On a foggy day on June 14th, and the fog mixed with drizzle; the tires whistled on the wet roads, the Old Men of the Mountain traveled to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh. Some of the vehicles took the route to Middleburgh via Cotton Hill just for an adventure, and all made it safely to the comfy confines of Mrs. K’s.

“There isn’t going to be any real summer,” one OF said and most of the others agreed with him. Though another OG said, “I hope we are wrong.” “So far this year,” yet another OF chipped in, “I have not shut my furnace off, the house is going from air conditioner to furnace just about one day to the next.” Then an additional OF had to cheer the rest of the OF’s up by announcing that the days are going to be getting shorter in just a couple of days from now. Many of the OG’s thought that with statements like that stoning was not a bad idea.

The amount of daylight we get in the Northeast brought up the topic of new cars again and the gadgets that are on them. This chatter was about the lights coming on by themselves whether it gets dark or not, and those cars equipped with driving lights that come on automatically when the car is turned on. It used to be (ah, the old used to be) that the vehicle did not do the thinking for you and it was necessary for the driver to turn on the lights, and dim the lights, and apply the brakes, so it was necessary to have your wits about you while driving. Now the OF’s say the car does most of the thinking. One OF said that he drove a car  which belonged to a friend of his   back to this friend’s home (and this scribe now forgets the reason why). Anyway, it got dark. Now the OF had a car whose lights came on as it got dark but his friend’s car (the one he was driving) had the automatic running lights. The OF driving the friend’s car kept on driving all the while saying to himself that there was something wrong with his friend’s car because the lights were so bad. When the OF’s friend got home the OF told him about how bad his car lights were. The friend said, “Really?” and went out and checked the car and turned on the headlights and they were fine. The OF said, “Oh, you have to turn them on?!”

Some of the OF’s have recently had cataract surgery. “This procedure is getting as common as blowing your nose”, said one OG. With the eye surgery one OF had, he now does not have to wear glasses. “That is one big plus,” he said, “because when I wore glasses I would put them down and then couldn’t find them.” Now the OF’s were chiming in with all the typical OF statements of putting down the car keys, setting the drink on the table, using tools, and hunting for the one they just had in their hand. The best one was the OF that took the vacuum cleaner all apart because it would not run, then finding out it just wasn’t plugged in. Then one OF continued on with the eye problems and he said he too had cataracts, but was going to wait to have them taken care of. However, the other OF’s thought he should have it done because right now he said he has double vision when he looks other than straight ahead. The OF’s believe this must be a bummer  seeing two things at the same time. The OF with the double vision said he takes care of it pretty easily just by closing one eye or the other so then he only sees one thing.

Many of the OF’s were old farmers, so the conversation turned to haying and how much and how fast the hay has grown this year. Now the problem is getting it inside the barn. There are areas where the ground is still too wet to be worked, and with the weather the way it has been to get in good hay is a challenge. There really hasn’t been much good drying weather, and wet hay in the barn makes lots of work for the firemen.

The OF’s also noticed this spring quite a large amount of the little wild strawberry blossoms, and last year (if our readers can remember) the grapes were about non-existent; this year just the opposite. The OF’s that have grapes say the arbors are loaded with grapes. Last year the grapes must have been resting one OF said, so all the grapes were taking a nap at the same time. If picking the little strawberries wasn’t such a chore this appears to be a good year for those sweet little things, if the OF’s can get them before the birds. Next is to check the elderberries.

The OF’s that made it to the Mrs. K’s safely because the OF’s don’t let the double vision guys drive were: Art Frament, Bob Benac, Jay Taylor, Harry Coton, Jim Watson, Gerd Remmers, Garry Porter, Mace Porter, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, Carl Walls, Frank Pauli, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Don Moser, Willard Osterhout, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Carl Slater, Miner Stevens, and me.

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