This scribe looked around the Home Front Café in Altamont this morning, which was Tuesday the 13th of May, and again noticed that the restaurant was full of men. The only member of the distaff side was the waitress. This scribe thought that, as often as this happens, the ladies’ time out and about must be later on in the day.

The OFs talked about mowing the grass (not hay). This is almost like the same conversation of last week only now the OFs are already complaining about cutting the grass. Once started in the spring the OFs say it is like pulling a cork out of a bottle. The grass (AKA weeds in some yards) continues to grow and once one corner or section of the yard is done, it is necessary to go back and start all over right away. This little circus goes on until late June and in August when the OFs are able to catch up with the growing cycle of the grass (AKA weeds) the grass takes a break in the hot weather.

Another typical discussion was that of the OFs medical operations. The OFs were not talking hang-nail type operations but the real thing, like heart bypasses, knees, shoulders, hips, hernias, some cancers, and having metal plates placed in the head. One OF has just had his hearing repaired in one ear. The OFs don’t know if this is a hearing aid or not. Half the OFs have those things, and the other half need them. But this OF had an operation on his head. The doctors placed something in his head just behind the left ear. Then they gave the OF a round object about one inch in diameter, and one quarter inch thick. Attached to that object is a little box about one inch square and one quarter inch thick. This unit snaps to the metal plate inside his head with a magnet. When the OF clicks this unit to his head he can hear. It sure is different than a hearing aid, and also different in price ─ about two to three times more than a pair good hearing aids.

The OFs that have had other operations all seemed to have them do whatever they were supposed to do in one degree or another. Some of the OFs have no pain while others, at times, have a little discomfort. A few of the OFs have problems with some of their joints and they could be operated on, but the advice from the doctors is “leave it alone and live with it.” The OFs wonder why this approach is taken at times and at other times the knife is already in the air.

Some of the OFs have had their operations done at the hospital in Cooperstown and say what a nice place this is. It is a small hospital with only 164 beds but the OFs that have used the facility say it is a good hospital and they felt safe there. Cooperstown is a town in central New York, and one OF had a three-way bypass done at this facility. After the bypass surgery he was sent to Sunnyview rehab in Schenectady for his (you guessed it) rehabilitation. This OF was transported by ambulance to Sunnyview. This is quite a ride, and the driver apparently knew his way around Cooperstown, but got lost with the OF in Schenectady. The OF said the ambulance driver drove all over the place trying to find the hospital. Some of the OFs could understand this because of the one-way streets, and it is not the easiest of hospitals to get to even if you were from Albany and had an inkling of Schenectady.

The OFs assumed the driver must have been male because he could have asked for directions. The OF in the ambulance said he did ask for directions but they seemed to be of no help. No one asked if the ambulance had a GPS, which would have been a help. This was a few years ago, because most of the newer ambulances today are equipped with a GPS system. A few of the OFs are EMTs and one said that the GPS systems works pretty well if you are a good speller and know how to spell where you are and where you want to go.

One OF had a knee replaced recently and is getting around great but the hospital stay was another thing. We will save that for another time.

Those OFs that made it to the Home Front Café in Altamont and who would make a good support group for those contemplating an operation, or for reassuring those just coming out of an operation, were: Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Frank Pauli, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Bill Krause, Dave Williams, George Cove, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Otis Lawyer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Andy Tinning, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Ken Hughes, Mace Porter, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.

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