Tuesday, April 19th, primary day in New York State, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie, and the OMOTM thought maybe this would be the end of the circus in New York, or maybe (as one OF mentioned) just the beginning. Ah, we shall see.

If only it wasn’t so important.  Either way there is a lot of fodder for the comedians but it tain’t funny Magee. Then as another OF said if we don’t look at the primary with some humor (which we should) and then realize we have been through this many times and generally it all comes out in the wash. One added none of the candidates have done all they say they have done, or can they do everything they say they are going to do. “Yeah,” one OF said, “All of them have graduated from the same school that teaches them how to fib and make it sound like the truth.”

“Well,” another OF said, “I learned that in kindergarten along with learning that I learned it is not nice to pick your nose, but I still do both.”

The OFs next had a brief discussion on wallets and watches. Now everyone knows that to follow all the current fashion trends all one has to do is stand at the door of the restaurants the OMOTM frequent and notice how they are dressed, then go and do likewise.

The OFs have a variety of wallets.  Some are thin, and some are fat. The thin ones belong to the OFs that don’t have any money, and the fat ones belong to the OFs that are loaded. Either fat or thin the OFs say that the wallet is the best place to put things that they can’t find later on. The reason some of the wallets are so fat is they contain gift cards the OFs forget they have, notes and phone numbers that the OFs don’t know who they are from or who they are for. One OF still has the picture in his wallet that came with the wallet and people think it is a relative. Some have appointment cards in them to remind the OF of an appointment, only the appointment has come and gone. We still haven’t found the money yet ─ only credit cards. One OF said his wallet is so fat he leans to one side to carry it. He also said if a pickpocket grabbed his fat wallet thinking he had hit the motherload he would really be ticked off.  Money is the one thing that is not in there.

Watches are another thing; most of the OFs if not all of them, have not caught up to the latest fad of wearing Big Ben on your wrist. The wrist watches today are so large the OFs expect to see a pendulum and hear it chime the hour and half hour, or at least a miniature bird pop out and chirp coo-coo.

There’s a Tear in my Beer by Hank Williams Jr. may become the newest rebirth of a song along with the lack of beer because of the lack of hops. Craft beer, which is booming in popularity now, is using between four and ten times the amount of hops than industrial scale brewing and this is causing a major hop shortage to develop.  One of the OFs, as we have reported before, is a hop farmer. The hop-house may be coming back on many farms; also growing barley may make a come-back. It would be great to see some of the land that has grown up to brush be put back to use again and some of the small farms be able to produce a product they can sell. Drinking and driving may be the next farmer mantra, corn for gas, hops and barley for beer, grapes for wine. Help your local farmer; please drink and drive will be the next bumper sticker.

It is not only beer that may help the farmer but also wine. With the new interest in wine, especially New York State wine, grapes are now in demand. “There ya go,” one OF said, “After a tough day, a bottle of beer, or a glass of wine sure takes the edge off.” Then one OF noted that he saw a very true sign (for him anyway) “Wine is like duct tape, it fixes everything.”

This spring, has been a spring of contrast. The peepers chirped at night, the birds sang in the morning; like one OF said then came the cold. Real cold. Then the sounds of spring became just like winter silence. One OF said, “Did you ever notice how quite winter can be?” Not the spring and summer where this OF lives ─ it is like living inside a bird sanctuary which can be akin to a factory.  He went on to say, “Those feathered fowl can make an awful racket. Then add the peepers (thank goodness they only peep for a short while) and when those nickel sized frogs stop their peeping then the singing insects start wailing their songs, or strumming their legs, and others do whatever they do to make a noise all of which adds to the evening’s din and I am trying to sleep. Oh the silence of winter, I miss that,” the OF mused.

One OF was all tanned up from fishing on the river all weekend. This OF said he fished, and he fished, yet caught only one fish. One OF said he thought that is what fishing is all about, just being out and away from it all. Who cares if you catch anything? Another OF chimed in when he goes out fishing that IS what it is all about, just being out, away from it all with a few beers. “Heck,” he said, “When I go fishing heck I don’t even bring bait.” Now that is what he calls fishing.

Those OFs that made it to Your Way Café in Schoharie, after telling the wife they’re going out to breakfast with guys and then going fishing, were: Bill Lichliter, Chuck Aelesio, Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, John Rossmann, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Harold Guest, Otis Lawyer, Roger Shafer (all tanned up), Henry Witt, Lou Schenck, Gerry Irwin, Jack Norray, Wayne Gaul, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.

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