On a colorful day, Tuesday October 13th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Country Café in Schoharie. The drivers of the car pools were at a slight disadvantage because duh, they had to drive, but the riders had the time to do some real leaf peeping.          There is really no reason for the OFs that live on the hill (or in the valley for that matter) to travel to Vermont or New Hampshire in order to view fall color and nature at its best, except for the ride. Maybe the OFs that ventured to the coast through the White Mountains of New Hampshire would eventually reach the ocean. The ocean…now that is different! Unfortunately locally, where the OFs roam, there is no ocean.

This scribe does not how true this is but one OF said that an entrepreneurial guy is laminating leaves and selling them. One OF said the OFs should advertise rake your own leaves, five bucks a box. This OF thinks people would do this and purchase boxes of leaves. This scribe added that this is not original; Joe Gallagher, the weekend guy on WGY, has been advocating this for quite a while. The OFs have to admit that the fall season in the Northeast is unique with the many varieties of hues on the trees and sometimes the same bush will be wearing Joseph’s coat of many colors. It is fun to notice that the OFs are OFs and they still take rides and trips to view the colors of the season like they have never seen it before.

One OF mentioned he likes this part of fall but it is too short, however, so far this year it has been a great fall season. Some years we go from late summer to early winter and skip the fall feeling altogether. Some OFs thought that fall was a nostalgic time of the year. The OFs said they felt like they had this unexplained empty feeling.

One OF said he just confided in a very good friend that he wanted summer back because there was so much left undone, people unseen, and dreaming dreams which are still just dreams. Now he has to wait until spring because by next fall he will do the same thing with things undone becoming longer, people not seen now gone, and dreams, well, dreams are dreams the OF said.

One OF mentioned that to him each season has its own aroma. This OF can smell the leaves of fall, the worms of spring, the new mown hay of summer, and fresh air of a cold winter’s morning. “Gone now,” an OF said, “Is a fun part of fall, along with Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and that is the raking of leaves and burning them by the roadside ─ that smell is a thing of the past. We are not supposed to burn leaves now.” The OF said, ‘Instead of burning leaves we burn gasoline in chippers and trucks to pick them up, and cut down trees to make bags to put them in. Doesn’t make sense to me,” the OF said.

The OFs mentioned that it was the beginning of bow season, and that, at least, is quiet. On opening day of the hunting season, using the gun sounds like WWIII is underway on the hill. By the sounds of some of these things they must be machine guns. Unless the hunter is a darn poor shot maybe two shots should do it, but when it is pow, pow, pow, one shot right after another, it is a good indication that the hunter has missed the deer. But, if he has hit the deer, the hunter must be trying to make hamburg of the animal before it is dressed.

It is good that hunters do hit the fields and thin out the herd. Not only that, it does put meat on the tables for many of these hunters. The OF hunters say that this is not cheap meat. All the gear you have to have, plus the travel to where you think the deer are, has to be figured in. Then one OF said, “And all that beer… that makes for very expensive meat.”

The OFs mentioned they have heard that soon Middleburgh will not look like Middleburgh, especially by the school. According to the OFs Stewarts has acquired the bank, the dentist office, the chiropractor’s office, and one other building. These buildings are all coming down and Stewarts is planning on building a Stewarts “plaza”. One OF said, “Well, at least the kids won’t have to cross the street now to get to Stewarts; it will be on the same side of the road and with no roads to cross at all the place will be practically on school property.” Stay tuned.


The OFs have mentioned before why we are OFs with ages the OFs never thought they would be, and still having fun. This scribe has covered comments about medicines, food, medical care, and activities. The topic this morning that the OFs were covering were geared more to mechanical items like design of homes, and senior apartments with the walk-in showers and tubs, ramps instead of stairs, riding lawnmowers, and now cars that drive themselves. They like the idea of homes which are now prefabricated, all on one floor, and smaller. Older couples can still have their own place and basically maintain it, plus the advent of cars that drive themselves will give a sense of freedom that was not around thirty years ago. The OFs said they are not ready for these homes yet, but they know many that are. Are they just fooling themselves?

Those OFs that left their three-storied homes and hopped into their standard shift cars and pickem-ups and drove to the Country Café in Schoharie and had man-sized breakfasts were: Miner Stevens, John Rossmann with his grandson Scott Ciabazttari, Joe Ketezer, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Lou Schenck, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Wayne Gaul, Duncan Bellinger, Bill Krause, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Duane Wagenbaugh, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen and me.