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It was the 23rd of October and a Tuesday when the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont. At this morning’s breakfast it was good to see that Cindy made an appearance and she is looking great after her recent bout with both ankles broken. This scribe’s wife keeps threatening to pack him off to the “Home,” and Cindy said she thought that would be where she would wind up, but with both of us such in not the case. With the scribe it is not that if he is ready for the Home, but is the Home ready for him? Cindy, though laid up, is definitely not Home material.

This led to the birds, bees, animals and fish and how beautiful they look. The OF’s were wondering why we evolved, or God made us, to look so ugly. (Take your pick as to how you perceive it…evolved or made.) The OFs said look at any bird book, or aquarium, or the sky when it is laced with the beautiful colors of the birds that soar on the air. Look at the fish that glide through the water with their dazzling colors. The OFs said, “Then there is us with our wrinkled pallor.” The ladies try to improve the situation by dressing themselves in animal skin prints to look like a leopard or a zebra. Some even stick peacock feathers in their hats to look like a bird. Some dye their hair ridiculous colors to emulate the plumage of a parrot.

“The guys get into the act too,” one OF said, “But not to the extent that the ladies do.” This OF remembers coon skin coats, and beaver hats. In the Stone Age these types of garments were necessary, but with plant and synthetic fibers, and the leather from dead cows, who needs these rare or wild animal skins.

The OFs then started discussing the Zip Line that is supposed to be developed in Thacher Park. The OFs recalled the new swimming pool and water park that was supposed to be built in the park several years ago and that never happened. (electric railroad) From what the OFs understand this particular Zip Line will be for the kids, and will not be an exciting ride for adults. The OFs thought a line going from the water tank down to bottom of the cliff (if the park could purchase some land for a good landing spot off route 156) would be great. That would be some ride. The proposed line is for youngster’s age 5 through 12. This should help attendance at the parks though because it will give the kids something to do other than try to jump off the cliff.

The new attractions at some of the ski areas around the world are mountain coasters. The OFs say these coasters look like fun if only they were 20 years younger or 20 years old. The OFs picked 20 years old. These are apparently tracks that go down mountains and the tracks have little carts on them; they must be built where the ski runs are not. It makes the ski areas a fun place to go year round. One OG said, “What if you are going down one of those runs and your cart becomes stuck, and there is another cart swooshing down just a little way in back of you? That could be one nasty collision. Talk about a rear-ender.” Another OF said, “There must be some kind of control because this probably happens from time to time.”

The political ads are still on television and radio, and filling up the mail boxes. The OFs say, “Enough already!” The OFs get the message and they are pretty sure everyone else does too. One OG said that he is wearing out the mute button on his remote. Then another OG said that he is now hitting the remote as soon as the commercials start and he turns it back once the show starts. A different OF said, “I bet Raymor and Flannigan loves that because now none of their advertising messages are getting out.” “True,” an additional OG said, “And I used to like some of the commercials; many times the commercials are better than the show, and I love that little gecko, but I will forego that gecko so I don’t have to put up with all the political nonsense.”

One OF said, “Do the commercials induce you to purchase anything they are touting?” The OFs collectively noted that when most advertisers who go on blabbing about their wares are finished we can’t even remember the name of the advertiser. One OF then said to another, “That is not unusual you can’t even remember your own name.” “Yeah,” the other OF retorted, “but I do remember your wife’s maiden name.” Then an OF mentioned, “Have you ever gone into a car dealership with a price as seen on TV and was there any vehicle with that price?” All the OFs chuckled over that one.

One OF said he thinks that the people that do the car ads are now doing the political ads. Truth in advertising has disappeared into the sunset along with the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Hmmm. Whatever really did happen to Randolph Scott?

The OFs that met at the Home Front Café in Altamont and some feeling that they are glad we are the way we are, and not running around looking like a blue-faced baboon, even if blue is a pretty color were: Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Jim Heiser, Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, Henry Witt, Justin Stevens, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Lou Schenck, Harold Guest, Arnold Geraldsen, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me.

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