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Tuesday the 5th of June, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh. They were set up and ready for the OF’s and the OF’s filed in, and as usual took over the place.


One topic was the current passing of the planet Venus in front of the sun. The OF’s discussed how interesting the event is to those all walking on the planet right now including the OFs. One OF reported that the Mayans recorded and predicted Venus’ passing in front of the sun for all the times the planet has made this trip in the past…including the event that is happening now. However, the Mayans have no further predictions of this astronomical phenomenon and no wonder this scribe said, their calendar only goes to December 2012. According to them the world is gone so why bother to report an event if there is no one there to see it. The passing of Venus across the sun will happen whether our planet is here or not.


Paying no attention to the list of dire things that are going to happen to our frail sphere in the year 2012 a couple OF’s continued on with their bridge building. The OF’s that lead this work, with the construction of the bridge, and then the installation of the one they build are Glenn Patterson and Mark Traver. The OF’s with the help of volunteers, young and old installed this latest bridge over a stream at Donney Hollow, just outside of Breakabeen, NY. (Breakabeen is just outside of Middleburgh on Route 30 on the way to Gilboa, NY.) This time the bridge was to replace one that was also washed down stream as were the other bridges this group has replaced previously. (Anyone from this area that has a daughter and names her Irene is going to have to be sure she is raised tough, and with a thick skin or a sense of humor. )


Like many of the OF’s, these bridge builders planning for and working towards the future is all too important (they don’t worry about what the Mayans say) so they went ahead and built the bridge for those using the Long Path in 2040. Who knows they still may be doing the hike then themselves. All this work is volunteer; like many organizations they could not get along without like-minded people volunteering.


The OF’s commented on how lush and green the countryside is on the mountain and in the valley. The phlox and flowering trees, the peonies, the iris are early and plentiful, and there is one great big but, the ground is too wet to plant the gardens at least in the area that draws the OF’s to the group. This is what the gardeners said this morning at the breakfast and they are unanimous in that. (Quoting Mrs. Slocum.)


Then the conversation turned to another animal report. This report is of large cats in the OF’s territory, and the OF’s mean large cats, like bobcats and larger. We have first hand accounts and track evidence. One of these days one of the OF’s will get actual photographic evidence. It is all in the timing. First the OF has to spot the cat, and then he has to have a camera at the ready. Those OF’s that have seen a large cat in the wild say they can disappear into the woods in an instant and the coat of the cat has so great a camouflage job that the woods just seems to suck it up. One OF also said just like deer they, like the cats, blend into the grasses of a field and standing still can hardly be seen until they move, and like a rabbit, which is about the same color as a deer, do the same thing. The OF’s wonder why God, stuck a white tail on both them.


Now the OF’s got talking bull stories, however, these are real bull stories. The stories evolved on how large the bullfrogs are this year. One OF reported that he has a bullfrog that just fits into a two gallon bucket. Now the scribe forgets whether it is the OF, or the OF’s son that has this large amphibian but in any case it is either on the OF’s farm or in his backyard. Anyhow, the frog is big and the bigger the frog the more it eats, and the diet of a frog gets rid of a lot of insects that are a tad of a nuisance, so let those frogs grow and eat those bugs.


The OFs that made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburg, and did their best to meld into the woodwork, were: Steve Kelly, Henry Witt, Joe Loubier, Bob Benac, Art Frament, John Rossmann, Jim Heiser, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Carl Walls, Frank Pauli, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Dave Williams, Steve McDermott, Jay Taylor, Roger Shafer, Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.