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April 17th, 2012, was a Tuesday and the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh.

Loretta, the proprietor of Mrs. K’s (along with her daughter Patty) is on a first name basis with Governor Cuomo. The flood has brought considerable notoriety to Schoharie Valley. The sad notoriety is the flood itself, but there is also good notoriety, some from dignitaries, and politicians, and some of the thousands of volunteers that have come to help. There have been donations large and small from private individuals as well as big corporations. Even though there is much to be done it shows the goodness of most people’s hearts. The OF’s mention these good people quite often. An OF mentioned that the flood has caused (in many cases) irreparable damage and harm; many families have been severely disrupted yet there is a strange good side to this and that is that the whole country sure knows of the Schoharie valley now. In the long run the visitors to the valley may increase just because of the disaster more than all the advertising that has been done to promote the valley. The visitor’s curiosity will entice them to come and enjoy this gem of real estate in upstate New York.

The OMOTM had another person with a birthday today — Harold Guest. It is fun when some OF has a birthday on the breakfast day, or close to it. Many of the OF’s whose birthday it is will be sung to, and that is an experience because most of the OF’s have gravely voices and think key is something that is used to start a car, or open a door. The song is sung with heartfelt gusto if nothing else.

Many of the OF’s complained about being stiffer than usual because of another spell of warm weather and they were outdoors cutting brush, mowing lawns, getting summer furniture out, and just getting ready for the warmer weather to come. However, as one OF said, “This is still April and the summer anxious OF’s could still get ten inches of snow on all their outdoor furniture.” This OF said his is still in the shed. One OF countered, “The peepers are deafening, and the black flies a re out, so I am putting my hummingbird feeders out, late spring and summer is here.” “Just you wait,” the other OF said, “This may be all the summer we get.”

One OF brought up this old reminder, “About 10 years back on the hill we had six to eight inches of snow on May 18th, and it was warm before that little surprise.”

The OF’s had a discussion on being OF’s. “Everything becomes old,” one OF pointed out, “And as soon as you take your first breath becoming old starts.” Then one more OF said, “OK, why don’t you go further back, as soon as the sperm swims upstream and hits the egg old age starts.” The OF’s had to agree with that. Then a different OG said. “It goes further back than that. How about God saying before you were in the womb I knew you.” (Whoops – things are getting kinda deep here). Becoming old does happen to everything, even rocks. Our pets, our plants, and everything else succumbs to getting old, dying, and rotting. There is nothing we can do about it. So the question was asked, do you feel old? Many of the OF’s said yes their body feels old, but they don’t think they are old.

All the OF’s look forward to tomorrow, and basically no matter how they feel the attempt is made to accomplish what the OF’s looked forward to yesterday. Some of the OF’s say that their physical condition will not let them do much, like bad eyesight, or some other debilitating condition, but for the most part it does not deter them from making plans to do something within the limits of their physical ability, like coming to breakfast with a whole bunch of OF’s in the same boat and complaining about feeling old. (Is this some kind of cycle or what?)

So all those OF’s with their problems left behind came to the breakfast at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and maybe someday those that show up at Mrs. K’s will have breakfast with Governor Cuomo. He seems to like it there and these OF’s would be: Roger Shafer, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Tim Thompson, Frank Pauli, Dave Williams, Robie Osterman, Carl Slater, Steve Kelly, Henry Witt, Miner Stevens, Gerd Remmers, George Washburn, Mark Traver, John Rossmann, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Garry Porter, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Willard Osterhout, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, and me.