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On March 11th the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. It gives one quite a cheerful feeling as the OFs stroll into the respective eating establishments that the OFs frequent. The early birds greet the next group to filter in with “good mornings, and how-are-ya’s.” Then the group becomes a little larger for the next carload, and the greeting becomes more boisterous, and so on, and so on, until the last contingent filters in.

The OFs feel that the way one is greeted when he wakes up or arrives at the breakfast table sets the tone for the rest of the day. So a cheery “Good Morning” is always nice.

Speaking of good mornings the OFs had a conversation on sleeping. One OF said that even though he wakes up early, he turns over and sleeps in because he knows that when his feet hit the floor the rest of the day he is going to ache until he goes to bed at night. Mornings to him are not too cheery. Another OF said that he has trouble sleeping and uses a sleep aid every night or he can’t get to sleep. Another one concurred with that OF but he uses the aid because his legs and sometimes his back hurts, and if he doesn’t use the aid a lot of times the OF has to get up to stop the pain.

One OF said sleep is not his problem. The OF said he is asleep before his head hits the pillow, or he sits for five minutes in his easy chair. The OF said he falls asleep after reading just a couple of pages in a book. This OF also said that unless a TV show is super good he falls asleep in front of the TV.

Then there are the OFs that have to get up at night to go to the bathroom, some two or three times. There was a disparity among these OGs too since some fall right back to sleep and others toss and turn for awhile until they get back to sleep.

The OFs run the gantlet of sleeping from those who go to bed around 9 p.m., to those who can stay up until midnight. Some arise early (around 3 a.m.) and others are late risers and really aren’t awake until 9 a.m. Some of the OFs say most of the time they wake up well rested, and others feel like they have worked all night digging ditches full of blue clay, rocks, and roots.

The OF discussed the missing Malaysian 777 airplane. The Enterprise comes out on Thursday, and many get it via mail on Friday and this plane may have been found by then, but as of the 11th it was still a mystery. To some of the OFs it is not a mystery. These OFs say the plane was taken up into a space ship via a transporter beam, and we are wasting our time looking for it.

These OFs, the other OFs thought, were way off base but the suggestions and ideas were as varied as what has already been reported. This brought up a discussion on the B29 from WWII that was buried in the ice in Alaska. The OFs were impressed by all the effort to dig this plane out, restore it, and get it ready to fly. In the test run someone left a cleaning rag around or inside the engine nacelle (that is the housing, separate from the fuselage, that holds engines, fuel, or equipment on an aircraft) and the restored plane caught on fire and that was that.

The physical condition of the OFs varies considerably ─ from those that are confined to be spectators and doers that are still able to do. One OF was telling how he has wood cut in his woodlot and the snow is too deep to go get it, but he does put the snow shoes on and goes snow shoeing. That is work. Other OFs would like to do this but just physically can’t. The desire is there, but the body says no to the desire. Some of the OFs have adjusted to this part of aging and have substituted other activities, while others lament and fret about not being as physical as they once were.

One OF suggested that is why, when they were younger, they developed interest in more sedate activities like painting, or hooking rugs, or playing a musical instrument, or even wood carving. One OF mentioned that planting and cultivating terrariums is fun and takes more patience than effort. Another OF mentioned that he has gotten into model railroading, especially antique trains, again something that requires patience instead of a lot of effort. A few of these are great hobbies for those that like to work alone; simple woodworking on small things can be done alone also. Many of these are good projects for those who are alone and need something to occupy their time, so the OF doesn’t have too much “Oh, woe is me time.”

Those OFs who traveled to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg and do have one hobby that requires no effort at all (only money) and that is chasing women, were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, Karl Remmers, Dick Ogsbury, George Washburn, Glenn Paterson, Otis Lawyer, Jim Heiser, Chuck Aleseio, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Bill Krause, Andy Tinning, Lou Schenck, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Ken Hughes, Jack Norray, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.