Tuesday December 9th was not a nice day. The Old Men of the Mountain on their way to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown kept…slip sliding away, slip sliding away/you know the nearer you’re destination/the more you’re slip sliding away. Simon and Garfunkel must have known the northeast well. That’s what it was like getting to the restaurant this morning, and getting back home was even worse. However, some hardy OFs made it to the breakfast.

The discussion was mainly kidding back and forth, about family living, and friends. One of the topics was what to get the wife for Christmas. It seems to the OFs that the ladies have more intuitive sense on what to get as presents then the OFs. It was found out that many of the OFs agonize over what to get for them, and they hope it is the right thing. A vacuum cleaner is not one of them. Jewelry is pretty safe, but will it be right and will she wear it? Clothes? That is another area that should be safe but most of the OFs don’t even know what size shirt their ladies wear, and will it have to be a whole outfit because most (not all) of the OFs don’t have a clue to what is hanging in the wife’s closet so matching something is out.

One OF mentioned that we should come right out and ask what she wants and go and get it. Another OF said he tried that and she said another husband.

An OF said at their ages there is not much they need or want and if there is something they just go and check out the stores and buy it. Last weeks OF repeated his idea of “just get anything with the return slip because they are going to return it anyway. It doesn’t even have to fit if it is clothes, or whatever, just as long as you spend enough on it ─ that is the secret. At least I know what kind of stores my wife likes.” One OF said, “Just haul them off to Kohl’s.”

The Altamont Fair was discussed a lot at this morning’s breakfast regarding all the changes that have been made over the years. The OFs also said that the current Fair Manager is retiring, and heading south. Pretty soon this ole globe is going to tip over with all the people headed to where the rays of the sun are longer. (As this scribe is typing this column on the 10th of December and looking out the window at all the limbs down from about 1/8” of ice and 15 to 18 inches of snow, a trip down south does not look like that bad of an idea.)

The OFs discussed the craft show and sale at the “Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center” on Ketchum Road in the Town of Knox, and some of the artisans there. They mentioned the lady that makes baskets out of pine needles, only these are not pine needles like our northern pine needles, these are pine needles from the south and are about 8 to 10 inches long. Of course the OFs would pick up on that, and then they brought up the cookie lady. Again, the OFs would pick up on that also. The OFs thought this was a good quality show.

Then the OFs talked about collections and discussed what is a collection and what is just hoarding. That is a good question. As it is often pointed out, a collection is when you have more than 3 of the same type of thing. It could be thimbles, or pick-up trucks. Hoarding, the OFs maintain, is when it is just all kinds of stuff that has no rhyme or reason. Most of the OFs are collectors, and often times discuss their collections, and even have other OFs spotting items for some other OF’s collection, even to the point of purchasing it if the OF thinks the price is in line for the other OF. The OFs go over this topic a lot. Twice at this breakfast the subject of women came up and in this case one OF who is not a collector of much did say he would like to start a collection of women. “Three or more is a collection, right?” the OF inquired. “Yep,” was the reply, “But it is a selective hobby,” the OF was told. “You can’t have one young one, one old one, one thin one and one fat one.” The OF countered, “Why not, if I was collecting thimbles I could have one old one, one fancy one, one plain one, one for wind hands, and one for fat hands.” The other OFs had to agree; maybe he could pick and choose.

The other OFs said, “That is a collection I would not want to start, I have enough trouble with one.” “Me too,” was a quick reply from another OG.

Now it was time to talk about affairs of the heart, and who has what in their heart, and who has had some serious repair jobs to the engine of the body. Many of the OFs have had that organ worked on. Many of the OFs have had heart catheterizations. All but one have had no problems. The one with the problem had his procedure performed through his arm, and at first things didn’t go right. However, everything is fine now; it was just the problem of waiting it out until the arm got back to normal. The OFs think that this practice will soon be a thing of the past and they will be able to check the heart out without any invasive procedure.

Those OFs that braved the weather, and made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown, were: Roger Chapman, Andy Tinning, Bill Krause, John Rossmann, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, and me.