The Old Men of the Mountain by John R. Williams
On Tuesday, the 28th day of May, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Country Café on Main Street in Schoharie. The charm of the Schoharie valley is becoming quite evident now. Most of the scars of the flood are disappearing with the new growth of vegetation, the flowers, and nature’s natural way of repairing itself. Although nature is never in a hurry…she takes her time.
The OFs discussed the C-130 (the four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft) some columns back. That prompted a phone call from a reader who put the OMOTM in touch with a couple of men who work with the C-130 in Glenville. That conversation developed into a meeting with the C-130 people who are currently in talks with a few of the OMOTM who are also members of the Masonic Lodge in Berne, NY.
What is in the works is a talk on the C-130 with demonstrations and explaining some of the equipment that is used. This demonstration will be held on June 27th, at 7 pm at the Masonic Lodge in Berne. This will be a special event because the OMOTM will be bringing their wives, girl friends, and siblings to this presentation. It should be a lot of fun and some of the OFs will be seeing the distaff side of some of they OFs for the first time.
The Lodge members also suggested that it would be nice to invite the public to this event so they will not only be able to see what the C-130 is all about but also meet some of the OFs and find out not only that most OFs are old but also are real live people, and we don’t make this stuff up. (Well most of the time).
Right now the OMOTM are in the middle of a discussion on refreshments. That would be a nice touch. What to have, and how much to have, things like that. It is beginning to sound like the OMOTM needs an auxiliary. There will be more to come on this, however, save Thursday, June 27th for a trip to the Berne Lodge, around 7 pm. Formal attire will not be required.
The OFs talked about who among the younger group is going to have staying power. We had Astaire and Rodgers, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Einstein, FDR, Eisenhower, John Wayne, Marlin Monroe, Bradshaw, Hope and Crosby, Barney Oldfield, and so many others…even The Beatles.
The OFs are sure there are some up and coming personalities but people the age of the OFs do not see much of a connection with the younger set. Who, in their twenties now, will still be remembered and associated with icon status, forty, fifty, or one hundred years from now? The OFs can’t see Justin Bieber being remembered in 3013, but the OFs think that Ruth, or Einstein, etc. will still be remembered.
One OF said those in the history books, like Caesar, Gandhi, Columbus, Hitler, Salk, will still be in the history books in 3013, unless George Orwell’s 1984 takes over and makes it illegal to own books.
The OFs talked about going barefoot, and how tough their feet became when they were kids. We don’t know how much bare footing goes on today, but in the OFs day after just a little running around barefoot the OFs could run on nails and not know it. One OF said no wonder the young people come down with so much sickness, they have not eaten or come in contact with enough germs to build up a resistance to them.
Everything seems to be so sterile today ─ youngsters have no germs in them to fight other germs. The attacking germs just take over, and bingo! You are sick. Unless it is something really strange the OFs say go ahead and eat it, drink it, breathe it; eventually the body will be able to handle it. In the long run it may even turn out to be good for you.
One OF said, “It is good to be a little cautious, though, I don’t think it would be good to have too many mutants running around.” Then another OF added, “Who knows? Maybe the mutants will be better off in the future.”
Then a third OF said, “You guys are way off base here. Some of this stuff will kill you in an instant. Who knows what is being cooked up in some of these labs? I am all for washing the food well before eating it, and washing my hands frequently. Hey, it is not going to hurt me to do that, and it doesn’t take any more time.”
Finally (and not a moment too soon) an OF said, “I know that cleanliness is supposed to be next to godliness but what did God do? He knelt down and scooped up some mud from beside a river and made us. So we are no more than mud with a soul. I say eat dirt and go to church.”
Those OFs that attended the breakfast at the Country Café in Schoharie and were served some darn good breakfasts and not an ounce of mud were: Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Steve Kelly, Frank Pauli, Roger Shafer, Dave Williams, Harold Guest, Jim Rissacher, Jim Hauser, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Otis Lawyer, Miner Stevens and guest (his son-in- law Kevin Carey), Bill Krause, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Don Woods, Ted Willsey, Bob Lassome, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me