Today’s report will be a bonus report — two weeks for one. The scribe was traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday and unfortunately missed Tuesday, Nov. 25; however, braving mighty obstacles, the scribe was able to make Tuesday, Dec. 2. (Boy oh boy, Christmas is right around the corner, so much to do, so little time.)
On Nov. 25, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner, in Duanesburg, and on Dec. 2, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon in Princetown.
A topic from the Nov. 18 gathering is now quite topical. What do the OFs want, or need for Christmas? For many of the OFs and because the OFs are just that (Old F’s) the giving part was easy — money or gift cards. Most of the OFs’ kids are approaching the point of being OFs themselves and have their own ideas of what they need so give them a few bucks to either get it, or help them out.
Some of the kids say, "Gee Dad, we don't need anything"; that is no fun and many times rings quite hollow.
When the OF says he doesn't need anything, it is generally true. What in the world is the OF going to with more stuff? Ah! But with a few of the OFs “stuff” is their middle name.
However, a gift card to a grocery store is a good thing. The problem here is that the OF will give the kids gift cards to grocery stores, and kids will give the OF a gift card to grocery stores. That is like one log truck going east on the road passing another log truck going west. Duh.
Now, what do the OFs do for fun? The options are as varied as there are OFs.
Some are boat enthusiasts, while others belong to civic organizations; some work at very fine crafts, and others collect stuff.
The stuff collectors have a problem and this has been mentioned before: They are OFs, and the stuff they collect is not dolls, or marbles. This stuff is big like cars, trucks, and tractors (especially tractors) and along with that — old farm equipment.
These antiques are intended by the OFs to be restored and run but now the OFs are running out of time to get them in shape. The OFs are now antiques themselves and they need some tender loving care, and new parts like the equipment they are trying to restore, to get the OF into some kind of workable, running shape.
The conversations of many of the OFs on old antiquities show a knowledge that many museums might wish they had, and, with the OFs at the breakfast tables, this knowledge is just normal talk.
This goes along with their "collections,” much of which are museum pieces. What the OFs need are some young volunteers to work on this "stuff" with the OFs as mentors.
Though, as one OF put it, this is a hands-on, get-dirty, lift-and-lug type of endeavor, not staring at some three-by-four screen while the only muscles used are the ones that control the thumbs, and no real mental skills are involved, just reaction time to something someone else has already done.
One OF just mentioned that he was looking for an old corn sheller, and another OF responded, “What kind?” because he had one.
The first OF said, “One with a cast iron frame,” and the other OF said his was a wood frame.
It wasn't long before a deal was made and the corn sheller might change hands. What kind of group would have that type of machine just lying around and another person looking for one? What type of group (other than the OFs) would even know the difference between a sheller and a husker?
There were no questions asked like, “Why do you want a corn sheller?” Inquiring about a corn sheller is just the OFs’ normal conversations.
There are some newer members of the OFs who have been rattling around the Hilltowns for quite some time. Now they are seeing new faces for the first time and trying to connect these faces with where they might know them from, and then they try to relate them to certain pieces of property.
Here begins the lineage of, “Ya know the old Perkins place?”
“Ah yes, that used to be the Moore place.”
“Nah, the old Moore place used to be by the Jacobs place at the corner of Blah and Jump roads.”
“Are you sure? I thought that was the Adams house.”
“No, the Adams house was around the corner where the two big oaks are.”
On and on until the real place of where they knew each other link up. Makes no difference who lives there now, the OFs go back to who built the place during or just after the Revolutionary War.
Then comes the connecting of the friends or relatives of forty, fifty, or sixty years ago. It is surprising to many of the OFs how a little bit of geography is a bonding agent.
The Old Men of the Mountain offer their deepest sympathies to the family of Carl Slater, a long-standing and loyal member of the OMOTM for many years, who passed away at the age of 84. He will be greatly missed.
The Old Men of the Mountain also offer their sympathies to Miner Stevens whose brother-in-law passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 2. The OMOTM condolences go to Miner and his family also.
