IMG_5509 - Copy - Copy - CopyThe Old Men of the Mountain met at The Country Café in Schoharie on December 8th, 2015 and it is getting closer to Christmas.

Most of the OFs have what they need; there are still some wants out there, but what they need most have. So what do you get an OF? A new flashy cane, a horn for their walker, a chair that lifts them up to get out of it, knees that work, vouchers for the younger members of the family to mow the lawn or do work around the house…but really the OFs do not need more stuff.

Then again as one OF said, “I will take anything I get, and really appreciate it. When it comes from the heart and real thought of what is presumed I need or will use I love it! I usually want to hug the giver just for thinking about what to give with a desire for it to be right, but I am not that demonstrative.”  A second OF mentioned that he likes to give and see the responses. But the OF continued he thinks it is rude not to appreciate what he is given (no matter what it is) even though he would rather do the giving.

Now the conversation took a sharp 225 degree turn to eating, gathering, and raising shell fish. One OF said that we, meaning anyone who likes raw clams, muscles, or oysters, are cannibals. Upon eating raw clams, he claims, the things are alive and when you put that red sauce on them and slurp them down you are eating them alive, guts and all. Makes you think twice about eating raw clams and oysters doesn’t it?

A couple of OFs were real clam diggers and seem to have considerable knowledge on gathering them off the coast of Long Island. The OFs said it was lots of fun to dig the clams out of the sand, or muck along the shore. This is another fun endeavor that the state has taken away from the little guy by making it necessary for everyone to have a license to dig for clams. According to these OFs if you are going to have a party and four or five guys go out to dig up a mess of clams for the party you can’t do that anymore without a license. One OF asked what about a bunch of kids out on the beach with their little pails and shovels.  Do they need a license to dig up a few clams to put in their buckets? That is a good question.  Are the clam police all over watching everyone on the beach?

This scribe did not catch all of this, but the other OFs were talking about oyster farms, and clam farms. This scribe knows there are mussel farms because this scribe has seen them. Not much was said about scallops which are the muscles that open and close a type of mollusks. So much for our lesson of today on shellfish.

There was a brief discussion on coffee.  The OFs said that some cups of coffee are costing more than drinks at a bar. One gets you tipsy and stupid, and the other gets you nervous and jerky. Then one OF said, “I don’t need either, I have a wife and four kids that have me behaving with all four of those symptoms at the same time.”

An OF told the rest of us that we should be careful about the ads that are on TV or online and how true they are. This OF says his shopping is done and he never went in a store, however, he was suckered in on one ad that the product was not what the TV ad said it was. Or it did not really tell all that there was to tell. Many ads just hint at what the catches are but apparently in this case there wasn’t even a hint. This OF was furious when he received a bill for about 60 dollars with an additional 200 dollars due in 30 days.  All this for something advertised for $3.65 plus shipping. Whoops!

According to this OF after much haggling the company will accept its return, however, it will cost the OF money to return it. Thank goodness it is small. Also, according to the OF, there was no small print, and he told the company he would accuse them of false advertising which was probably the term that struck a cord with them.

Again the OFs discussed trapping, and this time it was using live traps to get rid of one pest and wind up with anything but in the traps. What the OFs discussed most was catching skunks in the traps and what to do with them once they are in there. Surprisingly they all used the same method, and none were sprayed or so they claim. The gist of the way to do this is to sneak up on the skunk (that is problem number one, how do you sneak up on a skunk? That was not explained but stated as if everyone knows how to do this.) After sneaking up on the skunk in the trap the sneaker then throws a towel or small blanket over the trap and the skunk will then calm down. Now all you have to do is take it some place and release it. All the OFs agreed that this is how it is done and it works very well. (In one particular case the sneaker took the skunk in the cage to a farm he was familiar with and found the farmer was right there watching him as he was ready to release skunk.  This was not good).  This scribe is not one looking forward to have to put this lesson learned from the other OFs into practice. This scribe will call Jack who is an expert in situations like this.

Those OFs that made it to The Country Café on Main Street in Schoharie, and did not smell like skunk, were: Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Jim Heiser, Dave Williams, Miner Stevens, Wayne Gaul, Lou Schenck, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Bill Krause, Warren Willsey, Roger Shafer, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.