On May 3rd 2016 the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. Again the OMOTM must report on the weather because for the drivers it was another miserable Tuesday morning. It seems that for some time now the weather has been in the dumps on Tuesdays. Maybe our winter has spoiled the OFs but many say they feel colder now than they did in mid-winter. It is raw and damp the thermostats have been bumped up, the furnaces and wood stoves are still running, and even cranked up a degree or two higher that what the OFs had them set at during the winter months.

The OFs are getting too familiar with funeral homes, and the OFs started talking about friends that have passed and how some are really missed. This feeling is about good friends as well as relatives. Many of the OF’s relatives have moved away and are seen only on special occasions, like weddings, births, graduations and yes, even funerals. To take their place many friendships are deeper than relative connections and the death of one of those friends’ hits harder than a relative. When a relative of a friend (who the OFs hung out with on a regular basis) passes on, the hole that is left is harder to fill.

Some of the OFs mentioned that the bond became so great,  that years later when the OF wanted to go here or there, or do this or that, and that person or those persons are not around, there is the empty feeling of why aren’t so and so around so we could do this or that together. It is no fun doing it alone. Cultivating new friends to fill the void is hard and not even thought of while the good times were rolling on with the friends we had in the past. Then we all get old and life changes.

One table of OFs discussed the work that SUNY Cobleskill is doing with raising fish, and cross breeding the fish to make them larger and more tasteful. One OF that worked at the college said that this research has been going on for some time, and now they have a new large building to house the work they are doing. The OFs thought this is extremely needed work as the population of the planet continues to grow. The work at Cobleskill is for research, but the growing of fish on fish farms in the ocean, and in places like the fish farm in Coxsackie is for consumption and we are supposed to eat more fish.

A conversation that included three topics that did not seem to go together (only the OFs combined them) is a routine conversation like they were all saying the same thing. They spoke about motor homes ─ then rocket ships ─ then submarines, and regular ships ─ all at the same time.  Only the OFs could tie this all together.

The only real story told about motor homes was how a friend of one of the OFs decided motor homing would be the thing for them so they purchased one. Neither a fancy one nor an inexpensive one, just a motor home in the medium price range. With hands on wheel they headed out on their first trip to Florida. They set up in a nice park that catered to motor homes but also had permanent homes in the park there as well. According to the OF it rained almost all the time they were there, so their friends could not leave unless they used the motor home. It wasn’t long before they decided this was not what they thought RVing was going to be like, however, there was a permanent home in the park they liked and it came up for sale. They purchased this home and found it to be more to their liking. Now there is a motor home for sale that has only one trip to Florida registered on the odometer. What a deal for someone who wants to try their hand at motor homing.

Like many large investments of this type it was suggested by some that maybe they should have rented instead of buying for their first try with one of these RVs. One OF said he has done this with cars ─ he rents a make and model he was thinking of purchasing to make sure he likes the vehicle before he buys one like it.

Another OF said, “Hey, that is not a bad idea; how about renting a wife and trying her out before taking the plunge and buying the license and hauling her home.”

Another OF thought renting kids would also be a good idea to see if you wanted any of your own.  He figured that might cut down on the population explosion after that little trial worked its way out.

“You know,” one OF said, “The renting of the wife could work in reverse. The gals may want to rent you to see if you fill the bill, and you ─ you old goat wouldn’t.  You’re ugly and don’t have any money.”

“Well,” the retort came, “I have a nice, late model car. I don’t drive around in something like that old rat trap of a vehicle you call a car that still has pedals in it.”  Oops.  Time to put the pedal to the metal and end that conversation.

Those OFs that made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown (and some had quite a pedal to get there) were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Roger Shafer, John Rossmann, Chuck Aelesio, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Harold Guest, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Wayne Gaul, Mace Porter, Andy Tinning, Duncan Bellinger, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.