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On Tuesday, the 17th of January, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Blue Star restaurant (the former Alley Cat) in Schoharie.

(The New York Times should get with the program. In a recent article about Schoharie they had a phonetic spelling of the name of one of New York’s great counties as SkoHARee…what? It should sound like hair, the hair on your head, legs, or back, or hare like those little thing that run around as coyote food. Try singing the alma mater of Schoharie Central using HAR.)

Back to the Blue Star restaurant. The OFs report that everything was very good, and they were set up for the OF’s with tables set in an L- shape at one side and end of the restaurant. The service was fast, hot and plenty; the seating arrangement was a nice touch. The OFs restaurant routine is now back in order. The two restaurants decimated by the flood have been restored and opened for business and they are first-rate. The OFs recommend that if you want to help the victims of the flood it would be great to visit either Mrs. K’s in Middleburgh, or the Blue Star in Schoharie; you will be glad you did. Some of the shops that were severely damaged in the valley are also beginning to reopen. If you visit the Schoharie county website there is more information there.

The Old Men of the Mountain are antiques, and because the OFs are antiques much of what they own are antiques. Take a wedding gift given to an OF sixty years ago — it has a pretty good start on being an antique. Some of the OF’s were talking about what they have out behind the barn (or in the barn for that matter) and you will find that much of it was given to them by their parents, and some of that was given to them by their parents. This puts some years on a lot of these items. In the conversation some of the OFs have possessions that even they don’t know what they were used for.

Some of the items in the barn, however, have been used on a regular basis and maintaining them is getting harder and harder because where do you go for parts for something one hundred years old? One OF wonders what will be the antiques of tomorrow. An old I pod perhaps? The OFs wonder who names these products…what is an I pod? The OF’s know what a book is but what is a Kindle? The OF’s know what it is but what does the word mean? To the OF’s it is what is used to start a fire, i.e., kindling. The scribe thinks maybe that is the intent to kindle the fire of reading in people. The other name for an invention that does the same function is a Nook. (Book=Nook…Nah.)

“Look around”, one OG said, “What is the next antique?” The only things the OFs could come with are books, poetry, art, homemade items, and photographs. Maybe the car you are driving who knows what one will make the classic list. How about the Yugo. The current music (the OFs have trouble understanding) makes the OFs think that remakes of the classics will always be around. A good rainy day project would be to make a list of what the antiques of tomorrow would be. (Don’t count the wife.)

With age there is an inevitable disheartening chore and that is taking pills. Some take more than others, and a darn few don’t take any, but most of the OF’s do take several prescriptions. How to take these pills became the topic of discussion. Some OF’s take them one at a time, while others plop as many as seven or eight in their hand and chuck the whole wad down at once with whatever is handy — water, coffee, milk, juice — anything to wash them down. Some OF’s say they have a regular schedule, and others swallow them whenever they think of it. Some OF’s say they quite often forget to take them. Then there are the instructions, Take with food, don’t take with food, take one half hour after eating, take two hours before each meal, do not take with other medications. One OF questioned how do these pills know what to do, and do they battle each other when in the gut? “Maybe,” another OF offered this suggestion, “That is why many of the OG’s have constant upset stomachs…the pills are at war with each other.” No matter the routine of taking their pills most of the OF’s seem to remember to make the breakfast and that may be the best pill of all.

Two other things the OF’s discussed briefly, and then commented on were: Number one: give us a break from politics. Time to turn off the TV and the radio. Number two: the rash of fires that seem to be breaking out locally. The OFs think that it (and no one will admit to this) is these new light bulbs. The OFs say they are dangerous things.

The antiques called OFs that made it to the Blue Star restaurant in SchoHAIRee and giving the new restaurant a thumbs up were: John Rossmann, Roger Schafer, Ted Pelkey, Jim Heiser, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Robie Osterman, Frank Pauli, Roger Shafer, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Gerry Chartier, Willard Osterhout, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.