On a crisp June 14th morning, with temperatures (at some of the Old Men of the Mountain domiciles) in the middle to upper thirties and the winds a bit more than a stiff breeze ─ it was wind not a breeze ─ the OMOTM headed to the Country Café on Main Street in Schoharie.

The OFs used the beginning of a gorgeous day to comment on living in the northeast. The area on the globe where the OFs hang their hats has darn few days where the humidity is low, the sky is blue, and the temperature is reasonable, and wind maybe 4 to 8 mph. is rare. That is what one OF said makes these few days so great…they are like playing golf.  The OF said he only gets two or three good shots in a round, the rest of his shots are all over the place. He said it is the good ones that keep him coming back trying to drop that tiny ball in a small cup that is hundreds of yards away in as few whacks as possible. It is the same thing with our weather; it is the few good days that keep us here, so the OFs put up with all the miserable days just for a day like today.

However, the miserable days of June are not unusual. In 100 years ago today (as reported in this paper) there was a baseball game between the Altamont team and a team for Delmar. The Altamont team complained that their loss was due to nobody there in the stands at the fairgrounds, and the miserable cold weather. The miserable weather kept the fans away, and hobbled the play in the field. That was on June 9th, 1916. Times have not changed in regards to the weather, but the OF’s bet the catcher’s mitt sure has changed.

One OF, like many of the OFs, enjoys ketchup with his eggs, or home fries. This one OF was shaking a newly filled ketchup bottle trying to get the ketchup to come out but nothing was happening, so the OF shook harder and faster. A second OF had enough of that and got up and went over to the OF shaking the ketchup and said, “Here, let me show you how to get ketchup out of a full bottle,” and he took the ketchup from the OF. With one whack of the ketchup bottle on his wrist half the bottle of that red sauce plopped on the omelet. “The secret,” the OF said, “is to stop the bottle from going forward.  The ketchup inside the bottle still has forward momentum and out it comes.” This little report is from last week, this Tuesday the same two OFs sat at the same table, eyeball to eyeball. The one OF ordered the bacon and cheese omelet with home fries and the ketchup came with the meal, only this time it was in a squirt bottle so the OFs did not get to see how the other OF got the ketchup out of a bottle because this Tuesday all the OF had to do was squeeze. Problem solved.

One OF reported that his son is walking from Plymouth, Mass. to San Diego Calf. This is quite an undertaking. The OF said his son is keeping a regular journal, and a photographic journal of his trip. So far the OF said the hardest walk has been the hill up Route 30A from Route 20 in Sloansville, NY. He then took Route 162 to Canajoharie to do the walking path on the defunct railroad, and then went to the (Erie) canal walk as he headed further west. The son reported to the OF that this climb out of Sloansville was more difficult than any he encountered in the Berkshires coming across Massachusetts. The OF said his son is taking all his gear with him, and will be camping out. Some of the OFs wished they had guts enough to do this when they were younger; now it is completely out of the question. Funny how life has gotten in the way of filling many adventures in the OF’s bucket list.

Another OF, who is an attendee of this group but really not an OF “yet.” is one of the progressive people. His home has solar power. The OF said it is not the rented type of solar system ─ the OF owns it. This OF also has a totally electric automobile. With all the tax incentives and rebates the solar system did not really cost that much and with the OF’s calculations in approximately 3 to 4 years, all his power, even running his electric car, will be free because the system will be paid off. On the car issue the OF does have 2 cars because on his electric car the range is not hundreds of miles, but it is quite adequate for around town, and short trips. For longer runs, like up to Lake George, this particular electric car the OF has will not make it. This OF is a great advertisement for solar power.

Many of the OFs feel they are too old to go the solar bit. However, one OF said that his house is going to go to his kids and he will probably be pushing up daisies before he had a solar system paid off. Another OF said he is putting off getting solar power now because something better may come along in the not to distant future. This OF feels that magnetism might be the next advancement and that will be the end of fossil fuels, electric cars, and the whole ball of wax, so this OF is going to wait.

Those OFs that made it to the Country Café, on Main street in Schoharie, in anything but a horse and buggy were: John Rossmann, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Whitbeck, Roger Shafer, Chuck Aelesio, Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Bill Lichliter, Miner Stevens, Harold Guest, Otis Lawyer, Jim Rissacher, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Wayne Gaul, Mace Porter, Carl Walls, Art Frament, Herb Sawotka, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Duncan Bellinger, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Rich Vanderbilt, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.

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