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On February 7th the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont. Again this scribe was unable to attend because of a follow-up doctor’s visit at 9:15am Tuesday morning. Tried to change the appointment but it was a week away, and I imagine those staples would have rusted by then, and having them removed as soon as possible would be a lot more comfortable. This is not the scribe’s problem — the scribe is in fine shape for the shape he is in it is his better half shoulder replacement.

The OF’s at one time were talking about the increase in the price of a postage stamp going up to 45 cents. This, to the OF’s, is a big whoop. Gas can go up 10 cents a day and no one seems to give a hoot, and that is the problem one OF said; all those guys and gals who run around and say, “Elect me…I will run the government like a business.” “Well,” the OF said, “they can’t.” If a business sees that its balance sheet isn’t balancing they do one of three things: raise prices, cut back, or go out of business and as one OF said it doesn’t take them too long to make up their minds either. If a government agency is running in the red to change any of these three factors, whatever agency it is, this agency has to jump through hoops. People get up in arms and say do it to some other agency but not mine — mine is too important. One OF said they all say they will run the government like a business, well good luck because government tain’t a business. Enough of that — we almost got into politics.

Ah! Men and their toys. The OF’s quite often talk about their man toys. The word man is used loosely here basically because it is the Old Men of the Mountain that are gathering and talking, although one OF said that when he was younger his girl friend (and then wife) partook in the man/toy activity. Some of the toys are ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, boats, planes, RVs, radio controlled models, toy trains, etc., whatever took the OF’s mind off the daily grind. Now many of the ATVs, etc. are no more than works of art, not used and just looked at.

One OF said it is time to get rid of this stuff, or let the kids have it, but then again he said he has had so much fun with his toys it was tough to let go. Then another OG chimed in that it depends on what you were getting your kicks from. If it was an ATV or motorcycle the things are so old nobody wants them, and they are too young for a museum piece.

“Yeah,” one OF said, “I agree with some of that but my guns go up in value and lots of people have offered to buy them, but I’m going to pass them on. Then again maybe if the aches and pains go away and they are able to fix my right eye I will go hunting again.” This prompted one OF to say, “You, out in the woods with a GUN! That’s all we need, a one-eyed, lame OF with arthritic fingers and a 12-gauge shotgun out in the woods. I can see the deer now, calling all their buddies and telling them if they want a good laugh to come and watch this OF stumble through the woods, and Bambi over here will take odds as to when that thing goes off and his hand with it.”

The OF’s do have a lot of money tied up in the man toys and if the OF’s all got together, rented the Berne town park, and put on an OF’s garage sale, we would need police to direct the traffic. There would be some high priced items at this sale, and museum pieces too, including as one OF said we could sell (name left out to protect the innocent). Nah…nobody would buy him, it would just be a waste of a price sticker, even if you had it marked .50 cents and advertised (has own transportation.)

Those gathering at the Home Front Café in Altamont, and not really offering themselves up for sale were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Henry Witt, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Dave Williams, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Gary Porter, Robie Osterman, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, Glenn Patterson, Jim Heiser, Mark Traver, Don Moser, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, and not me.

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