The Old Men of the Mountain went to bed on Monday night the 26th of January, along with everybody else scared out of their wits, because the OFs thought they were going to wake up to the storm of the century. That is not too hard to do seeing as how we are only beginning the 15th year of the century. However, what the OFs woke up to was nothing, notta, zilch. Route 88 was dry, Route 7 was wet in spots, and the secondary roads had a tad of snow on them in certain locations. However, as the reader will note at the end of this little report, that news did keep some of the OFs at home, the names of the hardy ones who made it to the Duanesburgh Diner in Duanesburgh are listed here.
Needless to say the first topic of the morning was the weather, or the non-weather, at least for the localities of the OFs. Some OFs reported hearing the snowplows going by early in the morning with their plows down spewing sparks. The OFs are sure there was a reason for this, and noted that for one thing plows are better than an alarm clock to wake the OFs up. One OF mentioned when the weather people are right he is glad the plows are out there because if he can get out of his driveway he is sure the roads will be passable.
One OF said he went to Price Chopper on Monday and the place was a zoo. Especially down the soda/potato chip aisle. Another OF said that it probably had nothing to do with the weather, people were just making sure they had their goodies ahead of time combining the “storm of the century” on its way, and the Super Bowl coming up. “Well, it was packed,” the OF said, “And when stores are packed like that I can’t think,” the OF concluded, “It is lucky I came home with anything close to what was needed, and I did forget one of the things I was sent to the store for.” “You OG, you would have done that anyway, even if it was a balmy, sunny day and only two people are in the store,” another OF retorted, “You are just like the rest of us ─ you need a list!”
The OFs continued chatting about the weather that didn’t happen. One OF mentioned that weather people don’t make unreliable forecasts on purpose. What if the next time a storm is really coming and people have a tendency to think back to this one and not take it seriously ─ go about their business and there are lives lost. What is the weather guy going to do then? Say, “I told you so”?
This discussion was weather-related, especially to us, because so far this has been a cold winter is our area. The OFs also talked about ice fishing. The way the weather has been the OFs have noticed a few ice fishing contests are being advertised. One thing the OFs noted was that the ice should be thick enough to support a tank. Some of the OFs used to ice fish, and some may still haul out the tip-ups, bundle up and get out there on the ice. With all the ice huts that are available now, they are like man-caves out on the ice. Comfy and well-stocked. The movie “Grumpy Old Men” depicted this sport very well.
The OFs talked about the size of some of the fish that were hauled out of the lakes while ice fishing and this led to a brief discussion on Thompsons Lake and Warner Lake. One OF mentioned that fish should have a good place to winter in Thompsons Lake because it was so deep. This OF said that Thompsons Lake was a kettle, and about 600 to 800 feet deep. In checking this out it was found that this OF added a 0. Thompsons Lake is about 60 to 80 feet deep. That’s deep enough for fish to winter anyhow.
Some of the OFs were snowplow operators on the Thruway. One OF said that one day the forecast was for a large storm so everyone was called in to get ready. The storm did not show up ─ at least initially. The supervisor (to keep everyone busy because the workers were there and many on overtime) assumed there wasn’t going to be a severe storm. He had the operators paint the snowplows. The operators, like good little soldiers, started painting the plows. They were just about finished when the storm hit like a ton of bricks. Out they went to do battle with the elements, however, many of the plow blades has just been painted. This wet paint came off and mixed with the snow and when all those anxious drivers who were in such a big hurry passed the plows their windshields became covered with yellow-painted snow. The OF said many of the vehicles had to have the paint taken off with lacquer thinner.
As reported before most of the OFs are not news junkies, except when the weather people are giving the weather. Once they catch the weather report most of the OFs then go on about their business. The weatherman on Channel 6 apparently got it right and said he did not expect that much snow in our area. Again it is apparently ─ the other guys were in panic mode. “What did we do?” was a rhetorical question asked by the OFs when all we had were crystal sets. As stated before weather is what it is…deal with it! Help those that need help, and you should try to be like the ant and not the cricket. The OFs have spoken.
The hardy OFs that made it to the Duanesburgh Diner in Duanesburgh, on well-maintained roads as good as summer time were: Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, and me.