Put a nick in the post. Tuesday, the 30th of December, the sky was actually blue and sun was in the eyes of most of the Old Men of the Mountain on their way to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. Nearly all of them were catching the sun as it came up, and for “A” people that is the best part of the day.
This scribe found out later that some of the OFs again got lost, not actually lost, but just twisted around on the way home from the Hilltown Café. Really, the restaurant is easy to find, and it’s just as easy to leave, when people stick to the main roads. However, when many strangers and even some so-called locals try a road less traveled in the Hilltowns of the Helderbergs, it sometimes becomes time to send out the St. Bernard’s with the jugs around their necks.
The OFs started talking about some of the OFs that are having tough physical problems and the upbeat attitude they have to whatever their problem is.
The OFs are OFs because it seems that those in the group do not have a “woe is me” attitude. The report on the OFs that are in these situations is that they are positive. One particular OF that is having a tough time of it became paralyzed and is in therapy ─ really intensive therapy. This OF cannot walk “yet.” He is making progress but it is slow, however, he has told the OFs that visit him he is going to “walk” out of this place. By golly the OFs are sure he will. This type of attitude applies to the others. The OGs have said this before and will say it again, you have to be tough to get old, and it is the personal approach the OFs have to this getting old bit that helps them get old with attitude.
Many of the OFs have outdoor-type personalities i.e., hikers, kayakers, hunters, fishermen, the type that pull on the boots, pull down the ear flaps and head out. This morning they were talking about fishing spots along the Schoharie creek and elsewhere. These places range from Burtonsville to beyond Middleburgh. There are others but this group of OFs was talking specifically about the areas on the Schoharie creek because of the eagles that nest there. This scribe, who spends a lot of time outdoors (but isn’t one of these outdoorsy type of OFs) surmises that the eagles are as smart as the OFs; these birds know where the fish are.
Traveling back in time again was brought about by current events and how things have changed. The geography covered was basically Warner Lake. The OFs discussed the absence of some of the eating establishments on the Hill and how those which are left have taken over. The OFs did take in the old Rest Seekers Inn and what a place that was. They spoke about the Lake and how Zwicks was on one end and O’Hanlon’s on the other. Both places had boat launches and places to swim in the lake. It was different then, and the OFs were younger of course, and might be remembering the times and fun from a different angle.
One OF remembers bringing friends from Long Island to Rest Seekers. At first they were hesitant to enter, because instead of eating in the bar like the OF usually did, they went in through the diner door. To those not familiar with the Rest Seekers design this entrance was like going into someone’s basement. It was lit with one 60-watt bare bulb screwed into a pigtail, and wired to a wire hanging from the ceiling.
Once inside the place would be full, and the collection of people would be from farmers still with their boots on, to people in fur coats, suits, and ties. The Long Island people were still uncomfortable because when they sat down at the tables, the tables were at such an angle it too two cups of coffee to get one. Usually friends from the Hill would stop by and genuinely ask who they were and say things like, “I hope you are hungry”, or “order this or that.” The discomfiture finally left and the Long Island people loosened up and were amazed at the quantity, and quality, of the food.
The real kick in the pants came when one of the Long Island people thought they would have a slice of watermelon with ice cream for dessert, so that was ordered. What was served was half of a large watermelon, and at least a quart of ice cream. The Long Island person just stared and then broke out laughing when he found out it was just for him because that is what he ordered. Ah! The Rest Seekers gone but not forgotten. Foxenkill? Well, that is another story, and it wasn’t on the hill anyway.
The OFs at this breakfast wished all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year as they left, and so it is the next breakfast will be in 2015. It seems to most of the OFs that we just left the breakfast wondering what we were going to do when all the banks failed, and the computers all went down, and the stock market crashed because we were going into the 21st century. Where did all that time go? The OFs are still waiting for the electronic disaster. There may be tough times somewhere down the line, but doomsday, the OFs maintain, that is just a scare tactic to sell products.
Those OFs that made it to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville and who are ready for 2015 were: Karl Remmers, Bob Snyder, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, George Washburn, Roger Chapman, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Miner Stevens, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Chuck Aleseio, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, and me.