On Tuesday, March 22nd The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. As this column has previously mentioned, where the gas station and convenience store were once located there are some very large rocks placed around the perimeter. Now there are even more rocks there (making it look like Stonehenge) and closer to the diner. If they move these rocks any closer to the diner there will only be parking in the back, and the OF’s will have to trudge quite a distance with their Tim Conway shuffles and canes.

The corner is changing fast. With two buildings down (one between Rte. 7 and Rte. 20 headed south on Rte. 7 or west on Rte. 20) and the gas station/convenience store on the south side of Rte. 7 gone, the corner looks naked.

The way a day works out sometimes surprises many. At the breakfast we discussed how many of the OF’s see a face and recognize it but can’t put a name to it. Sometimes the name is literally on the tip of the tongue but the OF can’t spit it out. For many of the OF’s the mind is whirling like crazy to connect the two so the OF does not look like a dork for not calling the person by name. Many times the OF’s said it is not until after the person is gone that the name is remembered. A more awkward situation is when neither party can put the name with the face and neither party wants to be embarrassed by asking, “Who the heck are you?” What do you know, when this scribe arrived home from the breakfast, on TV there was a discussion about the exact same thing only in reverse. The person being interviewed on TV was unable to recognize faces yet she knew these people very well. The OF’s know we have spies, and in this case the restaurant was full so it could have been anybody. It must just be a coincidence because a spy wouldn’t have time to get to the TV station to leave the restaurant and make his report.

The OF’s talked about the new way of stopping cuts from bleeding e.g., Super Glue. The OF’s will have to check this information out. What was discussed was that when anyone has a cut, in order to stop the bleeding, just pull the skin halves together and put some super glue on it and bingo! The wound is stuck together and the bleeding stopped. One OF mentioned that this must work because he has glued his fingers together more than once with this stuff. This OF also said to separate his fingers he has to loosen the glue up (so the fingers can be pulled apart) and he used finger nail polish remover to do this. One OG said, “Why don’t you use rubber gloves and that won’t happen?” “Can’t work with those things on,” the other OG said.

“Well,” another OF said, “I am not going to take a knife and cut myself just to see if this works, and I don’t think I will carry a tube of super glue around all the time just in case I do cut myself.”

The OF’s also discussed another one of the OFs that had not arrived yet but was on the way. This OF is one of our oldest members; he is over 90 and as one certain OF said, “He makes me look old and I am 10 years younger than he is.” The old OF in question was in WWII and his job was a munitions runner. He would run from foxhole to foxhole bringing ammunition to those in the foxholes. This must not have been a fun job. One OF said he told him that he got the job because he was so short the enemy couldn’t hit him. Yeah right.

The OF’s then talked about a subject that keeps popping up and that is the stratification of the populace; how the true middle class is disappearing. The OF’s say there is no lack of money; it is just how the money is distributed. The OF’s say for the most part we only have ourselves to blame. Then the OF’s began talking about how times were when they were younger, and even before that. One OF asked, “Wasn’t that before dirt?” Close, but not really. Back in the day people worked for a company for a lifetime, and then their kids quite often would work at the same company. Then the people who were managing these companies knew how to do that and the workers did not get involved. But then everything blew up with the people who were running things and taking some wicked gambles and so we had the Great Depression.

The OF’s were covering a whole lot of area trying to explain to themselves how the country got into the mess it is in right now. One OF said it is not a mess; it is an adjustment period and eventually will work itself out. One OF was blaming the unions becoming too powerful, another OF was blaming the millionaires, still another said that people are just getting lazy and don’t want to work, and yet another said it none of these, it is all those give-aways the government hands out and the rest of us have to fund.

It was a fun morning. Many bona fide opinions came forth and all with a hint of truth in them. It was easy to see why nothing gets done by committee; it was suggested what the country needs is a good benevolent dictator.

The OF’s again talked about their health, but not complaining about it this time. This conversation was about how many of the OF’s carry around metal parts in their bodies that set off alarms at airports and government buildings where you have to pass through a metal detector. The odd part is that some OF’s said their metal parts did not set alarms off, while others said theirs did. One OF said he had a steel rod that was about 10  long and it has not set the alarms off, while another said he had a steel plate in his back and he sets alarms off from outside the building. Some OF’s have stents in their bodies. Some have them in their hearts, and one OF has one in his leg. Most of the time they are OK and only one who had a stent reported that he must have been going through a real sensitive detector because it did go off. Some said that they carry cards with them that say they have a stent and where it is, while some say they don’t have such a card.

These metal parts also louse up being able to have an MRI because that is one of the questions asked when you go to have one. Have you got any metal parts on or in your body? Most of the OF’s have to say yes. One OF said it is a good thing they don’t asked about wood because then he would have to take off his peg leg. To which another OF replied, “It is not your peg leg that would cause a problem it is the sawdust you have between your ears where your brain should be that would be the problem.” To which the other OF replied, “OK wise guy, you are so full of metal you are like the tin man, but the scarecrow was the smart one.”

Those attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg and thankfully not having to go through metal detectors or wood alert machines to get into the restaurant were: Henry Witt, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, Gary Porter Lou Schenck, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Steve Kelly, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Ted Willsey, Willard Osterhout, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Ted Pelkey, Jim Rissacher, and me.


On the list of names of the culprits who attend these breakfasts this scribe was taken to task because he missed listing the names of some friends of a loyal OF. (This scribe must admit he did not know they were invited guests. The scribe thought they were interlopers, who saw some empty chairs and sat with this OG.) So, to as always protect the innocent, we must go back to the Alley Cat, and list George Hallenbeck, ‘Skip’ Slater, and George Guest. Ladies they were there. According to the OF who called and chastened this scribe, he said that one of them had to run out an purchase the Enterprise to prove they were at the breakfast and lo and behold their names were not listed. The scribe bets there was some fun at that house hold.