It was an unbelievable Tuesday morning on October 18, 2016. Some of the Old Men of the Mountain were at the Country Café in Schoharie in shorts and sandals. All were in short sleeves later on as some came with jackets but removed them when it became really warm as the morning wore on. Global warming was dismissed because, the OFs said, we have been here before, (meaning the temperature) but wearing shorts and sandals in the Northeast in the middle of October?

Some of the OFs said they are stocking up on ammunition, and some are upgrading their guns. These are OFs that are hunters, and a few are avid hunters. The OFs feel that this sport will be taken away along with many of our other freedoms as time goes on.

“But,” one OF said, “How long do you expect to live? Why are you even worrying about it? The revolution has already started ─ get me off this planet. I don’t want to go through all the hassle of learning Chinese or Arabic.”
A few of the OFs come up with clever ways of answering greetings of the day with salutations that are really funny. A couple of weeks ago one was reported as the greeting. This week the retort was in reply to a greeting. The reply was, “Oh I am better now, but I have been worse.” That sums it up in a nutshell for the OFs ─ we are better now but we have been worse.

Thanks to one OMOTM the OMOTM are handing out six American flags in small wooden stands to all the restaurants the OMOTM visit. The restaurants can use them in their table settings, or they can give them to other people who visit their restaurant, or they can take the flags home for themselves. The OMOTM not only appreciate and respect the flag, but also all the restaurants that put up with us on Tuesday mornings.

Over and over again the OFs discuss hearing aids, some wear them to the breakfast but have to turn them off. It seems that virtually none of them work in these situations. It makes no difference if the hearing aids come from Walmart, or a real high class hearing aid place where a hearing aid is no larger than a quarter and can cost thousands of dollars. To the OFs neither one works any better than the other. One OF who has nerve deafness, and it has impaired his hearing since he was a kid, said that when he was inducted into the army they gave him a hearing test. The nerve deafness, of course, showed up but that did not deter the military from conscripting the OF. The OF said, “And where did they put me? They trained me and made me as a radio operator!” To which the other OFs said, “Radio Operator? A deaf guy as a Radio Operator?”
“Yep,” the OF said, “It was a good thing that deafness is all that it was; if I had bad vision they probably would have put me in the Army Air Corp as a pilot.” (Scribe’s note, you can tell our ages by using the term Army Air Corp.)

Some of the OFs attend auctions, or go to flea markets. Many of the items that go up for sale at auctions or are on tables at flea markets, the OFs use on a routine basis at home. This morning the OFs talked about some of the acquisitions they have recently purchased.
“Why,” some of the OFs inquired, “Do you buy all this old junk?” Like many things in life why the OFs do this or that does not have much of a rationale ─ the OFs just do it. To the OFs it doesn’t require a why.

Where are the bugs? The OFs were commenting on the lack of bugs this year, and the lack of hornets. A few stink bugs, a few lady bugs, no earwigs; ants are still around but seemed normal. Maybe it is our location; maybe other areas are inundated with bugs but for the Hilltowns and surrounding areas not much. This is at least by observations of the OFs, and we all know how that goes since the vision or hearing of this group could be greatly improved upon.

“However,” one OF said, “Maybe my glasses are thick, but I know when I get stung, or bit, and that has not happened this year.” One OF mentioned that the honey bees seem to be more prevalent than the last couple of years, thank goodness. The OF said that on his walks the white and blue pearly everlastings were humming with bees.

One OF offered the suggestion that it might be because of the mild winter. These bugs kept waking up, and then put back into the deep freeze so frequently that they had no time to reproduce, and when or if they did the young froze before they could develop. But then again that is just a guess, what do I know, only that we need bugs if we are going to have birds to help pollination.

Briefly mentioned were pirates and pirate’s ships, due to the interest of one OF. The OFs were not concerned about treasures or treasure maps just the pirates, and their ship and maybe the “plank.” The ship has reached a point in construction and has apparently stopped. This may be that the interest of Captain Jack has waned, or the “Black Pearl” is lying on the bottom of the sea cavorting with the “Little Mermaid” and not bringing in any plunder. Either way the OFs pirate ship still sits in dry dock.

The crew for the pirate ship showed up this morning at the Country Café in Schoharie and they were: Miner Stevens, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Richard Frank, Roger Shafer, Ted Feurer, Wayne Gaul, Sonny Mercer, Ray Kennedy, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Marty Herzog, Jim Rissacher, Warren Willsey, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Randy Foretuin, Harold Grippen, and me.

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