This Tuesday, June 28th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner where the waitress announced that she was getting married this Friday, but none of the OF’s were invited. The OF’s are a cool bunch of guys so they could not understand why not. The other item was that (the OF’s may be sorry they questioned this) the OG’s are wondering where summer is – it will be July when many OG’s get the paper on Friday.
One OF just returned from an Alaskan cruise. This OF was gone quite a while; one of the things he reported is that it was daylight for about 23-1/2 hours. Not bright sun all the time but it never got dark. A continuation of the report was that he wore a jacket or a windbreaker most of the time and this OF is one of those people who is perpetually warm. The rest of the OF’s know this and imagined that many of the other people would have on their muck-lucks and mackinaws. One OF said except for the daylight he could have stayed right here and worn his windbreaker or slicker. The OF added the downside of this is that there is 23-1/2 hours of no sun and dark during the winter. Most of the OF’s said that would drive them nuts.
The OF’s started a conversation on divisions in families and some OF’s are in long feuds with family members. This is not rare and the reasons are various, and at times dumb, but at other times the OF’s don’t care what all the do-gooders say, these tiffs are well founded and they are not going to change. One piece of advice an OF gave is if someone – family or not – rubs you the wrong way don’t argue, just ignore them. Picture them in a glass tube and their words can’t get out of it, but don’t let them run your life. As an example if there is a family gathering don’t stay at home because so and so is going to be there. This was quite an interesting discussion.
Another item we discussed we have discussed before and no one has picked up the baton to follow through. This is getting a group of OF’s to attend the breakfast at Rock Road Chapel. Rev. Francis is a member of this group, and with his job has little in the way of job planning. Who knows when a funeral will come up, or someone is sick or hurt, or a birth, or a wedding, or who knows what all can happen, so Rev. Francis is like any other priest or minister. The clock they punch is a twenty-four hour clock. If he can’t come to us maybe we can partake of his free breakfast on Wednesday mornings and go to him, but the OF’s need a baton twirler to get this show on the road.
As the OF’s sat in the Diner and the food started coming out some of the OF’s (not many) were envious of the size of the breakfast most of the others ate. One OF had a full stack of pancakes and they were larger than the plate, and on top of the pancakes were two fried eggs, and then a side of bacon. Others had the same thing only some were short stacks, and the side order was home fries or sausage. The one OF with the full stack and eggs on top commented, “Boy, this is good. It’s just the way I like it – these eggs were fried in butter.” It could be Crisco for all the other OF’s knew but it looked like butter. Then one OF said his mom saved bacon grease for frying eggs, and cooking pancakes and old-fashioned grub like that.
This led the OF’s to talking about the breakfasts we used to have but the interesting part here is that some of the practices our mothers used to do are still done. Two OF’s said they still save the bacon grease in a can and use that grease on eggs and pancakes; some still have the buckwheat flour soaking on the back of the stove and just add to it. Now the scribe does not want all the nutritionists writing the paper about how bad all this is. The Old Men of them Mountain are “OLD men” 80 and 90 years old, and some still working, and if this stuff is so bad for the OG’s why aren’t the OF’s dead like they are supposed to be?
The OF’s started talking about how the kitchens of the old homesteads smelled. Coming in after chores, or coming in after being out in the fields, the aroma of the country kitchen was home. There is nothing like the smell of a kitchen with eggs on the stove and bacon or sausage cooking. Cinnamon toast on homemade bread, with real butter and sugar on it, coffee bubbling in the percolator, apple pie in the oven that would be ready for supper, and mom in her apron rapping the YF on the knuckles with her wooden spoon if he grabbed for something and it wasn’t ready.
One OF mentioned that we had ice boxes, not refrigerators and a lot of food was covered up but left out and whether it is the slipping of the OF’s memories or not, the OF’s do not remember getting sick, and they never heard of e-coli. We got hurt, but not sick. Another OF said we could eat like this because we worked it off. Amen to that, working it off was the normal thing to do.
Another OF mentioned that even today, though, each house picks up its own aroma, along with its own character. This OF mentioned that his daughter-in-law uses candles all over the place to mask the natural aroma of the house. This OF says there is so much phony fragrance in the house it smells like a French house of ill repute. To which one OF answered, “I wouldn’t know how that smells – how do you know? You have never been to France.”
This did not happen on Tuesday but many of the OF’s went to the eighty fifth birthday of one of the earliest OF’s. It was quite a bash. One OF, made the birthday boy a doll all done up with hunting rifle and all, and called it “The Old Man of the Mountain” and it did look like an Old Man of the Mountain.
Those attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg and making plans to crash the wedding party for the waitress getting married, because she let it slip where and when it was going to be were: Steve Kelly, Henry Witt, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Bill Bartholomew, Carl Walls, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, Jim Watson, Jay Taylor (maker of the OMOTM doll), Wayne Wagenbaugh, Jim Donnelly, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Roger Shafer, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Ted Willsey, Ted Pelkey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey (the birthday OMOTM), Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.