Those OFs attending the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner and probably spoke freely because the scribe wasn't there to tattle on them, were: Duncan Bellinger, Harold Guest, Andy Tinning, Frank Pauli, Steve Kelly, Roger Schafer, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Glenn Patterson, Otis Lawyer, Mark Traver, Garry Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, and not me.
Those OFs who made it to the Chuck Wagon in Princetown and solved most of the nation’s problems by going back in time when the nation was number one in many things and now seems to be leading in not much, were: Karl Remmers, Roger Schafer, Roger Chapman, Steve Kelly, Dick Ogsbury, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Bill Krause, Lou Schenck, Ken Hughes, Jack Norray, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gerry Chartier, Henry Whipple, Jim Rissacher, Ted Willsey, Harold Guest, and me.
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Blue Star Restaurant in Schoharie.
It was noted that there was a big change in the weather from the 18th of November to the 19th, but what the people in the Midwest and the people in the Philippines are going through right now (and who knows how many more people are) a few-degrees drop in temperature is nothing we have to worry about. We only know that it is time to put another log on the fire.
The OFs sat in the comfort of the Blue Star and had breakfast, and this old sphere just keeps spinning around and around; the OFs just sit there and talk about the flood in another building close by that just a short time ago was full of water.
The people who have such great events enter into their lives will relate time from then on to these events. The OFs are still talking about the flood (from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011) and it came up again Tuesday morning along with dialogue concerning recent tornadoes and the typhoon.
This talk was about something that not too many have even considered, i.e., paperwork that is kept at lawyers’ offices for safekeeping, and safe-deposit boxes at banks for the same reason.
One OF said the safe-deposit box situation hit home with him because his deposit box was in a bank vault that filled with water; however, his box was on the top shelf and the water stopped just a few inches below it. The boxes below were under water and these boxes are not waterproof.
The OF said, “You think you have all your bases covered and Mother Nature has a subtle way of saying, ‘Hold on a second. I have something to say about that.’”
The OFs wonder if those who say time heals all wounds — well, does it really?
As one OF put it, “That statement probably emanates from someone who has not experienced whatever tragedy is the point of conversation. ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ is a better quote and, after that mile, see if ‘time heals’ still fits.”
Wither the Monarchs?
One OF posed the question, “How many of you OFs have seen the Monarch butterfly this year?”
You know, no one within earshot of the OF who asked the question could remember seeing one. This OF said that a fungus, similar to the White Nose syndrome of bats, brought on by the strange weather early in the year, did a real number on the Monarch.
This OF said that he had read that they might not make a comeback because they were so badly affected. Well, that was said about the bats and the bald eagle and they are making remarkable comebacks.
Let’s hope that the Monarch rebounds quickly because they are great pollinators.
Along with this came a few comments on the number of deer, which seems to be less, along with squirrels and rabbits, at least in the areas the OFs are from. This may not be true elsewhere. There may be places where the deer are taking over; the same with squirrels and rabbits.
Have a plan
One OF brought up a problem that is not too uncommon. This OF has a friend with whom he normally converses by phone at least once a week. This friend lives alone and he does not live that close by.
The OF said he has been unable to reach him in the last two weeks and was wondering if he should call the authorities to go and check on him. The OFs think that it is a good thing to have a plan in case this should happen to one of us.
At the ages of some of the OFs, this is a possibility.
One OF suggested that this is why people should be part of something like seniors, or a church, or the American Legion, or Veterans of Foreign Wars — some organization that would be concerned if your habits changed.
In this case, there might be someone to check on you and see if you are OK.
Know-how in demand
Another topic came up that was not specific to an OF problem, and that is, when someone has a particular talent, or expertise, and belongs to an organization that takes advantage of that talent or expertise. In this case, it was running sound equipment that one OF seems to know what he is doing.
To this particular OF, it is a simple job. But, and this is a big but, this OF is not always around when the equipment is being run.
Another OF mentioned that an organization he belongs to has the same problem and the guy who knows how to run the equipment is not around much of the time either. The OF said that he has everything color coded — the white wire to the white receptacle etc., etc.
And the OF said he has given instructions more than once on how to shut it down and start it up. Ditto with the other OF; however, these instructions seem to fall on deaf ears. Not really deaf ears: The people being trained know what to do at the time and maybe a month or so later but that information eventually becomes lost in the six inches of gray matter between the ears because it is not used and so enters the nether land of the brain.
