On Tuesday the 26th of July the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner, in Middleburgh. To the OF’s even though the daylight hours are longer, the day goes by faster. The OF’s agree summer is short, and winter is long. It seems to the OF’s no sooner does the highway departments put away the plows than the farmers are cutting hay, and bang it is fair time, time to be sure the woodshed is full of dry wood, and wood is cut for next year. The canning is done, and the house is tight for the coming of winter. One OF’s said it is not one season being shorter or longer than the other it is the whole d— year goes to faster the older I get.
The OF’s wondered out loud how highway contractors handle the end of the jobs. Many of the OF’s on the way to the Middleburgh Diner use 443 and 30. Where 443 used to connect to 30 there was a Y and the sign for Schoharie was really nice with stone pillars on each end and flowers, and landscaping. They (the state) made the intersection into a T. The job is done the sign is no longer visible it is behind a pile or rubble left by the contractor which is now covered with weeds. The approach to the scenic covered bridge that crosses Fox Creek at this intersection is all scarred and apparently a abandon trailer left there. The OF’s say what a mess, it looks awful and that is not the only construction staging area left that looks like this one. The OF’s are wondering shouldn’t there be a clause in the contract that these work areas are to be cleaned and returned to way they were found. The OF’s are just asking.
Again one OF in a discussion with his daughter was commenting on how many strange bugs are around, and how many there are. This OF brought this up at the breakfast to see if any other OF’s were experiencing the same thing, and some were. The daughter mentioned that it was the absence of bats as to why there is such a proliferation to bugs. One OF said this shows it is not nice when mother nature is messed with, each species depends on the other species. To complete eradicate one bug because to you it is a nuisance may cause consequences down the line that is never even considered. The absence of bats is not this type of problem though, it is that white nose situation that is causing the decrease in the bat population and fewer bats, more bugs, but it shows what can happen if we go hog wild on eliminating a pest completely
One OG said that intelligent control is the way to go because many bugs are really harmful the deer tick, the mosquito, the elm beetle, and now the emerald ash borer, the locust where huge swarms can really affect the food chain to the point of famine are a few that can cause some real problems. One OF brought up the old army truck driver test with the question on it that went something like (If you are driving a truck full of twenty soldiers down a mountain road, and around a turn there is little girl playing in the road do you, do you swerve to miss the little girl, go over the cliff and kill yourself, and the twenty soldiers in the truck there by taking twenty one lives, or B to you hit and kill the girl and save those in the truck. By so doing take one life to save twenty one. Decisions, Decisions, some are not easy. The mosquito and yellow fever was mentioned.
Some of the OF’s travel in style. The Middleburgh Diner is a long restaurant, one room long with many windows that face the highway. This allows those that are in the establishment to see who is driving up. The OF’s that were in the restaurant notice a car pool full of OF’s arriving this morning, a beautiful morning by the way, in a convertible with the top down. One OF said now that is the way to travel, and another OF said “yeah we get about 5 real good days like today to do that all year” and many of the OF’s muttered agreement with the statement but really were wishing it wasn’t so and deep down would like to have a convertible.
Some of the OF’s were reverting to when they were younger and did have cloth top vehicles. One OG said in the forties, and fifties convertibles were a lot more common than they were today. One OF said he had a four door Buick convertible with wooden blocks that had to be placed in a socket between the back, and front doors to hold the center of the convertible roof up when the top was up. That got the OF’s to wondering if cars were more fun then?
Those OF’s attending the breakfast at the Middleburgh Diner, and most not showing up in convertibles were; Robbie Osterman, Ted Pelkey, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, John Rossmann, Carl Walls, Steve Kelly, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Frank Pauli, Henry Witt, Bob Benac, Harold Eck, Duane Wagenbaugh, Herb Sawotka, Harold Grippen, Harry Coton, Jim Watson, Harold Guest, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Joe Loubier, Bill Thorpe, and me.