On a wet, and rainy (is that really a word) Tuesday, August the 11th the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh.

This scribe must report that he was not there. This scribe was called by someone higher to be someplace else. However, this scribe took a few notes at previous breakfasts concerning what the OFs are talking about, what they have done, what they plan on doing and their opinions on this and that. Many times there are too many topics to include in this OF report. This scribe tries to keep it to five typed pages, but this scribe’s wife says that is too many; she maintains that two paragraphs is all that is needed to say anything these OGs have to say.

What this scribe is getting at is that in this report it will cover a few of the topics that did not make other reports. Also, while the scribe is making a confession of sorts, some of the notes jotted down are not suitable for a family paper. Maybe the notes would be suitable for the National Enquirer, but not the Altamont Enterprise. OK! Now for some past topics which will bring us up to date.

The good ole U.S. of A. is a large country with some of our states being larger than many countries. For instance, the country of Italy is just slightly larger than the state of Arizona, yet the OFs talk of traveling to parts of our country like they were day trips. It is common to be talking about running to Florida like it is just traveling to Cobleskill for a cup of coffee. Jaunting off to Maine is like running to the post office, or some OFs just hop in the car and pop up to Montreal to go to a ball game. To take some of the trips in other parts of the world the OFs would need a pocket full of passports, and a fist full of funny money just to travel from one city to another. In last week’s column the OFs were talking about this very same phenomenon by discussing the various ways of getting from the Hilltowns to spot “A” in Florida.

Another conversation awhile back was on visitors. Some of the OFs are of the type that people just drop in on. What draws them to a certain OFs domicile is not really known. Are the dropper-inners, actually freeloaders because the OF always has cold beer in a refrigerator in the garage, or is it just the OF’s karma? Other OFs said their wives raise quite a fuss if people drop in unannounced and they can’t get the house looking like a page out of Better Homes and Gardens. One OF admitted he was not the type that people dropped in on, even saying “even my kids are rare visitors”. Some OFs though are just stay-at-home type of guys and don’t care either way. The OFs were not sure what generated the category a particular OF will fit in, but it is noticeable that this is some kind of observable fact and all the OFs maintain they do have the proper hygiene.

Then the discussion centered on organizations like churches, social clubs, PTAs, ball teams, or whatever, and it was noted these groups all have their own little cliques within the main body of the basic group. One OF said it is a good idea to join any group with a group of your friends rather than trying to join alone. Another OF likened it to square dancing saying that it is a good idea to show up at a dance with your own square than to show up alone. This OF said even if it is just you and another couple, somehow it seems to work better. One OF added, “This advice works for those from other clubs coming to your dance.” To this OF it was OK to show up alone at your own club’s dance. An OF asked a question out of the blue wondering if “square dancing is now as popular as it once was.”

One OF said that if any organization becomes too “cliquey” and gets to the point where newcomers really feel unwanted that the whole organization might just fold up. But one OF said, “Did you ever notice that some people have the type of personality that they will fit in anywhere?” Then one OF said he understands, and sometime wonders what he is doing “hanging out with all you OFs.” To which another OFs said, “It is because nobody else wants you, you OG, we are the only ones that will put up with you.” “I guess you are right,” the OF said, “This whole group is a gathering of misfits”. To which another OF added, “If this is a gathering of misfits that’s fine with me; I like this group of misfits who do not prejudge anybody.”

Those OFs that made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and chatted about who knows what on August 11 ─ because this scribe was not there to eavesdrop ─ were: (according to the appointed Chief Assistant Scribe) Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Duncan Bellinger, Dave Williams, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Jim Heiser, Otis Lawyer, Steve Kelly, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Bartholomew, Bob Benninger, Bob Fink, Jay Taylor, Herb Sawotka, Art Frament, Bob Lassome, Bob Benac, Jack Benac, Joe Ketzeko, Ted Willsey, Duane Wagenbaugh, Rich Donnelly, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Lou Schenck, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, but not me.