One OF came to the defense of those who are not familiar with using sound equipment. The OF who has the know-how uses his knowledge quite frequently, where the others might only have to use it once a year, and the OF relating this mentioned he is quite familiar with the short-term memory loss in this type of surrounding.
Things start making noises that the untrained OF is not familiar with and he goes a little berserk thinking the whole thing is falling apart and he does not want to be responsible for pushing the wrong button and blowing the whole business up. All this OF can think of is to pull the plug and wait for the OF who knows what he is doing to come and fix it.
The reader can insert appliance or whatever into the slot where sound system is mentioned. Wait for someone who knows what to do to show up. That is the best answer!
Those OFs who showed up at the Blue Star Restaurant in Schoharie on that rather blustery Tuesday morning and were glad nothing needed fixing before they came, were: Roger Chapman, Mark Traver, John Rossmann, Robie Osterman, Glenn Patterson, Harold Guest, Andy Tinning, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Miner Stevens, Duncan Bellinger, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Bill Keale, Lou Schenck, Don Moser, Jack Norray, Bill Krause, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Don Wood, Elwood Vanderbilt, and me.
Give one big Whoop for Tuesday, because Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Country Café in Schoharie. This restaurant, like many of the restaurants the OFs attack, has that early morning welcome sign, which is not in words but the smell of eggs and bacon cooking as the OFs walk down the sidewalk from their cars to the restaurant.
The OFs mention this quite often because it is like a magnet drawing the OFs to the front door.
The OFs think that one way to end a battle on the front lines would be to have each army set up their cook tents along the front and start cooking breakfast. As soon as that aroma wafted over to either side, the OFs bet that both sides would set down their arms, grab their mess kits, and go have breakfast — maybe even together.
One OF said that, in today’s wars, there doesn't seem to be enemy lines. It just seems to be skirmishes, or car bombs, or suicide bombers, or blowing up school buses full of kids going to school.
One offered even drones — no one around — just an unmanned flying machine. Another OF said he still doesn't understand what the wars are about.
“All I know,” the OF said, “is what I read in the paper and none of that seems to make much sense.”
This OF didn't understand how making breakfast would help today. “Who is the bad guy, who is the good guy?” the OF asked. “Does anyone know, or has most of the world gone crazy?”
Bald man’s lament
On a lighter note, the more important question asked was: Why do we OFs who are bald have to pay the same amount for a haircut as some guy with a ton of hair?
One OF said that he has sat along the wall in the barbershop waiting while some guy in the barber chair gets coifed and it take 20 minutes or more, and he gets in the chair and it is whirr-shear, eyebrows snipped, neck shaved, and out! The OF is out of the chair in five minutes max, yet he pays the same as the guy with the half-hour hairdo.
“That is not the lament of just us OFs,” said an OF. “That is the lament of all the bald guys.”
“Maybe that is where the barber shops make their profit,” a different OF mused.
“It is tough finding a barber shop now,” one OF added.
He needed a haircut and his wife made him go to one of those sissy places. The OF said that was a mistake.
He told the girl (hair stylist?) he just wanted a haircut. The first thing this girl did was lead him to the sink and wash his hair.
“What! Did she think I had lice or something? I told her I just washed it this morning in the shower.”
Then the girl got the back of his shirt so wet that, even after being toweled off, his shirt was too uncomfortable to wear. After he left the shop, the OF walked down the mall and bought a shirt and undershirt at K-Mart because the OF said he was soaked and freezing.
To top it all off, this girl who had “cut” his hair had spent half the time snipping at the air with the scissors, and not really doing much cutting. When he got home, the OF looked in the mirror and said he still looked the same as when he went in the (Salon?). He was still in need of a haircut — what a rip-off.
“Give me a guy barbershop any day, where I can still get a haircut and don't have to go back every week, and have some chatty, snippety young thing click her scissors in the air to make me feel like I am getting my hair cut,” the OG concluded.
One OF said he thought prices should be pro-rated at the barber shop: X number of dollars for a five-minute cut, and X number for 10 minutes, X number for 20 minutes and so on.
