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What a beautiful late November day for the Old Men of the Mountain to go to the Country Café on Main Street in Schoharie for breakfast. Some of the OFs sat on the bench in the sun outside the Country Cafe after eating breakfast…after all the OFs are retired and in no particular rush to get anywhere. The weather on the 20th of November could have been anything other than what it was this morning.

One OF muttered he wondered what kind of a day it was in other parts of the world, like Coober Pedy, Australia, or Mar del Plata, Argentina. “Who the heck cares,” said one OF, “all I care about is right here in front of the Country Café, in Schoharie, or maybe our little section of the Northeast.” (For those interested in Coober Pedy, Austraila the low was 18C, and the high 35C, which is about 34F to 95F so it was a tad warm there. The weather in Mar del Plata, Argentina is 58F for a low, and 84F for the high; both places were partly cloudy.)

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the OFs were talking about turkeys. Sometimes, on the way to a particular restaurant where the breakfast is to be held, the vehicles transporting the OFs will encounter certain wild life along the way. It is a 50/50 split between deer and turkeys. Squirrels and chipmunks don’t count. It was odd that this Tuesday the number of vehicles that spotted (or had to dodge) turkeys running hither and yon across the highway. Some OFs thought that the birds sensed it was Thanksgiving and they were the meal of choice and were trying to get away.

“Well,” one OF said, “they are one dumb bird if they think that being out in the open is the way to go.” Then another OF said, “Hey, these turkeys are smarter than you think. All the hunters are in the woods looking for them”. This OF had a point. The OF didn’t know many people that really ate wild turkey, or even free range birds.

Now that the season is here that discussion of turkeys drifted into hunting and the OFs began talking about the number of deer already bagged. This scribe tried to keep up with those he could hear and it was a goodly number, approaching about a dozen or so, all ready to be put in the freezer. How much of this talk was factual, and how much of it was like the size of a fish caught was hard to determine.

One OF reported that his son was out hunting and was scouring the landscape for any deer and saw nothing, then he heard a noise behind him and turning around saw that the deer were following him. Ah, the hunter being hunted. The outcome of this hunting story was that the deer were not taken because they were of no challenge and did not have good looks…whatever that meant. (Editor’s comment: was he looking for a date?)

The OFs, as reported, quite often are of many talents. Some are useful talents and some don’t amount to a hill of beans. Some of the OFs are mechanic/mechanics because others ─ being farmers ─ can fix just about anything, but are not “really” mechanics. These farmer mechanics are lost without duct tape and baling wire.

One OF had another OF build him a truck body for working in the woods. This thing turned into a work of art and really was over-designed and will hold more than the truck can pull. The OF that owned the truck one day took full advantage of the truck body and loaded it to what the body would hold. The truck itself said “What!?” and with the loaded body it looked like the little truck that could and started out saying to itself, “this is ridiculous”, then when a quick stop was necessary the little truck that could popped a break line…no brakes. “That’ll teach ya,” the truck thought to itself, “load me to the breaking point ─ well, we will put a stop to that.” The way the truck advised the OF that owned the truck is by not stopping. So back to the OF that was the mechanic the truck went. This time to have the brakes repaired, which was done and the truck is back in service and probably will not be loaded like that again. It is good to have OFs that can do many things, but now as the OMOTM grow older we need some younger old men to handle these problems because the rest of us…though the OFs have the knowledge… don’t have the bodies that can do the work.

The OFs creak when they get down, and then they can’t get back up without some kind of assistance. They need a stick to push on, or something else to hang onto while they position the rickety old legs in the proper order to lift themselves up. The golden years, many of the OFs say, is how much they contribute to the medical profession to keep them ambulatory ─ this is where the gold is.

Those attending the breakfast at the Country Café in Schoharie and actually enjoyed basking in the morning sun were: Jim Heiser, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Harold Guest, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Frank Pauli, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Dave Williams, Don Wood, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, and me.

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