The Old Men of the Mountain were fortunate enough on Tuesday December 15th to meet at the Your Way Café in Schoharie.

The OFs were a little nervous because the member who was on duty to call the restaurants ahead of time and warn them that the OFs are coming received no answer when calling the Café. Panicsville erupted. The caller contacted two other OFs and found out that the Café’ was closed that day so the staff could have their annual Christmas Party. Whew…can’t blame them, they are entitled some time off to have fun. The OFs found out that the staff really had a party; it was a two-day affair. On Sunday they headed to the Turning Stone Casino, had their party and stayed over and returned Monday. Monday, the OFs are assuming, was the “clear the head day” to get ready for the work week, not knowing until they saw the note on the door that the OMOTM would be there in a few hours. Welcome back ─ now get to work.

One topic was keeping track of those OFs that have been ill, or are ill. Sometimes an OF will report on another OF that has missed a few gatherings and the rest of the OFs find out the OF has been really sick, and may have even been in the hospital, or they just got out of said establishment. To some OFs it is like they are gossipers and don’t want to dwell on other’s misfortunes, while others like to know what’s going on so they can see if there is anything they can do to help. Other OFs say they have problems with visiting the sick or those that are having real problems health-wise.  A few OFs declared they don’t know what to say, and are not much for chit chat, and maybe the OF in the bad situation just wants to be left alone.

One OF said that the OFs that are having problems should not be dropped, and/or deserted. It is good to know (especially when one is under the weather) that people are still thinking of them, whether they are OFs or not. It is good that the OFs that really know the OFs that are hurting, and will bring this information to the group so the OFs that want to respond in whatever way they feel comfortable can react. None of the OFs are vultures just waiting to feed on other’s misfortune, it is just the opposite.

This scribe notices that at the breakfast the waitresses keep the coffee cups filled up and hot. The OFs, in their conversations as they sit at the tables, sip their coffee, (some do not take coffee) as the conversation rolls on. When they have reached their fill they will say, “I’m good”, or “I’m fine”, or “No Thanks”, but that comes after a considerable amount of the hot, black, liquid has been consumed. When with friends and in pleasant conversation the sipping of the liquid is not realized, and the OFs wonder why they have to use the rest room when they get ready to leave. This is another scribe’s, “well duh.” The OF’s bladders tain’t what they used to be.

Many of the OFs are outdoor people, and the problem with ticks comes up time and time again. This time they were discussing that the warm weather is keeping these buggers active. Some OFs have reported they are still coming out of the brush with a good number of ticks on them. Most of the OFs say the ticks are on their clothes, not on their bodies, because they are using string or rubber bands around their wrist and ankles, and their collars are buttoned tight.

The popularity of a new fad (which the OFs think is more than a fad) came up and that is the use of drones. Like radio controlled airplanes these devices can be a lot of fun, and are inexpensive enough for beginners to get into the hobby. Again, like RCs, once hooked, the hobby can become a lot more expensive and competitive. But the OFs said like everything else irresponsible users will spoil it for everyone by making it necessary to develop laws, rules, and regulations to control the hobby.

One OF mentioned that this is already being done because the drones are interfering with planes. Then another OF said that some of these drones are cheap and have cameras that take beautiful pictures, and might be taking pictures that interfere with people’s privacy. Others, an OF said, could be carrying things like paint bombs the operator could drop on his neighbor’s lawn furniture and think it was funny.

One OF said that if one of those things flew over his property he would wait for it and if it flew over a second time he’d let it “have it” with his 12 gauge. Another OF said he could see where these things could cause a lot of trouble.

The OF’s think we have a hobby that very innocuously is causing problems and that is the use of laser lights in Christmas displays. One OF said he has heard the problem with these lights is because they are visible from a considerable height in the sky and pilots are confusing them with airport lights, especially the navi. lights (red and white lights) which tell a pilot if he is coming in too high or too low, or if his approach is right on.

“Boy,” one OF said, “What seems like normal fun is sure getting complicated.”

Those OFs who made it to the Your Way Café in Schoharie, and seeing that the Café was ready for them with just a few hours notice, were: Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, Miner Stevens, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Dave Williams, Harold Guest, Mark Traver, Chuck Aelesio, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer (who carries a complete tool box in his pocket), Karl Remmers, Gerry Irwin, Wayne Gaul, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Jim Rissacher, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen and me.

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