“Then,” the OF said, “you can go in and say, ‘I want a 10-minute special’ and be out of the chair in 10 minutes.”
“That might not work,” said another OF. “If you had a fine head of hair like me, which takes awhile to cut, and you ask for the 10-minute special. The barber may only have enough time to cut half the hair on your head and you would go out of the shop looking kind of weird.”
Then one OF said, “Don’t mess with what the barber does; remember he is the one with the razor in his hand.”
Felons in office?
The OFs, discussed something that they didn't know (what?), at least at this scribe’s end of the table and that was convicted felons running for political office and winning the election.
“Sure,” one OF said, “look at Marion Barry, one of the former mayors of Washington, D.C. itself; he was a convicted felon.”
This scribe did a little checking — the key word here is little — but the basic answer is: yes. The Constitution says felons can even — while in prison — be elected for federal office (House and Senate) and serve from jail.
However, there are some in this body but suffice it to say the House or Senate can expel them because they are bad guys. The states have nothing to say about this.
Voting and holding elected office for state or other offices differs by state, but in many cases the answer is: yes. This scribe could not find where it differentiated between murder and stealing candy from a baby. (Then again, this scribe used to read a lot; now this scribe reads two pages, falls asleep, and has to go back and read over what he just read and fall asleep again. Takes awhile to read a book now but this scribe gets plenty of naps.)
The OFs have a new name for lapses of information in a normal conversation.
One OF was talking to another OF, and was going to tell the first OF about someone in the hospital. In the middle of the sentence, he stopped talking because the name of the OF in the hospital went right out of his head.
So the OF who started the conversation had to stop right there because the whole purpose of the conversation was gone. About 15 minutes later, the OF shouted out the name. The name sifted its way through all the clogged-up brain cells until it found its way out.
Another OF said to the OF across from him, “How about the time I asked you about your granddaughter and you couldn't remember her name?”
“Yeah, you OG. You asked me that in front of 40 people.”
The other OF said, “How was I supposed to know you would forget her name; she was only five chairs down from where we sitting.”
What are these brain lapses?
One OF said, at our ages, they are the same as Brain "F---s". The OF agreed because none of us can escape them.
A different OF said that, when it happens to him, he starts to recite the alphabet and, generally, when he comes to the letter that pertains to the thought, the lost thought usually comes to mind.
One OF said that sometimes, when it happens to him unconsciously, it must rattle around in his head somewhere because at the darndest time he will blurt out something like "Charlie Chaplin,” or "Mickey Mouse" for no reason at all.
Those OFs who made it to the Country Café, and did not forget (maybe because their wives pushed them out the door) were: Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, Andy Tinning, Dave Williams, Harold Guest, Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Glenn Patterson, Jim Heiser, Mark Traver, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Ken Hughes, Gary Porter, Bill Keale, Miner Stevens, Bill Rice, Henry Whipple, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Bill Krause, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Duncan Bellinger, and me.
On Nov. 5, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K's Restaurant in Middleburgh, and everybody was up and running, particularly those that run the restaurant. Most of the time, early morning is the best time of day, especially if the OF happens to be an “A” person.
The fifth was one of those days. At the breakfast that morning, Loretta thanked all the OFs for coming to her birthday party, and presenting her with flowers and a hat that has the OMOTM logo on it.
Hey, the OFs will go anywhere for a free meal. Well really, maybe not anywhere. Like the words “always,” “never,” and the phrase “American people” (without the caveat “some” or “most” preceding the word American) are no-no’s.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, Middleburgh held its Fall Harvest Parade, and some of the OFs participated in this annual event. The OFs didn't walk the parade route. One OF had an old tractor and another had an old horse-drawn grader. According to the OFs, the parade was over an hour long and very well attended.
Anyone familiar with the village of Middleburgh knows it has one main road in from the north or south to the Schoharie creek. Even locals — if they are caught before any of the side streets start through the village — find there is no way around, and then these people are in for the duration.
One OF mentioned that, for him to get home from the parade, he was caught in the line of traffic, and this OF is a long-time Middleburger. The OF said there was no ducking in and out of the side streets to get around traffic.
