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Tuesday, the 19th of February, 2013 the Old Men of the Mountain, traveled to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. Many of the OFs that drove found the roads busy with cars. One OF said that it was the day after a holiday and this OF thought those that had the time off became a little used to sleeping in and many were in a little bit of a hurry to get to work on time. Was this OF speaking from experience?

A few of the OFs attended the funeral of Bill Frueh, the “blind drummer” whose obituary appeared in the Enterprise last week and who several of the OMOTM knew. One OF was there in Civil War uniform as were many other re-enactors that Bill knew. The funeral itself was impressive with those in uniform standing guard at the head and foot of the casket. Because of the funeral our conversation drifted toward the topic of death and dying. This event is not too far away from the OFs, and many are resigned to life’s final act.

As soon as the dying and death conversation was covered (and that did not take long) the topic was dropped and the OFs began talking about other things. One was the news report on the mother who provided the dancer for her 16-year old son’s birthday, and the other news report was the one that really removed the joke about stuffy and stiff librarians, being stuffy and stiff. The OFs are not saying this is right but guys remember what they were like when they were 15-16-17 years old. At that age we all needed a good dose of salt peter every now and then. The OFs used the same sentence that was used in a previous column, i.e., to hear the news reporters and the big deal they are making of this. Those reporting in the media must have all been saints, and are bucking for sainthood. One OF said there isn’t going to be enough halos to go around to take care of all the sanctimonious pundits.

Another frequent conversation the OGs have is how many pills are too many pills? This morning we found that some are taking more pills than most of the OFs thought. One OF assumed that maybe 6 to 9 pills was a lot until this morning. Another OF reported that he takes twenty-five pills a day, and in the ‘can you top this’ category the OF who was sitting adjacent to the OF with the twenty-five topped it; not with a figure like twenty-eight, but this OF said he take fifty pills a day. That is FIFTY.

Everyone at the table asked him how he manages all that medication, and the OG said he has a regular routine. He lays the pills out in labeled containers, morning, noon, supper, and night. This OG reported that it didn’t take him long to establish a routine because if he misses a does he knows it. One OF said if he knew what he knows now when he was young he would have invested in baby furniture, clothes, strollers, and anything connected with babies. The other half would have been in pharmaceuticals.

Most of the OFs that are taking pills, take them all at once, plop them all in one hand and chuck-em in, as one OF put it. A different OF said that when one pill gets twisted sideways going down it is miserable. This OF said when this happens he tries to hack it up but many times the dumb pill refuses to move. The OF continued, “So I drink more water trying to wash it down because if the wayward pill dissolves in my throat it tastes awful.”

Another OF agreed…he takes one pill by itself because of the rotten taste if it doesn’t go down. “That spoils the rest of my day, the OF said, “This particular pill has a rotten taste that hangs around and I can taste it all day.” This OF pictures his stomach containing this witches brew as the witch of Endor stirs this caldron of chemicals churning in his gut as she waits for Saul to show up.

Here’s a final note from the scribe. On the farm most of the OFs had doodlebugs. The doodlebug was taking old cars and making them useful again. Some doodlebugs were no more than an engine, a transmission, a drive shaft, and a rear end mounted in what was left of a chassis. Wooden seats maybe. Floorboards maybe. Some kind of truck bed maybe. Brakes that worked maybe. Headlights were a definite plus. These vehicles were the precursor to the ATV of today.

Most were made by kids, driven by kids, and scared the living daylights out of mothers. Most of the OFs say they can still hear their mothers shouting “Orville, you do something about those kids running the doodlebug around!! Orville, do you hear me? Don’t you kids get on that machine!” This parental tirade always fell on deaf ears.

Those OFs that showed up at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg, and parked their doodlebugs outside all in a row were: Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Bill Krause, Steve Kelly, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Lou Schenck, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Otis Lawyer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Jim Heiser, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, Elwood Vanderbilt, and me.