On this Tuesday morning it was reported again that around 6:30 to 7:00 AM the wildlife was very active and out running around. No time to be late for work and scurrying down the highway because our friendly critters are out there scurrying too. It may be the weather, because it was a tad chilly on October 25th, and the wildlife likes this weather so they become a little perkier.

This morning an OF used a statement that the OF must have read from one of these cute signs that are on a lot of refrigerator doors, or hung in many restaurants, because a perfect time came in one of the discussions where the OF could use this little ditty: “If I thought you were right that would make both of us wrong.” That is another witticism that can be stored is some gray cell to use at the appropriate time in a discussion, particularly one on politics.

The OFs seemed in a nostalgic frame of mind. They went back in time (40s & 50s) to when Schenectady was a completely different city. Some mentioned how much the city has changed physically on State Street and Erie Blvd. One OF mentioned that it now looks a lot like what they did in Oneonta years ago, with landscaping and benches and lighting. The OFs said it is still not the old Schenectady when the Carl Co., Wallace Armer, Woolworth and Grants were in full bloom and in business in the city. The OFs remembered getting your change from vacuum tubes that ran around the store. One OF thought Wallace Armer had the tube run around on a trolley system. The Carl Co had an elevator with an elevator operator. The OFs also remember people walking all over the city, especially State Street, Erie Blvd., and Broadway. There were many active stores from the Van Curler Hotel, up the hill all the way to the park. Going to Schenectady was more fun than going to Albany.

Again, the OFs discussed the political ads on TV. They are so nauseating. With the ads running continuously and saying nothing, the OFs think both major parties want us NOT to vote because they think a low turnout will favor them, therefore, they run these vile ads to get the populace so fed up they stay home.

A fellow stopped in the restaurant not to eat but get directions. Whoop! Asking directions from this group that requires four guys in a car each Tuesday morning just to be sure to find the restaurant where the breakfast is going to be, is one big mistake. But the OFs were nice and only let three or four OFs give the lost soul directions. The directions sounded correct to this scribe and this scribe knows a little bit about the village so it made sense. The OFs hope the gentleman finds Bridge Street. One OF said did you ever think when giving directions in a case like this to a complete stranger that you might be giving directions to somebody who does not have the best intent on doing whatever he is going to do when he gets to where he is going. No, was the collective answer.

Drones were another topic of discussion. These new toys are becoming more than toys. One OF said that some youngsters are making platforms with the drones under them and flying them by standing on the platform. The OF said that these daredevils now are going as high as fifty to sixty feet in the air, and maneuvering them by leaning on them one way or the other and leaning forward to go faster. Then they seem to be using the radio controls to hover and go up and down.

Some of the OFs said if they were younger this looks like it would be fun. Some OFs did not know if these were truly drones, or an improvement on the boards that were used awhile back using fans and Venturi tubes to direct the flow. (Giovanni Battista Venturi (1746–1822), was an Italian physicist. The Venturi effect is the reduction in fluid pressure that results when a fluid flows through a constricted section ─ or choke ─ of a pipe. So says Goggle).

Who knows, maybe this is how we will be visiting our friends and neighbors in the future. “That is until something else comes along,” an OF said. One OF thought they can only be used in good weather, it can’t be raining, or too windy. That is right for reasonable people, but kids think they are never going to die or get hurt and when these things become popular the kids will use them in a snow storm.

Apparently there was an accident in front of the Carrot Barn which is only a few miles down the road toward Route 7 from the Your Way Café and it brought up a pretty good discussion on how many blind spots there are on the roadways. The OFs started listing some that are really bad. One was the intersection on Route 443, where county Route One (Switzkill Road) crosses 443 just west of the Berne town park. Vehicles heading east on 443 and coming over the little knoll by the cemetery have to be particularly leery when approaching this intersection. When vehicles crossing 443 at this intersection the sight distance to the top of that rise ─ the OFs guess ─ is only about 100 feet or so.

Another bad spot is where the optical illusion on Beebe road in the town of Knox Beebe road appears to continue without a road crossing it. Route 146 (which is the main road) has an intersection where Beebe road crosses and to strangers driving Beebe it appears like 146 isn’t even there until the driver is upon it and sees the stop sign. One OF remarked, “If he even sees the stop sign!” The optical illusion, this OF thinks, relaxes the driver enough not to even expect road or sign. The OFs talked about many other risky areas, especially driveways that enter the road at dangerous locations. Driving is a challenge, animals that can’t read, bikes that play car and ride in the middle of the road, dead limbs that can fall out of tree at anytime, drivers texting and don’t even notice what lane they are in, and then the OFs with their legs that don’t work, and only one eye, they are all out there. It is pure luck anybody gets to where they are going.

The Old Men of the Mountain that accepted the challenge of driving, drove to the Your Way Café in Schoharie and these OFs were: Miner Stevens, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Roger Shafer, Wayne Gaul, Lou Schenck, Sonny Mercer, Ray Kennedy, Roger Chapman, Don Wood, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Greg Hawk, John Jasniewski, Ted Feurer, Jim Rissacher, Marty Herzog, Elwood Vanderbilt, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.

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