Tuesday the 21st of March 2017 was a much better Tuesday than March 14th 2017.

On the 21st the Old Men of the Mountain were able to make it to the Home Front Café in Altamont. The 14th was the first time the OMOTM did not make it to a restaurant since the OFs have been getting together like this. It takes a full blown blizzard to stop the OFs.   This storm even stopped the US post office at some zip codes. Hey, even some bars were closed! The OFs said this was labeled a blizzard and the wind attested to that, but it still can’t top the blizzard of 1993 according to the OFs.

A few of the OFs can do small engine repairs, as well as getting some rusty old heap of a bull dozer repaired and running, and we have mentioned before how many OFs are capable of restoring old tractors. These OFs (including one that does the small engine repair as a business) say this weather brings out people purchasing snowblowers and generators, and then as spring really takes over they return them to where they bought them. These OFs can’t quite understand this viewpoint. If people thought they needed this equipment while being pelted with snow what makes them think they won’t need it in the not to distant future? Do they think it is not going to snow again? After all, it is the Northeast and our particular area is where two valleys and two rivers meet at about 90 degrees. Even the weather itself does not know what to do when it meets the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers at the Cohoes/Waterford area. With the hills from Little Nose (near the Village of Sprakers) on down towards Schenectady following the Mohawk river basically east and west, and the Helderbergs with the hills of Rensselaer county running basically north and south, any good weather system stops and scratches its head at these points pondering what to do.

The OFs think every home should have a snow removal tool of some kind, including a young back to work it.

The OFs discussed when to retire and that discussion had many opinions. This debate broke down into a few basic steps such as finances, health, and what to do when someone retires. These steps take pre-planning when you are young enough to do so. Many of the OFs did not do this because when they were YFs it was not emphasized as much as it is today. One OF said when we were YFs it was thought we would be dead before we got the chance. So far the OFs have managed pretty well. More important than money, in most cases, is what to do when the retirement time comes. The OFs mentioned volunteering or developing a hobby that can be done without too much physical effort. Join a group that has a similar interest for you, or find religion. The worst thing is to just sit and turn to rust.

An OF mentioned that his wife takes care of his activity department with a job list under a magnet on the refrigerator. This OF said she keeps on his case until these chores are done, but then she keeps adding new ones. The OF said that as he completes one job or the other he dutifully crosses it out and marks that job done. The OF said one day there were 5 or 6 jobs on the list, so he hustled and got them all done in one day but this time the OF did not cross off the jobs that were done.

In about 3 days the OF said his wife got on his case to work on the to-do-list and the OF said he would get after them. In about a week his wife was still after him, and the OF said he had a weeks complete reprieve of not having to do any of the dumb things she came up with, and it proved to him she never checked if they were done anyway, she just noticed the jobs were crossed off so she just came up with new ones to add to the list. This is just like the Amish Friendship Bread people just keeping passing around the starter and the one who receives the starter keeps adding to it and passes some starter to the next sucker…err friend.

This column keeps reporting that many of the OFs are veterans and this year the Kiwanis is attempting to have a good contingent of veterans who live in the Hilltowns of Berne, Knox, Westerlo, or Rensselaerville to be a part of the Hilltown Memorial Day Parade in the town of Berne. They would like to have all veterans (who are able) to participate so they are requesting any veterans in these towns to contact them at 518-894-8589 and let them know, who you are, if you prefer to march, prefer to ride, or are in a wheelchair, and if you need assistance getting in or out of a vehicle. The Kiwanis guarantees there will be no snow. The Kiwanis will take care of you no matter how you get about.

The OFs talked about shopping and how most people who work in stores are pleasant and helpful, while others should find another line of work. These people are grumpy with some almost surly, like they are doing you a favor by being there to take care of you. One OF attributed it to when you run into one of these “woe is me” characters that they are just having a bad day. One OF said that isn’t always the case here because every time he goes into a certain store and happens to have a certain person wait on him the personality is the same. Then one OF offered, “It may just be karma and you two do not connect, however, to the next person in line this employee might be just as bubbly as the next one.” This OF said he does not know how many places would keep a person who is really miserable all the time in a job where they had to deal with the public. “Who knows?, another OF thought, “This particular person may be a relative and can’t get a job anywhere else.”  Another OF said he has a friend that isn’t happy unless he is miserable. The OFs don’t think there is a cure for that.

The OFs that were glad to get out and about and who made it to the Home Front Café in Altamont were: Roger Chapman, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Chuck Aelesio, Ray Frank, Marty Herzog, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Ted Willsey, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Henry Whipple, Harold Grippen, and me.