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Ah! Tuesday, this Tuesday April 14th, was finally a decent day. The Old Men of the Mountain who were gathered up by their designated drivers for this particular Tuesday wound up at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh. As time goes by and the OFs become older OFs those that were hard of hearing years ago are now more so. When three of the older OFs that are hard of hearing are seated together there is a lot of staring off into space because all these OFs hear is the “Peanuts” speak of the TV shows, where Charlie Brown’s Christmas and the adult sounds are wah, wah, wahha, wa, wa. That is what these OFs hear, because their hearing aids are on the dresser or in a drawer in the kitchen. Those things only work one on one, and only when it is relatively quiet. This scribe speaks from experience because he is one of the three sitting together.

In the column from a couple of weeks ago the OMOTM mentioned the security of having a job with a farm in the family. To the farmers who are involved with the OMOTM, the recent news of there being a glut of milk in our area of the northeast and the co-op that handles the milk from some of these large dairies in the area are not going to take their milk because they have too much milk. This became quite a discussion with these OFs. The OFs harkened back to many of the OF’s heritage that of being farmers. This is very short sighted on the part of the co-op because many times when there is an over abundance of any commodity, that is used on a regular basis, and the powers that be decide to cut back, instead of cut down, eventually the abundance is used up and they have to gear up to meet the new demand. After the farmers that were in the co-op are forced to sell all their cows because they can’t afford to stay in business the OFs ask, now what, it takes awhile to grow a cow.

One OF wondered who is running this co-op? He asked, “Isn’t a co-op formed just to prevent this type of happening, and shouldn’t it work on behalf of those in the co-op?” Another OF said, “The final outcome of the problem is still in the air as of this Tuesday.” There may be a resolution to resolve the problem in the works as this is being typed.”

Then some of the OFs got on the doomsayers of the press as they waddle in the mud of doom and gloom. So much for that!

Speaking of gloom and doom the OFs entered into the conversation by speaking about how many of the OFs are having breakfast on a cloud in the sky. The OFs traveled back in time to the beginning and found the group on the cloud is larger in numbers now than the group at the Middleburgh Diner. The OFs started to include other groups they are familiar with or were part of. One OF mentioned a photograph taken of the department where he worked, and said there were about 40 employees at that time; when he retired there were 5 left. This department kept the photo, and as individuals left they crossed off their head in the photo. That is an interesting concept, and a great way to remember those that are gone.

The OMOTM are fortunate because of the introduction of new blood. Many of the OFs had friends when they were still working and when the OF retired many of these friends come and have breakfast with the friends they had while they were working and who retired before them. Those newly retired friends also now have friends that are still working, and you guessed it ─ the show goes on.

Like many conversations, whether it is OFs or not, the above discussion led to death and burials. This conversation was also prompted by the passing of Ted Pelkey a loyal OF who was cremated and his memorial service was April 10th. The talk of double urns came up and was thought of as a neat idea. This way one doesn’t have to invest in a huge burial plot, and is a good way to beat that ‘until death do us part’ bit. This way you can be buried together. One thought…what about a great big urn with many compartments ─ then it would be possible to have the whole family with you. One OF who was a Navy man said he isn’t going to need a burial plot, he is going to be cremated and his ashes spread on the sea. One OF thought that, as a gun enthusiast, he is going to instruct his family to find someone who loads their own bullets to stuff his ashes into some shotgun shells and shoot them off into the woods. Cool idea, however, the ideas came quickly after that; some are not reportable.

Those OFs still on this side of the sod, and able to make it to the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh, were: Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, George Washburn, Miner Stevens, Chuck Aleseio, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Frank Pauli, Dave Williams, Robie Osterman, Otis Lawyer, Henry Witt, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Don Wood, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Bill Krause, Jim Rissacher, Gil Zabel, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, Henry Whipple, and me.

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