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The Old Men of the Mountain by John R. Williams

It is almost October, and the leaves will soon have some color on them, but right now it is September 25th, and the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Country Café in Schoharie. Because the OFs were in Schoharie the early discussions were on the events happening in Schoharie.

Topic number one was the news that some kids were getting in the school and messing it up. The OFs remembered some of the pranks that were pulled when they were roaming the halls of the local high schools. Were these pranks as bad as what is being done now? The OFs didn’t think they were of the same type. The OF’s pranks were pranks and kids when caught, if caught, were made to clean it up (if there was any of that to do). The pranks back then were not vicious or destructive. They were disruptive, but not destructive — there is a difference.

The second discussion revolved around the low-life’s that have been stealing from those who are trying to rebuild. Many people have spent money and time to help this community out. Those that lost everything in the flood did not have much to begin with, and when items were replaced they found them stolen. To the OFs this is inconceivable. The OFs said that if the looters are local they should be strung up at high noon on Main Street, If these scoundrels (which would be a very small section of the many good volunteers that have joined together and have traveled from all over country to help) and these creeps have joined the many good volunteer groups just for the purpose of casing the joint (so to speak) they should be put in jail for years and assigned to a chain gang to help with the restoration of the valley. The OFs were really upset with the news of this happening to all the hard working people of the valley on top of the devastation of the flood.

The OFs say that those who are up early in the morning — especially this morning — and see the deep blue sky that often times greets the early riser, they would also see the many contrails lousing up the blue of this gorgeous sky. The OFs talked about how this must account for the few true sunny days we have in our area. “The clouds could be seen forming as these contrails began to thin out,” one OF said. Another added that, “By the time we leave this breakfast I bet we will have high thin clouds and the nice blue sky will be gone.” “The weather people,” another OF chimed in, “say these contrails have nothing to do with it.” This OF says, “Baloney, they can’t tell me that tons of water each one of these planes produces and disperses does not turn into clouds.” This OF maintained it is a conspiracy between the weather people and big industry to say that these contrails are harmless so there will be nothing done about it.

This scribe has a bit of housekeeping to do. To this OFs chagrin he left off the list of those who were at the breakfast a couple of weeks ago…a complete carload of faithful OFs. These OFs were there, so for their wife’s information they had not absconded to other places, like a sleazy bar, or a planned secret rendezvous someplace else. They were with us in body; we really don’t know about mind. So Mrs. Slater, Mrs. Chapman, and Mrs. Stevens, your husbands were well accounted for, plus we have twenty or so witnesses to attest to the fact they were at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburg and they were also with us this morning at the Country Café in Schoharie along with: Harold Guest, Mark Traver, Roger Chapman, Carl Slater, Glenn Patterson, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Miner Stevens, Bill Bartholomew, Jim Heiser, Frank Pauli, Dave Williams, Duane Wagenbaugh, Roger Shafer, Joe Loubier, Bob Ssome, Ted Willsey, Rich Donnelly, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Harold Grippen, Carl Stefnick (visitor for a day), Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Gerry Chartier, and me.

This scribe would also like to add that one of our really, really early members, Mike Willsey (he would have to be a really, really early member) has his 65th wedding anniversary coming up.

Congratulations to Mike and Whilma. Of course, this was a planned marriage by their parents and the nuptials were established at birth — they are not that old…just kids by OF’s standards.