It is Tuesday so the Old Men of the Mountain must be in Middleburgh, or it could be Schoharie, maybe even Duanesburg, but one thing for sure if the Old Men of the Mountain are in any of these places they are not at home. April 19th, however, they were in Middleburgh, in fact the Middleburgh Diner, having breakfast.

A carload of OF’s commented on all the wild life they saw on the way over the hill to the Middleburgh Diner. A herd of deer, a couple swans, a flock of geese, a gaggle of turkeys, a small flock of archaeopteryxes, and a couple of brachiosaurus trying to find something to eat from the tops of the leafless trees.

It came up that the OF’s were wondering when this one or that one joined the group. This scribe has had his ear to the table and sending in the table-gathered gossip to The Enterprise since early 1998, but the OMOTM were doing their thing earlier than that.

The original reports with names (so all the OF’s in attendance were accounted for and harmony was kept at the home) were done by Whilma Willsey. The OF’s go back further than 1998, and the guess is 1996; maybe a little earlier. That dates the OMOTM gatherings to about 15 or 16 years of eating breakfast together. Taking the low end that would be 780 breakfasts, at about 5 bucks average plus tip, making each OF spending about $4,680 dollars on breakfasts since 1996. Then if you multiply that to about 15 guys per breakfast it works out to $70,200 dollars the OF’s have spent spreading their wealth to local restaurants and contributing quite nicely to the local economy.

Now that spring is upon us, (Yeah! What spring? As the scribe types this on the 21st of April it is snowing) the OF’s talked about their gardens and who has planted what crop(s). Peas, lettuce, onions, and some potatoes are already in the ground, according to several OF’s.

In this conversation the OF’s discussed a term they have just recently heard and that is the word stress applied to trees. Those in the know have mentioned to some of the OF’s that this tree or that tree is stressed out. Some are so stressed out that taking them down is recommended, and at other times the OF has been told to keep an eye on the stressed out tree and it may come back to life. If the tree shows signs of continued stress it is best to take it down.

No one has told the OF’s what stresses these trees out. Trees don’t have to pay taxes, or have their girl friends mad at them, or their cars don’t start   situations like that. The OF’s could only surmise that maybe the tree has too many bugs in its branches, or acid rain, or soil losing its nutrients, or too wet or too dry. Who knows what a tree worries about? Now not only is the tree stressed but the OF is becoming stressed because the tree is stressed. Just something else the OF’s have to worry about, and that stresses the OF’s out. Darn trees, now its kids, grandkids, wife, cat, dog, the economy, the prostrate and trees. No wonder the OF’s are full of wrinkles  it is all that worry.

One OF has a pond and a cabin cruiser which (as shown a couple of years back) is now being prepared to be launched again as a pirate ship. The OF’s will believe it when they see it. The launching of the pirate ship in the pond launched the OF’s into a discussion of how can a dozen guys in a motorized rowboat (e.g. Somalian pirates) attack a 300 to 400 foot tanker and take it over. The OF’s could understand these kooks taking over a family in a sailing yacht, but not a cruise ship or tanker. One OF said, “If they attacked my ship I would drop the anchor on them.” On some of these big ships the anchor would be twice the size of the boat attacking them. None of the glamour of Black Beard, or Captain Jack Sparrow is associated with this current group of so-called pirates.

The OF’s discussed the tornados that recently tore through the south, particularly North Carolina. One OF has family that lives in Sanford, North Carolina. This OF says he has been to the Lowes Home Improvement Store on several occasions with his son to make purchases, also to the Tractor Supply, and the Golden Coral, all mentioned in the news. Along with Lowes, the Tractor Supply Store is also gone.

This OF’s son works at a company not far from Lowes. This company (Static Control) employs over 700 people so it is no small place. This company just invested 8 million dollars in a new warehouse. The warehouse is now completely gone and much of it wound up over at Lowes. This OF’s son works at Corporate Headquarters in sales and said his desk is still there but the wall is gone, the roof overhead is gone, and the building was cut in half. He now works from a banquet table provided by the company in one of their old warehouses. Because the phone lines are out the sales people are using their own cell phones to do business. This OF also said that his son went to see what was going on over at Lowes, and that is when he saw all the destruction at the place where he worked. His home is only a few miles from where he works and he had no idea there was a storm.

The OF’s said that we may have miserable weather some of the time, (and one OF said, “What do you mean some of the time”) but we don’t have many tornados, or hurricanes, or real long droughts. We are pretty lucky living where we do.

Those OF’s that made it to the Middleburgh Diner through the maze of wild life encountered along the way were: Gerd Remmers, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Miner Stevens, Gary Porter, Lou Schenck, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, Mace Porter, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Dave Williams, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, George Washburn, Warren Willsey, and me.

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