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On Tuesday, March 26th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the fine dining establishment of Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh. The restaurant presented a cake with one candle on it for one of the OGs that made it to 80 years old. The longer we gather the older we become. (Well duh!). Think of what old was when you were six years old, then eighteen years old, then thirty years old. Well, to the OFs seventy is not that old, and neither is getting to be eighty.

The OFs think it is each person’s chemical make up that leads them into a ripe old age. One OF mentioned that we are all factories using calories to stoke the furnaces, that run the generators to generate the electricity that make us function. The OFs concluded that like factories some people don’t work as well as others. Why is it, the OFs wondered, that a number of people can smoke and drink until they are one hundred years old, and for other people smoking and drinking whacks them when they are forty.

Why is it some guys can do nothing and look like Charles Atlas and others go to the gym every day, eat right and still look like a walking bean stalk, or Santa Claus. One OF said it is a crap shoot. Others said it is smarter to play by the numbers. Exercise reasonably, eat reasonably, and stay away from fast women. One OF wondered why guys aren’t called fast guys, and another OG answered that those guys have their own name ─ they are called horny OFs.

One OF surmised it would be great if, when anyone is born, doctors could run a test on them at that time and stamp them with a symbol of some type that says this kid can smoke and carouse all he wants. However, another kid might get a stamp that says he shouldn’t smoke or drink, or eat fried foots. Oh, the dilemma.

One OF said if he knew then what he knows now he would have lived a completely different life style. “Good or bad?” one OF asked, and the OF answered that he would have started chasing women sooner. “You old goat,” one OF said who knew him well; “You started when you were seven years old. Whatcha want to do, start when you were four?” “You got,” it the other OF replied.

The OFs hung around this discussion for a while but eventually started talking about “sayings” that don’t mean a darn thing. For example, old adages like “red skies in the morning sailors take warning, red skies at night sailor’s delight.” Just what in the world does that mean…in our humble opinion, not a darn thing. How often are the sunrises and sunsets the same ─ a beautiful sunset at night, and a beautiful sunrise in the morning. Now what?

Take another saying or aphorism ─ the colors on the woolly bear caterpillar, for instance. Black and a reddish brown color and the more brown color you see is supposed to indicate a milder winter. Many OGs have caught three or four woolly bears at the same time and the colors may be close, but they are not the same. If these caterpillars are supposed to be such great weather prognosticators shouldn’t they be all alike the OFs wondered. One OG said he understood it had nothing to do with the coming winter but the winter that has just gone by. If it was a mild winter the woolly bear had more brown than black, conversely if it had more black than brown it was a hard winter, at least for the woolly bears.

The topic of birds as watchdogs was brought up (and that is the way it was said…the OFs called the birds, dogs). The stories told were of how some of these birds behaved (with loud screeches and hisses) when someone, or in many cases something, approached.

Some of the OFs reported how they had male turkeys that would attack anything, even cars. One told of how they had geese that drove everyone nuts but his sister; these birds followed her around like puppy dogs. Another told of a rooster that wouldn’t let anyone near the house, he would sit on the railing and anyone other than his wife, or himself, the rooster would drive away. Still another OG said he had one of his wife’s roosters (we emphasize WIFE) attack him from behind and stick his talons into the small of the OF’s back. This OF said there was a piece of a 2 X 4 nearby which the OF grabbed and nailed that bird. The OG said he brought it into the house and said, “Guess what’s for dinner?”

Some OFs liked going to the hen house to gather the eggs, while others didn’t because they had to fight off the roosters. Then one OG said he thought roosters were less aggressive if hens were around. Not always was the reply, so here we go again where a statement is supposed to cover all situations but it doesn’t.

Well, this situation was covered with the breakfast being held at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and all the OFs that had arrived to review the situation were: Henry Witt, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Jim Heiser, Roger Shafer, Robie Osterman, Miner Stevens, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Dave Williams, Bill Krause, Don Wood, Mace Porter, Garry Porter, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Don Moser, Arnold Geraldsen, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me.