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Oh, what a beautiful morning — oh what a beautiful day — we have a beautiful feeling everything is going our way; our way is to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. So the Old Men of the Mountain are headed that way.

Duanesburg, the Duesenberg doesn’t have an “H” but then again Duesenberg isn’t a burg.

This is not in any particular order because the scribe’s note page became a little jumbled. The OF’s discussed covered bridges, those beautiful pieces of early American architecture, and their use. What prompted this was Hurricane Irene destroying the covered bridge in Blenheim. This historic bridge had the longest span of any surviving single-span covered bridge in the world. Some of the OF’s say quite a bit of the bridge has been found – especially the cross members. The Historical Society is trying to locate more pieces of this bridge so it can be restored and the talk was the government will participate if enough of the bridge can be found.

A good portion of the bridge that has been found has gratefully been turned over to the restoration committee, however, apparently one person has some of the pieces and will not cooperate and is hanging on to them. One OF said if he had these pieces he would be glad to return them and even offer to help in the restoration. All the other OF’s agreed with this position and some may even offer to help in one form or another even without any pieces of the bridge

The OF’s had a hard time figuring out why any one would hang on to them. What good are they…are they going to build their own covered bridge? Then one OF said, “Well, there are always givers and takers. I would much rather be a giver.”

The OF’s talked about the Iditarod again and the OF from Alaska spent some time entertaining the rest of the OFs on how the race was run. This OF said that this year they are running the short route. This route is only one thousand miles; the long route is about twelve hundred miles. “Gee,” one OF said, “Only one thousand — I have trouble with ten miles when we go to the grocery store.”

The mushers that enter the race must finish with the same team of dogs that the musher started with. If he starts out with eight dogs and one becomes sick or gets lame, that team will have to finish with seven dogs…there is no substitution. That is part of the strategy of this sporting event. Should you show up with only five dogs, or sixteen? “Just like any sport there are mind games that are played,” one OF said.

The OF from Alaska said that all these dogs want to do is run; they love it. The dogs also love being outdoors and when brought indoors some become mental, or get sick. The one that has to really endure the cold are the sled owners that have the dogs. These owners have to go out and take care of them when it is twenty below and the wind is howling, and the snow is like ice crystals. The dogs are out there having a grand old time while the owner is out there freezing his tail off making sure the water is not frozen and they have food. But the owners of the dogs must enjoy this kind of weather or he/she wouldn’t be doing it.

The Enterprise is going to like this next conversation because the OF’s started talking about local newspapers like the Enterprise, the Cobleskill Times Journal, and the local papers from Catskill and Ravena. The OF’s say they get more information from these than they do the large papers. Many have canceled the dailies because local news is missing, and the national and international news is too slanted. One OF said with the weekly papers if something really bothers you, it is possible to call up someone and complain about it or write a letter. The OF’s look for the My Shopper, or the Penny Saver at many of the restaurants the OMOTM frequent. The little snippets of news in these free advertising papers are interesting and funny.

Another plus is that much of the time the OF’s know some of the people who have their picture in the paper and sometimes it is them. The other part of it is that it is like the OF’s breakfast itself, the OF’s learn who needs help, or what organization in the hilltowns is struggling, and what some organizations have plans in the wind that the OF’s would like to be part of.

The OF’s discussed their vacation plans, and what the OF’s do when they do go to the lake, or travel to see grandkids, or family and friends and how much has changed because of the fuel prices. Travel is now less frequent, and what they do is cut way back. One OF said that this compounds itself, because if they are not visiting these areas they are not spending money there for lodging, food, whatever, and one OF mentioned it even cuts back on putting the animals in the kennel for awhile. That reduces the income of the kennel so they do less. Then one OG said until we find a substitute for fuel everything will be cut back, and food prices will go up, along with basic necessities, and people will cut back even more. Then an OF pointed out that batteries are not the way to go, nor is fracking. It has to be something completely different and inexpensive. One OF commented, “How about horses and pedaling?” “Now you’re talking,” another OF chimed in.

Then one OF declared, “This is America, and necessity is the mother of invention.” This OF maintains this knowledge is already here, but there is too much money involved with oil, and politicians and engine manufacturers to even begin to think about letting it out. This OF thinks we are all being bamboozled by the big corporations.

Those OF’s still finding the wherewithal to make it to the Duanesburg Diner, in Duanesburg to have these major discussions were: Frank Pauli, Miner Stevens, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Henry Witt, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Jim Heiser, Dave Williams, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Jack Norray, Garry Porter, John Rossmann, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Willard Osterhout, Ted Willsey, and me.