On Tuesday the 26th day of June, in the year of our Lord 2012, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. The face of this small crossroads town is changing like many small towns. The OFs claim that many of these changes are not for the better. It seems that much of the colorful character of the towns is changing, and one OF mentioned that this change has come in a subtle way. He thinks that it is the exodus of young people to the suburbs, not necessarily the cities themselves. He attributes this change to the price of fuel and how much it costs to get to and from work.
Then another OF said he didn’t think that had anything to do with it. The big sellers for the car manufactures are still SUV’s and pickup trucks. This OF said the small country store cannot make a profit because people have all the stores and gas stations they want going to and from work. Unless there is a niche that a town can utilize, the small towns will just be a collection of houses that will eventually run down because the OFs living in them can’t take care of them. How to revitalize the small town is a big question for the small towns.
One OF ordered his breakfast, and of course, the OF across from him and the ones to either side ordered theirs. When all the meals were served this OF looked at what his neighbor received, and he said, “Gee, I shoulda ordered that.” This brought up the conversation of how often that happens in a restaurant. An OF said sometimes he spends quite a few minutes making a selection from the menu, but when food is being brought to another table he said he says the same thing, “Gee, that looks good I should have ordered that.” When his meal arrives it doesn’t look as good as he thought it would. A different OG chimed in with “That happened to me once with a car. I ordered a car with the color I wanted and picked the color out of one of the brochures they had at the dealership. When my car came in, there was the exact same model there that someone else ordered only in a real dark emerald green, and then I was sorry I had chosen another color for my own car.” The grass is always greener.
The OF’s discussed assisted living for the elderly. Hey, that’s what most of this group is anyway…elderly and portly…but the upshot of the discussion was that no one in our group can afford assisted living. One OF said again in his opinion the Eskimos have it right…put the old folks on an ice floe with some food and send them out on the ocean. One OF mentioned that even at the prices the assisted living homes charge there is still a waiting list to get someone in one of these facilities.
There does come a time where the family cannot care for the elderly. One OF said that it just about wore out the care giver they knew, and to this OF there would be three people that needed care before it was all over. What to do…what to do.
The OFs are travelers and this morning the discussion was about the wildfires now burning in Colorado. Some of the OFs have been right in those areas that are burning now. These OFs talked about some of the homes in these mountains and traveling on some of the roads in the mountains with nothing but trees on either side, no guard rails, and sheer drop offs at the edge of the road, however, off in the woods would be these beautiful homes. The OFs talked about heading into these mountains from the Garden of the Gods, the Broadmoor Hotel, Manitou Springs, Cripple Creek, Central City (face on the barroom floor), Golden, (Coors brewery), and Woodland Park, where one OF had friends that lived in Woodland Park. It is funny how many of the same places the travelers in this group have gone to. Not all the places that the OFs covered in this conversation were in the danger zone of these terrible fires.
Some of the OFs have been to the Air Force Academy outside of Colorado Springs and that is in the way of the fire, and the officials are worried about the iconic Chapel that is at the center of the campus of the Academy. (You can go to Goggle or Bing to see images of the Air Force Academy, Colorado, and this beautiful Chapel).
One OF said, “There is really no way to determine which is worse, flood or fire, they both can be devastating.” Then another OF said, “We can throw in tornadoes and earthquakes just for good measure.” “How about wars? They are just as nasty,” yet another of the OFs out of the blue stated. “For all my travels you can’t beat New York. We are shy in the sunshine scale, but the scenery of the State makes up for a lot of that, and we are in the pits politically, but I will take my chances right here. I go to New York City for a play, or just ride around our own hills for all the scenery you want.”
“We talk about all this as we used to travel, and some still do travel a lot, but the numbers are much fewer,” an OF commented, “Nowadays travel is too darn expensive. This part of the economy is taking one big hit.”
The OF’s that did travel to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg and who once again began to solve the world’s problems were: George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Roger Chapman, Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Art Frament, Jay Taylor, Bob Benac, Joe Loubier, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Lou Schenck, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Duane Wagenbaugh, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Jim Watson, and me.