It’s Tuesday morning ─ time to shake off the covers, sit on the edge of the bed, wiggle the toes and feet, squeeze the hands, and if everything works head out to the breakfast with the Old Men of the Mountain.

This Tuesday, September 20th, breakfast was at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. Many of the OMOTM got an early start because there was dense fog all around. However, as the OFs drove up the hill to Rensselaerville they drove out of the fog (just like Brigadoon) and at the Hilltown Café the sun was shinning. This was great way to start the day, only there was no young lady picking flowers along the path as in Brigadoon, but there was a young lady flipping pancakes in a small kitchen, in a neat café that would fill the bill. On a morning such as this there is stiff competition between enjoying the scent of moist-laden flowers in the morning, as opposed to the satisfying aroma of bacon and eggs on the grill.

The OFs discussed many topics this morning; one was the origin of the horse as the seal for Schoharie County. This is an interesting tale; along with this the OFs discussed the origin of the Plank Road turnpike, another interesting tale.

The OFs talked more history that is not really taught in the early years of formal schooling. They talked about the Isle of Shoals and how the English and French were using those waters for fishing and trading with the Indians years before the Pilgrims set foot at Plymouth Rock. This explains why the first Native American to greet the settlers strolled right into camp speaking English and knew many of the habits of the Pilgrims.

Much of what is taught in school, the OFs are finding out, is just a smattering of what really goes on; primarily it is to pique the interest of us (when we were students) in many things such as science, history, art, music, and much more. The OFs thought that when each individual wanted to know more of what interested them they had some inkling of how to go about finding it, and where to go to retrieve this information. American History is one subject that anyone can get into and go deeper into areas such as naval history, political history, medicine and etc. As mentioned in last week’s report certain organizations cover specific interest, like the American Revolution, the Civil War, and artist’s and writer’s groups and clubs. There is much that goes on that keeps the mind active right up to being OFs. Most schools offer continuing education, and many of these classes are filled with the OFs that occupy the chairs at the breakfasts.

The OFs reported that the produce from their gardens this year is great, especially with some plants. The corn this year seems to drip with sugar. One OF reported his peppers are as big as soccer balls. That may be a stretch, but even close makes the peppers quite large. Some said their tomato plants have so many tomatoes that the plant is red, not red and green. The OFs mentioned that this is a little odd because it has been so dry.

The OFs have another of our group out for a few weeks for some bionic work ─ this OF is having a knee replaced. My goodness if the OMOTM wanted to travel somewhere by plane as a group it would take them forever to get past the metal detectors.

As part of the normal conversation of the OFs it is typical of them to bring up their parents, aunts and uncles. These people were sucking in oxygen many, many years ago. One OF mentioned that his uncle worked on the cog railway that brought people from NY City up the mountain to the Catskill Mountain House in Palenville. The Otis Elevating Railway started operation in August 1892, and the OF said his uncle worked for this railway for 40 years.

The OFs today had the celebration of Elwood Vanderbilt’s 89th birthday, so another muffin with a candle and another birthday song was sung on a Tuesday morning. The OFs also have to offer their condolences to the family of Joe Loubier, one of the snowbird OFs from Woodstock, who passed away recently. Our thoughts and prayers go with both Joe, and Elwood, only on different levels.

All the OFs that have passed away are becoming more in number than the OFs wandering around down here on our dot in the universe. Those OFs amassed in heaven must be having a ball if they are continuing the Tuesday morning gatherings on rotating clouds in that same heaven. The OFs that trod this planet wonder if Mathew, Mark, Luke or John is acting as a scribe and writing a column for the “Heavenly Gazette”.

Those OFs on this side of the sod, and able to get to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville were: Miner Stevens, Robie Osterman, Pete Whitbeck, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Otis Lawyer, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Bob Benac, Gary Bates, Don Wood, Sonny Mercer, Richard Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Gerry Irwin, Duane Wagonbaugh, Rich Donnelly, Ted Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Ray Kennedy, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, and me.

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