Some Old Men of the Mountain still can’t find their way through these hills and wander all over the place. Some blame it on the signage of county roads not marking north, south, east, or west on their Route numbers. If you are not paying attention when driving it is easy to miss things. Some of the OFs can’t talk or chew gum while they are operating a motor vehicle. The OFs when doing these normal functions are apt to turn left instead of right, or drive right past a turn they know they should take, then wonder why they are where the heck they are.

This Tuesday morning September 27th, on the way to Kim’s West Wind Diner, some OFs headed over the hill early in the dark of early morning and in some pockets of fog they drove around in circles twice in the hills where many of the OFs have lived for 70 or 80 years and they have even hiked some of the areas they were wandering around in. The OFs tempered this with how beautiful a morning it was and a great day for a ride anyway.

Some of the OFs that summer in warmer climes are beginning to leave and some have already flown. So far this year the summer and early beginning of fall have been one of the better times of this year than it has been in quite awhile, although its been a little on the dry side. One OF that is leaving said that it is a good idea to close the place down now because a cold snap can come when least expected ─ then it is hurry-up-time to shut things down.

This OF would rather leave when it is still nice and take his time in buttoning up the place. Look at all the beautiful fall scenery the OF will be missing by abandoning the ship so early. He said he has seen enough fall colors in his life time and raked enough leaves and it does not break his heart to leave. (This scribe just typed that sentence and looked at leaves, and leaves. Boy, the English language to newcomers must offer a challenge. There is no connection between the two words spelled exactly the same.) Some of the travelers to Florida commented that the state is getting so crowded it may break off and sink.

In a question about the debates, not the debaters, just the debates, it was found by the responders and those there at the breakfast that the OFs may be a microcosm of the nation with about a 60/40 split, with the 60 not bothering to watch and the 40 really interested and watched either 80/90 percent to all the way through. For the most part all the OFs vote, for whatever that is worth. Many of the OFs already have their minds made up, and have trouble with all the political ads as they bombard the airways around election time each year. Many OFs are confused with the logic on the waste of money spent to run these ads. One OF said he can understand why some people take a gun and shoot out the TV. He comes darn close to it when four and five of these ads follow one another on the screen. A few other OFs mute the ads when they start and that includes all of them even the ones from Raymour and Flannigan, and Huge. They do click it back on occasionally when the ones from Geico, or the ones with the duck may be sandwiched between a series of political ads.

The OFs have delved into this topic before and it generally sticks its head out around Halloween. The mischief the OFs took part in when they were young about this time of year would land them in jail today. The pranks when verbalized were harmless and funny. Some of the pranks took a considerable amount of time to plan and execute. None the OFs considered any of these pranks vicious or mean. The general populace expected, for the most part, many of the pranks and was even prepared for them like they, too, were part of the game. Today it seems that some pranks go over the top which spoils it for everyone else.

The OFs remembered good ole fashioned “hornings”. When a young couple became married a horning was planned by friends and neighbors. The young couple had no idea when this was going to happen but through the advice of their parents they made preparations for when it was going to happen. Being young, broke, and newly married the couple generally had help from their parents in putting in a good stock of beer, cheese and crackers, and pepperoni for when it happened. The day of reckoning of a horning was kept a secret better than any surprise party. When the day came, and the midnight hour rang all cane broke lose, shotguns fired in the air, horns blasting, old large sawmill circular saw blades suspended on steel bars beat with hammers, torches lit and the friends and neighbors marched around the house then the party began. The party generally broke up by the time it was for milking and the farmers had to get to the cows. That was usually about 4 or 4:30 in the morning. Try doing that today! Every cop and trooper in the surrounding area would be there shutting that thing down. Gee, it’s no fun anymore.

Then the OFs started talking about a much more serious topic and that was why does a banana skin get thinner as the banana becomes older? Where does it go? The banana actually becomes softer and smaller. One OF suggested the banana skin loses air. He thought the skin, when new, is full of air and the air escapes and the solids fill in the voids. What happens to the rest of the banana was a question asked. It is like a balloon, an OF thought, and like when the air leaks out of a balloon it becomes smaller and squishy. Hey, could be.

The OFs that made it to Kim’s West Wind Diner in Preston Hollow to escape the political ads were: Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Marty Herzog, Pete Whitbeck, Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Glenn Traver, Karl Remmers, Bob Snyder, Don Wood, Sonny Mercer, Ray Kennedy, Otis Lawyer, Bob Benac, Don Gates, Jim Rissacher, Duane Wagonbaugh, Ted Willsey, Rich Donnelly, Jessie Vadney, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.