Sometimes Tuesday rolls around so fast, and at other times it seems like it will never get here. Tuesday, April 28th, seemed like it was the day after the 21st, it was here in a flash. On the 28th the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Country Café in Schoharie.
One of the OFs mentioned he needed new semi-dress pants so the OF bought what was his size, or at least he thought it was his size, when he tried them on at home the button came nowhere near the button hole. The OF was not ashamed to mention the size he purchased which was “Dockers 40” x 30”. So the OF looked at the size of the jeans he had on and they were 38” x 29”, and fit perfectly. In order to get a pair of Dockers to fit the OF said he would have to go to 42 or maybe even 44. The OF continued complaining that if he purchased jeans that size there would be room for another person.
Then an OF mentioned there is the same problem with shoes. He tried on a pair of 10W and they were so tight it curled his toes ─ he looked at the shoes he had on and they were 10W. What is it with shoes and clothes? Don’t they know how to read a ruler? “If I am building a shed,” one OF said, “and I need a 2×4 cut 50 and 1/8 inches, by golly it had better be 50 and 1/8 inches.” How can there be such discrepancies in wearing apparel? 38” is 38” ─ no ifs, ands, or buts. The OF with the shoes said he tried 10W by the same manufacturer, only a different style, and that one slipped up and down on his heel, and looked as big as a small swimming pool yet it was marked 10W, on the box, and in the shoe. The question the OMOTM are asking is how in the world do manufacturers size clothes? If they screw up sizing simple men’s clothing (which is basically just shirts and pants) what in world do they do with women’s clothes and shoes?
This must be some sort game with these people to see how many trips people will have to make to back and forth to the store, or how long they can keep them shopping in the store so they will purchase other items. The question still remains how can there be such discrepancies because reading a ruler is not that hard.
We have gone from the incandescent lamps and bulbs to those new energy saving bulbs which can catch fire, and now the OFs say we are into the age of LED lighting. The OFs don’t seem to mind this new type of lighting. It seems safe and uses very little power. The OFs still haven’t adjusted to the energy-saving bulbs. These things do not always fit the fixtures, or the lamps. Some of the OFs say they think that the light from the energy-saving bulbs gives them headaches. One OF wondered if there has been a study done on this phenomenon.
Switching to another topic we hear that some of the OFs have spotted red fox around with their kits. Foxes are neat animals to have around. They are timid and not at all aggressive. “Foxes,” one OF said, “are like snakes. They keep the rodents and other unwanted pests down.” The first OF said the fox that hangs around his place had four or five kits, which is about average for a litter of fox pups. But the OF said in the last couple of days he hasn’t seen the kits, or heard them and is afraid some other animal has got them (like a cat or bird) because when born they are very small, only about 4 ounces or so. One OF suggested it might even be a coon that got them because in the same area they have spotted a couple of coons.
The Navy guys were at it again. This time was on how well most sailors eat. Apparently the cooks in the Navy are well trained, because this has been brought up before. This scribe thinks that a cook aboard ship had better get it right; the cook has no place to run and hide, particularly on the smaller ships of 120 men or less. When the OFs were YFs there was a thing called the draft. Everyone was given a draft number and if that number came up that was it ─ you were off to the military. For many guys it was the best thing that happened to them (when the OFs were YFs it was guys, girls did not get drafted, they could enlist but were not drafted). The camaraderie and the stories of events that happened in this period of the OF’s lives continues to bring people together who have had the same, or similar, experiences well into the senior years.
Some OFs think there should still be a mandatory draft, and teach some of today’s spoiled, bratty kids, discipline, and respect. The back talk and sass some of the kids give their parents and teachers make the OFs cringe, and sometimes it is the way their own grandkids treat their parents. One OF said, “Should you back talk or sass just once to some tough, old drill sergeant, you wouldn’t say or do that again to anybody.”
One OF had a kid in his unit that was a real wimp, and who couldn’t even ride a bicycle, but during basic training he toughened up a bit and was assigned to a tank division. He became a tank driver, and in two to three weeks he was putting a Sherman tank through its paces as a tank commander. There is a young man that will go home a completely different person.
Those OFs that made it to the Country Café on Main Street in Schoharie, and were all dressed in clothes that seemed to fit, were: Roger Shafer, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Chuck Aleseio, Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Dick Ogsbury, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Roger Chapman, Steve Kelly, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, (who got a hug and a kiss from the waitress who is his granddaughter), Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Duncan Bellinger, Jim Rissacher, Gill Zabel, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, and me.