Tuesday June 17th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Blue Star Café in Schoharie. This morning the OMOTM lamented that at our breakfast next Tuesday the day will be shorter. The OFs complained how fast this came about, and many do not have all their gardens in yet. Some plants and seeds are in ─ but not all. The corn to be ‘knee high by the fourth of July’ will have to hustle. One OF said, “If we get a good stretch of warm days and warm nights, so the ground itself warms up, we might make it.”
Some of the OFs made it to the gas-up just outside of Gallupville, located off route 443 towards Schoharie, on Drebitko Road. This event is held two weekends a year, the weekend before Father’s day, and the weekend of Father’s day. The OFs that went on Saturday June 14th froze. It felt like it was about to snow, the wind blew, and the clouds rolled dark and ominous yet the event was well attended. Sunday was quite different, and oddly enough, the weekend before was even better. Some of the OFs had their equipment on display at the gas-up. The items at the gas-up are old and most of them run like new, only they look beat, just like the OFs that go there. However, the OFs look beat but they don’t run so well. It is hard to put a new spark plug and fresh gas in an OF and improve his operation. Most of the OFs have to grind it out with what they have, and like a hit and miss engine the OFs miss more than they hit.
The OFs wonder if the current generation would be able to get along if there happened to be a major catastrophe where all our power was interrupted for an extended period of time. There would be no internet, no gas, no lights; the list goes on and on. One heck of an adjustment period would ensue.
One OF suggested people should make a list of what supplies they would need and how they would obtain them. Decades ago, before there were large cities, people got along on basically farmer’s markets, ice houses, and homespun clothes. One OF said that either way with technology up the kazoo (or having no technology at all) the most important job on the whole planet is farming, and too many city people are forgetting that and driving the farmers off the land because through a whole list of rig-a-ma-roll, new governmental rules are making it quite hard to farm, and developers want the land. This topic seems to be a general theme with the OFs.
What if all the farmers got together and took care of only themselves and refused to deliver any goods to anyone else? The OFs bet things might change. However, one OG said he didn’t think it would change anything at all. The big warehouses would just import more materials from China, Chili, Australia, and places like that. It is a catch 22.
Another OF asked a rhetorical question, “What are we going to do with all the people as the earth’s population keeps expanding? There is only so much water and so much land, we can’t make any more of either, but we do continue to make babies.” An OF replied, “You are making my head hurt. To me the world is full of old people. My problem right now is making it to tomorrow.” Phew, enough of that! This scribe wants to move to another table. The scribe (as an OF) thinks that in the not to distant future humans will be scooting around space, like the rest of the universe.
When is it time to shut down the furnace? Some of the OFs are still running theirs. One OF said that he decided to shut his outside wood furnace down by letting it go out. So he did, and it got down to just a few embers. Then along came last Saturday, and last Friday night, and the OF said he caught it just in time and started that sucker up again. Taking a shower when the bathroom is only 60 some degrees is not his idea of fun. “Hey! It’s the middle of June for crying out loud,” the OF said. Some OFs added, “How about those apartment buildings where they automatically shut the heat off in May, and some even April 15th?” “Then it is the time to invest in a good electric heater,” was a common-sense reply by another OF.
Those OFs that made it to the Blue Star Restaurant in Schoharie because at one time, many years ago, they were a gleam in their father’s eye were: Jay Taylor, Bob Benac, Art Frament, Miner Stevens, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Karl Remmers, Dick Ogsbury, Glenn Patterson, Otis Lawyer, Jim Heiser, Mark Traver, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Don Wood, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Bob Lassome, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Joe Loubier, Mike Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Bill Krause, Roger Chapman, and me.