On Tuesday September 8th, The Old Men of the Mountain (like Alex Rodriguez trudges the bases) trudged to the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Princetown. It was a very warm morning for the 8th of September, but the OFs were there in full garb. This has been mentioned before, that originally the OFs would gather at an OFs home, shoot the breeze for awhile until all were there, then the OFs would head out to the restaurant of the day. The plan was to arrive around 10 in the morning. By that time all the people who had to start out early would have left the restaurant, and the noon crowd would not be arriving for some time, so the restaurant on the OFs schedule would be in a lull at this time of the day.

That plan worked well until more OFs joined the group and some of these OFs would head directly to the restaurant. These OFs had places to go and things to do so they would arrive a little earlier. Now we have OFs waiting at the door for the restaurant to open. The group of OFs is not as laid back as it once was. The OFs that were with the original OF group still come a little later, but other OFs are now much more active even though they are old (and as many of the OFs say “in numbers only”). It must be the meds that keeps these OGs so perky. These OFs have joined the OFs with places to go and things to do which means most OFs now arrive pretty darn early.

As this is an ad-hoc group with a 20-page book of by-laws the time of arrival was never entered so the OFs can show up whenever they get up and are properly dressed.

A few of the OFs participated in the Scottish Games held at the Altamont Fairgrounds on September fifth and sixth. They said the fairground was cooking. The OFs should have weighed themselves before they went to the Games and again after they got home. They must have shed a few pounds.

All people, no matter who they are, run into strange circumstances and in the darndest places. One OF had to go to the hospital in Cobleskill, and while there bumped into another OF who was there with both hands in bandages. The OF with the bandaged hands showed us why they were bandaged, and told us they were bandaged for scheduled operations. The OFs were wondering about going to the bathroom and then washing his hands. That must be some kind of trick with both hands in bandages. Then one OF said he had a very good friend that had a carpal tunnel syndrome procedure done on both hands at the same time because his friend did not want to go through the operation twice. The friend of the OF admitted after the operation that there was never a thought about the bathroom, showering, getting dressed and things like that. At that time the OF said he was surprised the doctor never brought this up. The friend of the OF said the doctor never mentioned it, and it was more of a problem than originally thought. I guess the lesson is always keep one hand free for whatever.

The OFs touched a little on baseball, and how much it costs to go to a Yankee game. Just to sit in the bleachers would cost a family of four about 100 bucks, and that is minimum. There is the cost of getting there, food, kids would want souvenirs, and all those extras. That would be an expensive day. One OF said, “Go see the Mets, it’s cheaper”. “Nah,” another OF replied, “I will watch it on TV with the mute button pushed so I won’t have to listen to those commentators run their mouths.”

Everything has gone up, not only tickets for concerts and sporting events, but even those baseball caps for the OMOTM. They are now priced at about seventeen dollars to advertise you are an OF. “Hey”, was an OG’s statement, “I am proud that I am an OF, and I’ve made it this far, so we should get “T” shirts that have the OMOTM logo on it.” “There is a T shirt out there already,” was a come back. “It doesn’t quite say that but it’s close. I think it says ‘Old Guys Rule’. That isn’t strictly true. We can buy shirts that say OMOTM, but it really is ‘Old Ladies Rule’; if you guys think you are the boss in the house think again.”

Another topic quickly unfolded ─ Winter! Some of the OFs are already planning on joining the migration of other wimps who run away from winter to warmer climes. One OF showed photographs of his new travel trailer, so new it isn’t made yet ─ the OF has to wait for it. These trailers are becoming real homes on wheels. They have full-size beds, refrigerators, and electronic gadgets that open and close things, and make them now so the trailer trails easier. It used to be that pulling a travel trailer was like hauling a load of hay to the barn (with maybe an exception of the Airstream Trailer). One OF said, “Here it is 90 degrees and you are already planning on going where it is warmer and still 90, you’re nuts.”

Those OFs that made it to the Chuck Wagon in Princetown (because the real boss of the hacienda said, “Get out of my hair”) were: Henry Witt, Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Chuck Aelesio, Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Roger Shafer, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Ted Willsey, Bob Lassome, Rich Donnelly, Duane Wagenbaugh, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, and me with my son, Jay Williams.

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