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The Old Men of the Mountain by John R. Williams

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few…the September Song. In more ways than one do the days fly by. It seems there are only 4 days between Tuesdays, or Sundays; just as soon as the Sunday best is hung up it is time to put them on again. The OF’s want to know what happened on all the days in between? On Tuesday, July 24th, 2012, The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburg.

For the city dwellers who make enough money to afford gas and are out and about, a cool trip would be to have breakfast at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville, and then wind their way through our beautiful countryside in the hills. Then when they come down off the hill they should have a camera ready and go slow so they are able to watch the vista of the valley and Middleburg open up as they proceed down to the valley floor. When a scene appears that they like they can pull over at a safe spot and take some pictures. Then they could continue down into the valley through Huntersland on the Huntersland road (County Rd. 21) which ends (or starts) right in the parking lot of the Middleburgh Diner and they could stop in the Diner for lunch. The gas will cost more than the eats at both places.

Those that can hearken back to Monday night on the 23rd might remember the storms that rolled through our area. The conversational topics at the breakfast as the OF entered the restaurant on Tuesday was what the OF’s thought of the storms and did they get any rain. The light show was seen by all, but not all got the much-needed rain. According to some OF’s they had not been in a storm like that in quite awhile — if ever. The lightening was constant, and the peals of thunder rolled on and on, one over another. Many of these lightening strikes were of the positive types which are whoppers. Many of the OFs heard and felt some of these real nasty cracks; these strikes are where the negative charge coming up from the ground meets the positive charge coming down from the cloud. WHAM! That little get together will get your attention. The scribe thinks that’s how this type of lightning goes, but the scribe is going back to the seventh or eighth grade where at that time the OFs learned all this stuff. It may even be fifth or sixth grade. Hey, that was about 69 years ago. The OFs are lucky they can remember where the keys to the truck are.

The OFs were talking once again about TV commercials. Somehow the OFs think they are out of the loop for many of the commercials because they have no idea what these commercials are trying to sell. One OG said we are not young enough to grasp the concept, or we have too much age on us to be horns waggled into buying whatever they are selling. Then another OF continued on with whatever it is, it is not for us anyway so maybe we are not supposed to know.

One thing the OFs understand is that half the ads are only half true. Then one OF said most of the car ads are not true. The OF asked how can all the car companies say their company, as a whole, give the best gas mileage? There can only be one car that does give the ‘best’ mileage, so all the others that really don’t are fibbing. One OF said put a pad or a piece of paper by the TV and note each company that mentions gas mileage and claims they are the ‘best’ and he bets that Chrysler will mention gas mileage but stays out of the “we are the best game.”

One OF said that to him sometimes the commercials are the best thing on TV. This OF thinks some of them are very clever and original, even if he doesn’t understand at times what the commercial is peddling. Well, we are OFs and even if the OFs don’t understand them many times the commercials are better than the show an OF said.

Then a real smart OF said the commercials must work because companies spend millions of dollars on them so they must get a good return on their investment or they wouldn’t do it.

So one OF suggested why don’t we make OF T-shirts and caps, pool our money, make a commercial and put it on local TV and make a fortune selling OF T-shirts with our pictures on it. Oh dear (scribe’s words) the only ones that would buy a T-shirt with our faces on it would be relatives and those who want to scare away bill collectors. (Scribe’s editor’s note: don’t count on the relatives).

Those OFs that attended the breakfast and said they will work on an idea for T-shirts that would work well in a wet T-shirt contest were: Roger Shafer, Frank Pauli, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Steve Kelly, Roger Chapman, Duane Wagenbaugh, Henry Witt, Robie Osterman, Joe Loubier, Jim Watson, Doug Hay, Harold Guest, Glenn Paterson, Mark Traver, Art Frament, Bob Turk, Bob Benac, Roger Fairchild, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Don Wood, Jim Heiser, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, and me.