This week the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh. At Mrs. K’s some of the OF’s are waited on by Mrs. K herself, and Mrs. K went to school with these guys. To some of the OG’s it is a surprise that Mrs. K does not dump a bowl of oatmeal over the head of some of the OG’s as pay- back for high school pranks.
One of the topics the OF’s talked about was going green and how the OF’s think the term is being over-used and applied to things that have no application for turning green, or going green; it is just some manufacturers taking advantage of the situation. One of the biggest mistakes is the hybrid cars, and electric cars. What about all the rare metals used in making the batteries? What happens when these batteries wear out or break down? Where do they go? Who is responsible for their disposal? What about all the energy used to make those batteries? How much extra power will be required if just 40% of households have one of these things? How much will our power bill go up? The questions just kept coming. The OF’s have not heard any comments on these inquires. And does China really control the lithium world-wide?
One OF said all this talk about energy has nothing to do with running his tractor. It is all for power to run factories, cities, and homes. Another OG said, “Well, if these factories and cities use less energy, maybe it will free up fuel for trucks, tractors, and combines.” “Don’t count on it” was a clipped response.
The Tuesday of the breakfast was quite foggy, and in some cases very foggy, visibility was just about nil in even other spots. Even in these conditions some of the OF’s commented on how many idiots were out there driving without their headlights on. One OF said it isn’t that they don’t know they should have their lights on because they are in a line of cars all with their lights on, and the cars approaching them have theirs on, so it is hard to know what they are thinking. A different OF said it’s because those type of drivers normally drive with their heads where the sun does not shine (all the time anyway) so the fog makes no difference to them; they still have their heads there. “I don’t care,” another OG said, “It is still very scary when a gray pickup truck without its lights on looms out of the fog coming right at you like the ‘Flying Dutchman’ with its sails full of wind and its crew of skeletons screeching and laughing as it bears down you.”
Babies! How the OF’s got talking about babies this scribe failed to note but they were, mentioning how much one baby looks like another one. One OF said, “Maybe the mothers can tell them apart but if they hadn’t had my name by our baby I would not have known which one was mine.” Then a second OF said, “If someone came in and changed all the wrist bands, and the names on the basinets, would everyone go home with the wrong baby and not really know it?” Then the third OG said he bet the mothers would know something was wrong. Another OF said, “When our kids were born we were shuffled off to some waiting room and they brought the baby to us; today many fathers go right into the delivery room.” This OF thought that was a good idea because even if your kid had lots of hair when it was born and you went home with one that had none then even the dad would know something was up.
Then as the OF’s continued the conversation they came to the conclusion that maybe babies did not look so much alike. Some babies are fat; some really wrinkled, some white, some red, some with hair, some without hair, some yowling all the time, some just sleeping. If the baby happened to come between full moons then there would not be that many in the nursery, but if was a full moon the place would be full and it would be harder to pick out your kid.
The OF’s then discussed the horrendous tornados that have continually been hammering at the Midwest, and then the east coast. It is not that this has not happened before because the weather bureau keeps comparing it to forty years ago. But the country is more built up now, and there are a lot more people living in the areas where these things have a tendency to roam. At the time of the tornados forty years ago the USA was a little over two hundred million, now we are around three hundred million; that’s one hundred million more people to get in the way of these things like floods, hurricanes, and forest fires, so the events do not change but the carnage sure does.
The OF’s discussed dying (again) and none of the OF’s want to, but it is inevitable. Are the OF’s ready? No. The time will come, however, when it is “ready or not it is time to go.” One OF said to be sure to have a penny with you all the time so you can leave it in a prearranged place so you kin can find it and know you are alright. What brought this about was the passing of the last one of the Old Men of the Mountain’s founding members, Joe Farkas, who passed away at the age of 84. The Old Men of the Mountain offer their condolences and prayers to the family of Joe in this time of grief.
Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh and realizing the finality of life were: Steve Kelly, Miner Stevens, Mark Traver, Mace Porter, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Gary Porter, Lou Schenk, Carl Slater, Roger Shafer, Gerd Remmers, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.