Well, it is Tuesday, the last day of February 2017, and the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie.            This scribe generally calls the restaurants a day ahead of when we are supposed to be there to warn them the OFs are coming. Sometimes, when they ask how many will show up, this scribe takes a stab at it. When advising the Your Way Café this particular morning this scribe guessed 20 to 25 people would be there. Boy, did this scribe throw the Your Way Café a curve! Sorry Your Way.

The OMOTM held the restaurant to its name (Your Way Café) and they ordered their bacon medium or burnt to a crisp, their eggs like rocks or just warm, and their sausage with which some have links, and some have patties. The guys are even fussy about their home fries, and again, some wanted them with onions, some wanted them really crispy, while some wanted hash browns, and even a few wanted them with horseradish. Some of the OFs watch what the waitress scribbles down and say it is a wonder the cooks comes up with anything close to what they order. Yet most of the time the OFs get exactly what they order so there must be some kind of standard to eggs over easy, or crispy bacon, or the difference between light, medium, and dark toast.

The OFs stick to much of the by-laws ─ especially the ones about no politics, no religion, and no tattling on why one OF or the other is in the pokey ─ however, they did wander a little bit into politics with a few comments. These comments were not too controversial such as how tough it is for a red guy to be in a blue state, county or city, conversely it is tough for a blue guy to be in a red state, county or city.  No one got bent out of shape over these observations.

The OFs talked about how their shopping mainstays have either bit the dust and are no longer around, while some others are starting to show signs of joining the group. Sears and Roebuck, Montgomery Wards, Macy’s, Woolworths, Kresge (which became Kmar,t then Kmart purchased Sears). The OFs remember all these stores when they were places to shop, especially Wards and Sears for the farmer. Both sold tractors and tractor supplies, both sold chickens, and ducks, plus they were the places to go for tools, and tires.  All good stuff and all made in the USA. Camping equipment, guns, hunting and fishing supplies, including boats, were all available at Sears and Wards. The customer could buy a violin, a motorcycle, or even a car, at the same place. Going shopping (for the OFs) is not fun anymore.

The OFs talked about the new Dollar Store distribution center which is being built in Amsterdam. A few OFs said they would believe it when the earth movers move in. Some of the OFs were wondering why the chose that particular site until they realized that there are train tracks to that section of town so the location began to make sense.

To add to this is the proximity of the Thruway ─ the exit will be almost like the I-88 exits for Walmart trucks and other haulers getting off the interstate and going through Central Bridge to get to the Walmart distribution center in Sharon Springs. The OFs were wondering why Walmart doesn’t sponsor a NASCAR Racecar as Dollar General did, or does. One OF suggested that Walmart is supposed to appeal to rednecks, so what better way than thru NASCAR?

The OFs discussed the storm that rolled through in the early evening on Saturday the 25th and the church in Cobleskill that had lightening strike the church tower from that short nasty storm. The OFs that live in that area said it lit up the whole town, and they could feel the thunder clap. Some of the other OFs didn’t know if it was that exact strike or not but there was one rumble of thunder that seemed very low and shook everything. This clap was felt in Schoharie, Middleburgh, and up on the hill in Berne and Knox. The timing, according to the OFs anyway, did place the clap at about the same time as the strike on the church steeple in Cobleskill.

A dialogue that solidified what many conversations of the OFs have on some Tuesday mornings was on how people work, particularly the OFs.

Some OFs want to work alone, they don’t want any help. Some like company while they work and these OFs continue to work on whatever project the OF has underway.  Others like all the help they can get when they have a project going and when another OF shows up he had better have work gloves with him because the OF will put him (or them) to work.

Then there is the OF that likes people to help because most of the time these OFs think the OFs helping knows more about what is going on than he does. These are very good examples of whatever floats your boat, eventually the boat will get the OF to shore.  Also, there is the OF who knows what he is doing, but if another group of OFs come to “help”, after they are gone the OF goes and does a lot of it over because it didn’t pass muster.

Now comes (and the OMOTM don’t have any of these) a different group of people that would rather have anyone else do the work but them. These persons are good pointer-outers of what has to be done but don’t ask them to do it. Yep, many ways people, and not only the OFs, work.

The OFs filling the Your Way Café in Schoharie up on a very unusual winter’s day were: Miner Stevens, Harold Guest, Ray Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Roger Schafer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Dave Williams, Roger Chapman, Jim Heiser, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Marty Herzog, Sonny Mercer, Ted Feurer, Wayne Gaul, Don Wood, Ray Kennedy, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Rev. Jay Francis, Ted Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.

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