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Tuesday, the 22nd of November, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. One more trip to the Hilltown Café and the roads were good because the weather is holding off. One OF said, “We are going to pay for this, either with measuring snow by the foot, or winter lasting into June.”

This is also deer hunting season, and the deer stories started. One OF said that his son had been deer hunting and shot his deer just before we came to breakfast.  That is not unusual since many hunters go out early in the morning. As one OG put it, “The deer are easier to bag at that time of the day because they aren’t awake yet and just like us they slog around until their morning coffee kicks in,” however, that is not the story. The story is that the shot went through a tree about 4 inches in diameter; hit the deer and the deer dropped like a rock. The OF kept on with the story that there was another deer with the deer that was shot and it did not flag.  It just stood there and looked at the OF’s son, and went on about his/her business. That is one big hmm.

This led to another OF relating a first hand account about how he was out deer hunting and got two deer with one shot. This scribe has a bit of a jumble here in his notes and does not know the proper sequence of how the bullet went. The notes indicate that the bullet pierced the neck of the first deer and then hit the other deer in the head, and both deer dropped. Another hmm.

The OF’s mentioned how tame the deer are becoming and how the animal seems to tolerate humans more. The OF said how close they come to homes, and when trying to shoo them away the deer don’t shoo.

Some should make a collection of all the unusual deer stories they could substantiate and write a book.

One OF had the time to travel to Europe and visit the town where he was born. This OF came to this country at a very young age but had enough history to be able to go back to his original hometown. Because of health problems this OF and his traveling companion decided to travel by air first class. This was as much of an experience as was finding his relatives and the original homestead. “It sure beats coach,” the OF said. The OF was in Rome, and he visited the Vatican and the Pope did not faint; he traveled by train to the countries of Holland and Germany and did visit the area where his original house was, but it is not there anymore.

This adventure points out that our nation has really only one group of people that are native to the land and they are the Indians — the rest of us are truly immigrants. “If we want to go back,” one OF said, “We are here running this country by wheeling and dealing, or out and out shoot-em-ups; we really have no ancestral claim to this land.”

And this conversation continued until (like most of our conversations) it petered out to a lull in the talking because covering the topic collapsed into redundancy.  Somehow, a short time after the conversation lull, it picked up again with wheeling and dealing. The OF’s started talking about the deals they make, and where the deals were to be had. But as they were talking one OF said, “That sounds like a great deal, however, I don’t need it so no matter how great the deal is, to me it is no deal at all.” The first OF retorted, “Why not get it now and hang on to it — it won’t get any cheaper; this is a great deal. Who knows — you made need it later on.” The other OF said “Who is doing the wheeling and dealing here — are you getting some kind of commission on these things?” This brought up the point that there is wheeling and dealing, and then there is Wheeling and Dealing.  One OG said, “Too many times you say you got a great deal, but it is the wheeler who comes out on top.”

Those attending the breakfast at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville, and trying to wheel and deal on the price of their breakfast (but the waitress always won) were: Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Frank Pauli, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Miner Stevens, Gerd Remmers, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, Willard Osterhout, Jim Rissacher, Bob Rissacher, and me.