On Tuesday November 8th (another gorgeous day) the Old Men of the Mountains met at the Chuck Wagon Diner, on Route 20 in Princetown.
The election weather was going to be nice, at least in our part of the country. This should make for a good turnout. Some of the OFs had already voted before the breakfast and others were going to vote right after. One OF was working the polls, so another OF ordered a breakfast sandwich and delivered it to the one at the polls. Even though he was “working” at the polls should we consider him an absentee at the breakfast? The rules will have to be checked for this.

The OFs had a good discussion on weight and weight control at the breakfast table and looking at some of the breakfasts ordered it must be that for some of the OF’s meal for Tuesdays is only the one meal for the day.

It was discussed that even though people who do not have diabetes could consider following the diabetes diet. Those OFs that do eat that way (?) say it is a very bland diet, with no salt and many food items not allowed, especially sweets and many types of bread. What fun is there in that? One OF thought that eating is for health and sustenance and not supposed to be fun. Say What! At our age (for many of the OFs) eating is the only fun we have left. Sex is out, hiking is out, driving fast (if driving at all) is out, sky diving is really gone, scuba diving forget that, but the OFs can still raise a knife and fork.

Some of the OFs are still mowing their lawn because the grass is still growing. One OF reported that the bees are even now working what flowers that are still around, and lady bugs are all over the place, at least up on the hill. One OF reported that while sitting at the kitchen table the lady bugs would seem to drop out of nowhere. He exclaimed, “It is particularly frustrating when they fall in my coffee cup while I am still drinking it”. One OF mentioned that he was getting ready to shave and reached for the soap and it moved. The OF said he snapped his hand back and said to himself, “What the heck is that?” There were three live lady bugs trapped in the soap and those bugs were really ticked off.
These bugs are portrayed as cute little things (and they are) with their red wings with the black dots, but these suckers can bite.

The OFs do not remember dunce caps, but they do remember being put on a stool in the corner in school if and when they acted up. The OFs don’t know if they do that today or not. One OF remembered a teacher in Schoharie who was a former U. S. Marine and then went on to become a teacher, and it was a good idea not to fool around in his class. This teacher had his own idea of the dunce cap and that was to have the one misbehaving stand in the front of the class with his/her arms outstretched until they felt like they were going to fall off. This ex-Marine was a good teacher; the kids knew and understood what was going to be on a test, and this Marine was not afraid to hand out “A’s”

One OF said that the kids today get awards even when they lose. The OFs don’t quite understand that. One OF said, “If you are in something to win why bother when you are going to get an award even if you don’t try?” One OF said he did not think that was really the gist of it; this OF thought it was the perception of self-esteem that some kids are never going to be winners but should be awarded for effort and at least trying their best. In their minds this will make them a winner of sorts. An OF said he can see this in some situations but not all. Some other OFs agreed but they did not elucidate as to what the differences were, sports, art, music, academics, or who was participating. One OF liked the idea of having the smart kids in a smart class where they could be challenged. This OF thought the schools are dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. This is why we are being left behind by other countries. This OF said he was in the slow class, and turned out all right, and had more fun in school than the egg heads. One OF summed it up by saying that the ones running the show want to throw everyone in the same basket, however, people are different and there should be many baskets, but all baskets should be the same. Somehow this scribe understands that.

The OFs talk about the cars they have had and the names of some are really weird. Some of them they just rode in because they never could afford them ─ just like today. The Duesenberg, Hudson, White, Whippet, Reo (truck), Studebaker, Packard, Willys, Nash, Hupmobile, Vauxhall, the Brewster with its bat wing fenders, and heart shaped grill. Stanley Steamer, Franklin, Jack Benny’s Maxwell, Checker the yellow cab, the little Bantam, Auburn, the Kaiser with its double arched windshield ─ these are just a few the OFs came up with and now these vehicles are all out of business. Some the OFs could describe but could not come up with the names. Then there was the Tucker but that is another story. Probably those reading this can come up with some that are not listed. The OFs were not talking about the companies still manufacturing cars, like Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and the like.

Those OFs that motored to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princeton this morning, in cars with names just as strange only with names in languages from all over the world, were: Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Roger Chapman, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Roger Shafer, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Gerry Irwin, Glenn Patterson, (the OFs wish him good luck on his hip replacement,) Mark Traver, Jack Norray, Otis Lawyer, Mace Porter, Andy Tinning, Elwood Vanderbilt, Jim Rissacher, Marty Herzog, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen and me.