The breakfast for the Old Men of the Mountain was held Tuesday the 11th day of October at the restaurant called Mrs. K’s in Middleburgh.
Many of the OFs like going to Mrs. K’s because the proprietor was a classmate of some and she is like a female counterpart to the OFs. She still arises early in the morning, works hard and is the same age as many OFs, and by knowing many of the OFs from when they were still in knickers takes no snot from any of them.

The OFs were talking about their annual flu shots which most of them get. It was being bantered around that a few of the OFs have heard that older people should get their flu shots later this year. None of the OFs who were talking about this knew the reason why. The OF’s offering the advice of taking the shot later because of this information had no takers. The OFs said for the most part the shot works for them, and they have not had the flu, so they were going to take the shot when they always take the shot, or when their doctors advise them to, not when some OF tells them it is time.

The Hurricane was a topic that kept creeping into the conversations. Almost all the OFs knew of someone that was in the way of this nasty weather. One OF has a friend that lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina. So in concern the OF emailed this friend to see how he was doing. The OF said he received a reply in a couple of hours that he was OK and in France. The OF said his friend’s message was they were given plenty of advanced notice and then a mandatory evacuation was issued, so they evacuated to France, and that is where the OF’s friend was at that time of the emails. One OF said, “Well now, that is what I call an evacuation escape route.”

While the people along the coast are having all those awful weather conditions, we in the Hilltowns are having a gorgeous fall. The OFs can imagine the destruction because of what our area went through with Irene, only Matthew came in on a much larger scale. Some of the OFs have homes in the affected areas and they are up here with all the other OFs at breakfast. Those OFs have checked with friends and all reported that their homes are fine. This is good news to all the OFs.

All this prompted another conversation on how prepared the OFs are in case some really bad catastrophe comes along like the time the whole East Coast was without power. The OFs mentioned that they are more prepared now than they were then with generators (the whole house type) and the smaller portable ones. They have food in cans and mom’s type canning to last for quite awhile. Many of the OFs have had this type of preparation for years because that was the way they were brought up.

One OF mentioned that if you were the sort that took your family camping (and the OF said he meant tent camping, not these motor homes that are like houses on wheels) cooking on the campfire, or a Coleman stove, and having mantle lanterns (which were the source of light for this type of camping) taught self preservation. Even backpacking, carrying everything you were going to need for days on your back was another way to learn the same thing. “Now,” one OF said, “If the girls can’t power up their hair dryer and the guys can’t access the latest football game, they are lost.”

The OF also touched on gated communities, and senior living where there are so many rules all the people can do is sit around and play hand and foot. (Yes, Martha, this is a real card game that amuses many retirees). They are like zombies trapped in their own little community. One OF was checking into some of these communities and found that one of the rules involved the number of cars, boats, trailers, etc., that an OF was allowed to have. Furthermore, he could not cut his own grass; it would be done by the yard crew, for which there was a charge. The grandkids could not stay over night. The OF said these rules went on and on; it was worse than being in jail. Definitely not for him ─ he would rather live in a normal area and take his chances with the occasional burglar.

“Hey,” one OF said, “You might catch him in an attempted burglary and he might turn out to be a neat guy. I bet the crook could show you a better way around town that would be a lot more fun than some old geezer on his three-wheel bike.” (This scribe chuckled to himself listening to these conversations knowing that the people talking were older geezers than the old geezer they were talking about. It is all in the mind.)

One OF mentioned coming to the breakfast as a rider in a car where the driving OF announced audibly to the car ahead of him “Come on you old goat, get a move on,” and the driver of the car the OF was riding in was 84 years old. It is, as has been stated, all in the mind. This rider was riding in a car headed to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh where they were going to meet with the other OFs, and they were: John Rossmann, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, Richard Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Mark Traver, Jim Heiser, Sonny Mercer, Roger Shafer, Otis Lawyer, Lou Schenck, (welcome back), Mace Porter, Don Wood, Jack Norray, Jim Rissacher, Marty Herzog, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Jess Vadney, Richard Vanderbilt, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.