On Tuesday, September 20th,  the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg to continue (for the most part) the discussion on current events that has hit our section of the country, as well as other areas of the good old USA. As one OF put it, “Now we are beginning to know what other people in this country and other countries go through with severe weather problems. It is not fun.” “No kidding,” said one OG who is still cleaning up from the union of Irene and Lee.

          Besides the mess of foul water flowing through thousands of homes and business the OF’s say there is the problem of roads and bridges being so damaged that the repairs are beyond a few truck loads of rocks. Many of these roads that have had the culverts flipped right out of the road bed leaving gaping chasms from ditch to ditch are making many of the roads impassable. Quite a few of these are town or county roads and some of these towns and counties do not have the budgets to perform the repairs needed, and these towns and counties need help as much as individuals and businesses. A couple of OF’s said they have friends and relatives that work for the county or town and these people have had serious damage to their own places, however, they go to work repairing storm-related damage along the highways and byways and then come home and do the same thing.

          One OF said that that miserable couple is going to test the metal of many people. Another OF said now is the time to own, or have a partnership in a gin mill. This OF thinks many relationships will go sour just because of the stress of everything that is going on and because so many people will just be worn out.

          One OF thought moral and spiritual help will be just as important as food, stuff, help, and money. One OG added it would be nice if someone (like that show on TV) could come in and do your house over and pack the owners off to some spa to relax while the TV crew jazzes up the place.

          Some OF’s, as we have mentioned before, have previously gone hiking on some serious trails.  Adding to all the personal problems people have because of the storm’s damage, the same damage has been done to many recreational areas as well, like parks, playgrounds, ball fields, and of course hiking trails. The hikers reported that many of the trails are washed out in places that make them dangerous to walk. Some have chasms where if you fall in them it would be a good idea to learn Chinese on the way down. Add these problems to the pot of necessary repair and the cost of the damage from the spat between Irene and Lee and the OF’s can see this is not a cheap shot from these two.

          How to make donations became a topic, and some of the OF’s were wondering how to be sure that your money is going to help those that need help and not to support some fat cat executive running a fancy agency.  The OFs feel that the Salvation Army has the best organization and way of contributing. One thing mentioned was that they had a list of people that you could give to directly.  That was the one the OF’s like the best. They also had a list of what people needed, as did the collection place (SCCAP, Schoharie County Community Action Program, in the former Movie Gallery) in Cobleskill.

          One OF went there and got a list of what they were accepting and what was needed. This OF’s wife picked up a list and it must have been newly printed because she noticed a rather serious typo on the sheet that the people working there had not noticed.  On the list one of the items requested was kids T-shirts, only the “r” in the word shirts had been left out. Red faces on the other side of the counter all around. This OF took the list and headed to Wal-Mart to purchase some of the items. The OF and his wife set a budget, but the need was so great that when checking out it was three times what was planned.

          Churches are another good place to start because they know of special needs that some families might have that could fall between the cracks in larger relief agencies. “It also is a good idea,” one OF said, “to stay away from people claming to be collecting for relief that is found on the internet, or from the church of  What’s Happening Now.”  The OF said, “stick to what you know.” 

 Then the discussion turned to apples, grapes, deer, mosquitoes, ticks, and the continual green grass, but all that has been covered before and will probably be again.

Those attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner and some getting away from the storm clean-up for awhile were: Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Robie Osterman, Henry Witt, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Steve Kelly, Duane Wagenbaugh, Joe Loubier, Rich Donnelly, Dick Reed, Art Frament, Bob Benac, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Roger Shafer, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Willard Osterhout, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier (welcome back) and me.