Tuesday the August 9th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Alley Cat Restaurant in Schoharie. The times they are a changin. We used to meet when the OF’s first started at one of the homes of the original founders, but at that time there were only 5 of us. The OF,s would visit for awhile and then go to eat. Generally we would arrive at the restaurant for that Tuesday around 9:30am or so and have breakfast. The reasoning for this time was that most restaurants had cleared out and we had the place to ourselves for the most part. This made for leisurely dining. Now it seems that many of the OF’s arrive when everyone else is arriving. Some to the old timers show up at 8am and many of the others are all ready eating, they must get there pretty early.

One of the reasons for arriving early is that getting to restaurant late in the morning shoots the whole day, and those that have places to go and things to do want to eat earlier and get going, and then there are some that are just plain hungry, and 9:30 is too late to abate the grumbling in the stomach. This scribe has to agree with those two premises. There are things to do and people to see, and wives to placate so this scribe can see both sides. Some wives want the OF’s out of the house for as long as they can stay away and keep from getting in their hair, while others have plans for the OF’s and want the OF back as quickly as possible. The larger the group the larger the variances become of the daily chores, errands to run, and any other circumstances that pop up and are required to be taken care of on Tuesday.

This brings up one of the conversations and that is getting going in the morning. Some of the OF’s go through quite a set of morning routines just to get the bones all lined up and underway. The arthritis has to be either medicated or adjusted in order to move. Many of the OF’s just sit on the edge of bed and wiggle their feet and say to themselves “ah they are working this morning”, then the OF raises his legs, first one then the other, the OF listen to morning clicks and if the sound is OK the OF puts his feet on the floor and the day starts.

One OF said he does not have that luxury because his wife puts here foot is his back and kicks him out of bed and says “get up you old goat you are not going to lay around in bed all day.” The OF said some times the pushes are so hard he winds up on the floor so I do quite a bit of exercise just getting off the d— floor. The OF added “one of these days I am going to boot her out of bed and see how she likes it.” “You wouldn’t dare one OF said she can beat you up.” “Not once I get my hands on my cane she can’t” the OF retorted.

Then one OF said he lives alone and no one tells him what to do and that is the way he likes it. “If I want to go for a ride the OF said, I go for a ride, if I want to go back to bed, I go back to bed, I do what I want.”

The OF’s started talking about the economy, and there are some definite ideas in this group, and it is hard to discern whether it is coming from emotion, or not my pocket, or common sense. In the group that this scribe was with there were as many different opinions, and suggestions, on what to do as there were people, just imagine what that group in Washington is going through, and all those talking heads, and columnist in the paper adding to the din. Well the paper is not adding to the din, but they are adding to the mix. One OF said those three monkeys have it right, hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

This led to the discussion of best conversations the OF’s have are when they are talking to themselves, and they do. The OF’s started talking what they actually talk out loud to, the first was the computer, then other drivers while they are driving, the TV, the radio, the mirror, the car, and tools, the inanimate tool gets some real tongue lashings, and finally the best ones that the OF’s talk to is their pets. The cat, the dog, the horse and all the OF’s maintain that the animals understand, and some say these animals talk back.

The Old Men of the Mountain have a large celebrity in their mist. Those that receive the TU and maybe other papers will notice a section noting the coming of the Capital District Scottish Games event to be held at the Altamont Fair Grounds in Altamont on September 3rd and 4th. On this pull out section of the paper you will see a very distinguished gentlemen right on the first page with a white beard and sunglasses leading the pipes and drums, this is our own Lou Schenck wielding the baton, or scepter. The OF’s are real people and this is more proof the OF’s do exist. Some of the OF’s do attend these games and it is a great time, not only for the unusual music but all the suttlers (vendors) who come with top quality items.  It is great time to purchase different, and sometimes meaningful Christmas gifts for those that are tough to buy for.

Those OF shift eaters making it to the Alley Cat restaurant in Schoharie and causing this scribe to consume more coffee than he is used to so the scribe would be sure to record all in attendance were: Bob Benac, Jay Taylor, Herb Sawotka, Roger Fairchild, Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Ted Pelkey, Frank Pauli, Bill Bartholomew, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Carl Walls, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Harold Guest, Steve Kelly, Henry Witt, Carl Slater, Roger Chapman, Duane Wagenbaugh, Joe Loubier, Jim Watson, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey,  Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, and me.