On the morning of Tuesday, July 12th (a nice day for a ride)  the Old Men of the Mountain drove to the Home Front Café in Altamont.  Many deals and major decisions have been done over a meal, and so it is with the OMOTM.  Many deals and decisions were made at the Home Front Café this morning and more wheeling and dealing will done at the next restaurant on the list, and the one after that.

Some of the OFs are at it again.  This time the hikers volunteered to repair a roof, which was in dire need of repair, of a lean-to on the hiking trail on Rossman hill. (No connection with the OFs John Rossmann whose name appears regularly at the end of the OMOTM report).  According to the OFs that worked on this project the roof was so bad it had to be completely removed to nothing but the supporting timbers holding it up, so everything had to come off.  The board and shakes had been held on with old nails 3” long. The closest the OFs could get the material to the lean-to was about half a mile, then the material had to be hauled by hand the rest of the way, and of course, it was uphill. Why is that when the OFs look around it is only OFs doing this type of work? Where are the young backs when they are needed?

One OF thought it is because the OFs hang around with OFs, and the YFs associate with YFs. This OF thought there are plenty of YFs doing volunteer work only they are just not in our circle, or traveling on our humanity wave.  They seem to be at the crest of the wave, while we are in the trough. Then one OF thought that they are in the work force and need break time, however, to us retired OFs every day is break time and this is fun. “For you maybe, but my back and knees don’t tell me this is fun,” was the retort from a second OF.   “My fun is laying in the sun, or shade, whatever the case may be,” he grumbled.

The OFs discussed an age-old lament that does not only pertain to the OFs, but to all ages and sexes. This is the apparent arrogance of a few of the people that are public servants. One OF said they seem to forget who is their boss.  The consensus among

the group seemed to be that we pay them and they forget they are supposed to be working for us. One OF said, “Really, it is a very small percentage of workers that bring this negative feeling on the rest.”  A second OF said that many don’t follow their own rules. Another said that it isn’t the rules, but this OF thought it is specific personalities of some who carry out the rules. The OFs thought many of these people don’t understand the rules of logic, or common sense.

One OF mentioned the DMV where the rules are the same but one person is pleasant and will work with you if there is a problem, while another will bite you head off as soon as you approach the window. Another OF said he must get one of those people every time he goes there, because before he puts the paper work down the clerk bellows, “You haven’t got the right paper work.” Then the clerk grabs another handful of nails so she can spit out the rust.

One OF admitted that he has problems with rules himself. The OF said that he will go down one path and kept going deeper into the woods until he can’t see the end. Then the OF said common sense finally kicks in telling him he never should have started down that path in the first place. “Man, we have all done this,” commented another OF.

The OFs followed this up somewhat by talking about college with some of the courses being offered by some colleges being so obscure they were wondering what in the world are these subjects preparing the kids for. One OF offered that college does prepare you in some cases for your life’s work but in many cases all college does is prepare whoever to think for themselves and to reason things out. An OF added that he thinks we are getting too many thinkers, and not enough doers, that is what he thinks.  “There you go thinking again, you fit right in the category of  thinkers,” was the observation.  “Well, aren’t we all thinkers, asked the OF?  “I think I need a new pair of shoes, I think I will go to bed now, I think I will go fishing tomorrow, I think I will chuck this wife for a new one.” This OF maintains we are thinking all the time. (Boy, how subjects change from substance to nonsense in just a couple of sentences).  What it was like when the OFs were in school and what school is like today is like comparing apples with sawgrass ─ no connection between either one of them.

Those OFs smart enough to make it to the Home Front Café in Altamont and realize the restaurant was the light at the end of the path were: George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Bill Lichliter, Pete Whitbeck, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Herb Sawotka, Joe Ketzer, Bob Benac, Roger Fairchild, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Lou Schenck, Wayne Gaul, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Rich Donnelly, Joe Loubier, Henry Whipple, Marty Herzog, Richard Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.