For the last three of four Tuesday we have not had to battle bad weather to go to the breakfasts. The weather has been consistently rather nice. This Tuesday was no different so on August 2nd the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh. The OMOTM showed up in force, and so did a good size contingent of motorcyclist, and good size is the phrase of choice because these riders had apparently a height limit, and that was 6 foot 2, and taller, no short people in that group. There was about a full dozen of them and they all looked and acted like professional people. Plus the OF’s and two other small family groups came in for breakfast and Loretta had to call in reinforcements one of which brought the family with her. From the standpoint of such a mix it made for a fun morning. Not that all the OF’s breakfast aren’t fun, they are but just from the spontaneous gathering of such heterogeneous groups in the same place was unusual for the OF’s.

The first part of business was a little housekeeping. The OF’s have quite a set of by laws that we bound to uphold, and if not there are dire consequences. We have one member who disregarded where his priorities lie and was not at the breakfast. As a rule this scribe avoids using names when reporting events and that is to protect the innocent. The same will hold true here but this scribe will report that he is one member whose age is 8 years short of one hundred.

This OF traveled to Cobleskill and upgraded his cell phone, and when he got home with it, it did not work. This ticked this OF off royally. According to the OF’s that know him well, they advised him to calm down, and go to breakfast, and then go to the store. This did not seem to work, he fussed about all night and 6:30am Tuesday the 2nd they went to pick him up for breakfast and he wouldn’t hear of it. When they pulled in to get him he was backing out of his driveway headed to the phone place, smoke emanating from his ears.

The OF’s could not make him calm down and come to the breakfast. The OF’s asked him “what are you going to do from 7 am until 10am when the store opens? That’s 3 hours to kill.” The OF replied “I am going to be the first face they see when they get to work, and it won’t be a happy one.”

This is definitely a severe case of one OF not getting his priorities right, so at the next breakfast the disciplinary committee will have to meet to see what action should be taken for such complete disregard of the by-laws.

The OF’s were wondering if anyone else has notice how the size of much of what we purchase at the groceries stores has shrunk in size but the price has remained the same. Yogurt used to be 8 oz, now they are only 6 ounces but the price is the same. Ice cream used to be l/2 gallon, now it is less but the price is the same. One OF said Stewarts is still l/2 gallon, but as far as the OF’s know it is the only one. Check it out and see what the size is on candy bars, and one OG said that may not be a bad thing. It is a whole gotcha game and they (? On they) think no one will notice.

One OF reported that he has done something he hasn’t done in years and that is change a tire. After running over something in the road it cut the inside of the right front tire and it went flat. This was at dusk so the OF is changing a tire just when the mosquitoes are coming out, the dew point is high the OF is sweating up a storm and it is getting darker, and his wife trying to make the situation better relates Alfie and helping his dad in “The Christmas Story” knocking over the hub cap with the lug nuts in it. This car does not have hub caps the OF said, but thanks anyway.

The OF’s started talking about how many cars they lost with the old bumper jacks. Some rolled backwards, some fell side ways, some went down just as the OF was taking the tire and wheel off and the car hit the ground on the wheel hub. Then they came up with the scissor jack, and some OF said they carried their own hydraulic jacks. That is an indication of how often the OF’s used to change tires.

The OF’s remembered carrying blow out patches, and tube repair kits in the cars and using them right on the side of road if and when a tire let go. One OF reminded us how we used to check the tire and if the tube was sticking out of the tire just push it in and continue on. Running on bald tires was common. There were even battery repair kits and if a battery failed it was possible to change the plates and add the acid yourself and not have the expense of buying a new battery. If the battery cracked there was a kit to repair that also. We did our own brakes with kits, repaired the master cylinder with kits, carburetor kits, there were kits for that and kits for this and they worked. Throw it away, no, fix it.

When the OF’s were YF’s we were not a throw away society the OF parents taught the current OF’s how to fix things, many of the farming OF’s have passed this on to their kids, and we hope it sticks, or some of it at least rubs off one our YF’s but we noticed that somehow very few do this anymore it is a throw away society. One OG even mentioned that much of what we purchase today is made so it can’t be fixed, and so many stupid laws force us to throw stuff away, and they (?) talk about going green, the OF’s think it is the city folks that have no concept what green is or even how to do it.

Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh, and going home a little hoarse because of the din in the packed restaurant were: Duane Wagenbaugh, Joe Lubier, Jim Watson, Jay Taylor, Roger Fairchild, Steve Kelly, Lou Schenck, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Dave Williams, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Henry Witt, Bill Bartholomew, John Rossmann, Robie Osterman, Don Moser, Harold Guest,  Frank Pauli, Miner Stevens, Carl Walls, Carl Slater, Art Williams, (Guest of Bill Bartholomew,) Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, Willard Osterhout, and me. (whew)