with the group on Tuesday there is no real age requirement, only you can’t skip school to be there. The other criteria the OF’s have is that it is a male only OF group. (Now the OF’s will get letters!)
The OF’s talked about how they used to ice fish, and now don’t even want to think about going out on the ice. When the OF’s took their kids, and grandkids out on the lake it was fun. The OF’s would go out on Warner, and Thompson’s Lake, or the Basic Reservoir and most of the time would actually catch something. One OF said he still has tip-ups rusting away in his basement. Another OF said he wonders if the kids even remember this, and another OF wondered what they remembered. The OF’s don’t seem to mention trotting them to little league, or basketball practice, or certain vacations. One OF thought that the kids are just like us when we were that age and too caught up in the now and have trouble remembering yesterday. They (the kids) will have to get to be our ages before they have time to remember how their lives really became what it is and who they are, then they might remember the little things.
Speaking of ice the OF started speaking about the snow that has yet to melt this spring. One OF said that the recent warm weather (to which another OF said, “Yeah, if you blinked your eyes you missed it) did help get rid of some of the snow which might help prevent some of the spring flooding. That little warm spell did help with the ice jams on many of the roofs, and now with the longer days and warmer sun there might not be as many ice build ups with the late winter snows.
That groundhog is useless, one OF blurted out for no reason at all. It took us a short while to figure out what the OG was alluding too, and it was “WHERE THE @#$#@#**^@ IS SPRING, like that rat promised. We are not even having normal temperatures, and we are doing some real damage on the future averages of winter temperatures and definitely not on the plus side. We are having six more weeks of winter, and then some.” Those guys in their top hats, waving that fat, furry rodent around on February second might just as well let him sleep in his (“Can’t be a his,” one OG said. “It has to be a her, a his would get it right”) hole.
One OF who had his barn collapse in the two feet of heavy snow that fell in late February and early March last year, had the barn move again, only this time it was the wind that moved it. The wind this year has been quite strong at times and around February 19th when it blew so hard the wind got into the OF’s collapsed barn and blew the part of what is left of the barn on top of the milk house. If it tain’t one thing it’s another.
The simple thing to do, one OF said, would to be to have the fire company use what is left of the structure as a training exercise and burn the thing. Another OG said that would be a real exercise because the barn is close to the house, and there is a hedge row that goes down one side of the barn. Keeping these buildings from catching on fire might be a real challenge.
Now for some scribe house keeping. (Here the scribe will put in names). The scribe tries not to use names to protect the innocent, but for this column it will be necessary. There was an OF given an excuse to attend his grandson’s bowling tournament, so we knew this OF would not be at the breakfast, and he wasn’t. However the scribe listed Harold Guest as being present and Harold Grippen as not being there. It is the other way around. It was Harold Grippen that was there and Harold Guest that wasn’t. The scribe is now going to have to spell out the last two names of these OF’s when taking attendance, instead of just Harold G. and Harold G.
Those that made it to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville despite the cold — and it was cold — were: Harold Guest, Harold Grippen, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Alvin Latham, Bob Snyder, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Gary Porter, Miner Stevens (and grandson Brian), Carl Slater, Roger Chapman, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Mike Willsey, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, and me.