Tuesday, October 20, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie and the way the OMOTM travel to get there is about the only area around here that the trees are still showing off their fall colors.

In the fall the hunting begins (as we mentioned in last week’s OMOTM report) but some of the OFs reported not seeing as many of the field animals that they have seen in the past. A couple OFs reported that under one of their barns a fox had a litter of pups and the OFs would watch these pups come out and play. They also reported that there was both a mom (vixen) and dad (dog) fox that would be around, a regular family.

These OFs also reported that one day a big, ole coon showed up and would pester that den of fox. Papa fox would harass this old coon while the momma fox just stood and watched…she would not go in and help. The OFs reported that one day shortly after that coon showed up there were no more foxes, just the coon. They surmised that this coon had a breakfast, lunch, and dinner of fox. No proof of that…only fur. The foxes may have scattered because of the coon, however, the OFs don’t know that for sure, but the foxes are gone. These OFs are outdoor OFs and this was just a summation on their part, but the OFs claim big coons can be nasty and it is not a good idea to mess with them.

Many children’s books show raccoons as cute little animals with a black mask around their eyes, and hands that wash their food, but it is not a good idea to have your kids think they can go up and pet one of these animals and they will curl up an purr like a cat. No-siree-bob, reach out to pet one in the wild and your hand could come back minus a couple of fingers.

A few of the OFs that were missing last week had traveled to Maine to get a bite to eat and brought back some pictures on their cell phones for show and tell. As is said over and over technology is moving so fast it is almost impossible to keep up. Now just about everyone has a cell phone that will take pictures, videos and wipe your nose if you have a cold. When interesting events happen while an OF is on a trip the OF can now let friends and relatives know what is going on in real time whether he is across the street, or with Captain Hook in Never-Never Land. Thirty years ago who would have thought this is the way life would be ─ except maybe Dick Tracy.

Now the topic turned to discussing the latest technology… drones. Will the government probably charge a fee and insist people register to own one of these drones? The OFs say part of the fun of these flying platforms is building them on the kitchen table out of parts you can by at your local hobby store, or Sears, or electronics store (electronics store used to be Radio Shack one OF added) it is not necessary to go out and buy one. So if any crackpot wants to raise havoc with a drone he can build at home what good is all that paper work for guys that want to have one for the fun of it? Like radio controlled planes purchase the kit and build it at home or buy the parts and do the same thing. One OF said, “Well, it will generate another governmental bureaucracy and create jobs that will raise taxes and that will insure votes for the ones that vote for all these rule and regulations but for criminal activity these rules won’t mean a thing.” As the saying goes you can hoodwink some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time, and you certainly can’t hoodwink the OFs. One OF thought if government bodies are going to spend money, they could create better security around airports and governmental buildings and equip the guards with scatter guns and shoot the drones down. “Hey,” one OF opined, “That is the kind of job I would like i.e., popping those things out of the sky when they are flying where they are not supposed to be.”

The conversation became a little morbid at the end of the breakfast when a few OFs started talking about who would be next to pass away. The OFs were going by physical condition and age. Really if the OFs glanced up and down the table it could be any one of the OFs including the glancer. “Then again when your name is called up yonder, age and physical condition has nothing to do with it,” one OF retorted.

This prompted another OF to say, “Yeah, it does if a ten wheeler is bearing down on me. I certainly am not in the physical condition to get out of the way, and that is because of my age.” “Well,” the other OF said, “I am still right, that truck has your name on it, and if it wasn’t the truck it would be a piano falling from the sky.” To which another one of the OFs stated that for him it would be a bullet fired from the gun of a jealous husband. “In your dreams,” another OF said, “That scenario would have taken place forty years ago not now. The way you are going your name is written on the bottom of a beer bottle.” And so it goes.

Those OFs that attended the breakfast at the Your Way Café in Schoharie and one who had to be told where the syrup was when he (not naming a particular name here) had it in his hands were: Harold Guest, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Miner Stevens, George Washburn, Roger Shafer, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Chuck Aelesio, Joe Ketzer, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gerry Irwin, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Jim Rissacher, Duncan Bellinger, Don Wood, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Gerry Chartier, interloper John, Harold Grippen, and me.