Other OFs mentioned about being caught in small-town parades with only one way in and one way out and just hanging out until the parade is over; one OF added that, when the parade is over, then the traffic becomes a parade itself.
The Memorial Day parades in Schoharie and Esperance were also mentioned as parades where the unsuspecting driver is trapped until the parade marches on. One OF mentioned, if this happens and you are not too far back, pull the car to the side of road, get out, walk down, and join the crowd, enjoy some fried dough, get a few balloons, and a couple of flags before you go on your way. You might just as well enjoy the parade because you are going to be there anyway.
Who’s without caries?
The next topic that came up was “Going to the Dentist.” The poor dentist has the reputation of running a torture chamber. Dentists should be dressed in black, with earrings in their ears, and whips hanging on the walls, according to the OFs.
Most of the OFs do not like going to the dentist but off they go and, again, most find out nowadays it is not that bad. The OFs claim it is best to go periodically, and have regular maintenance and little things taken care of before they become major problems and can really hurt.
The sensation of Novocain is not pleasant, according to the OFs, but many would rather put up with that and not have it hurt while at the dentist. A few OFs say they will not take Novocain for minor stuff because the dentist works in your mouth only a short time and the hurt is over when he stops.
However, with Novocain, the OF said he is biting his tongue, drooling, and conversing with slurred speech until it wears off, and then the OF said, after it wears off, he still feels some of the discomfort from the dental work.
An OG then opined, “That is what you get, you guys that kept your own teeth. Mine come out at night and go in, in the morning, along with my hearing aids, and glasses. That is, once I take the teeth out of the Efferdent, put new batteries in the aids, and clean my glasses, I am set to go.”
“Yeah,” one OF answered, “if you lose all that stuff, you are walking into walls because you can't see, stepping in front of buses because you can't hear, and living on soup because you can't chew. I'll put up with the dentist twice a year.”
on older judges
This past Tuesday was Election Day and some politics were discussed but not much. Sitting at the table of the OMOTM was one councilman, one former councilman, and a former town board supervisor. The consensus of this group seemed to be that serving in these capacities is like being married, but with no fun thrown in.
Only two topics came up on how people were going to vote. It seemed (at least to this scribe) that one issue was a “no” vote on casino gambling and the other was a “yes” vote for older judges. What would one expect from this group?
More specifically, regarding the vote for older judges, the OFs say they still have the mental capacity to say, "Throw the bum in jail,” so what more is necessary?
The OFs will have to wait until next Tuesday to discuss how it all turned out.
Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K's Restaurant in Middleburgh, who had already been to the polls, or were headed to the polls, were: Andy Tinning, Don Wood, Harold Guest, George Washburn, Glenn Patterson, Roger Shafer, Roger Chapman, Steve Kelly, Jim Heiser, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Duncan Bellinger, Mace Porter, Ken Hughes, Gary Porter, Jack Norray, Harold Guest, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Bill Krause, and me.
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the OMOTM met at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville, with another ride through the autumn colors of the Hilltowns. As many OFs put it, there is no need to ram all over the Northeast to see spectacular displays of fall colors splayed out against the hillsides. All it takes is a short ride into the hills that form the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, and all the color of nature is spread like a quilt before the eyes of the traveler.
Although one OF said that heading for Vermont or New Hampshire to capture the views is a good reason to travel someplace. It gives an excuse just to get away and visit some gift shop to pay 50 bucks for something that is available at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks, but it is fun to escape.
That is one of the many reasons the OFs escape to the Hilltown Café, just to get away and have a great breakfast doing it.
To follow that same train of thought, the OFs talked about relaxing. That is a frequent occurrence with the OFs; relaxing is not a problem with them.
One thing they know is how to relax. Some are so relaxed that, when found in their chair doing just that, the finder is ready to call Digger Odell, but occasionally the chest of the OF heaves up and down and the finder realizes that the OF is just relaxed.
Then there are the few OFs who said they have trouble relaxing because they are so wound up with what to do next, and sometimes family problems are so pressing that relaxing seems to be out of the question.
Some OFs maintain that the rocking chair will do them in. They have to be doing something, and not just anything, but something with value. Some still work, many volunteer, and some have hobbies that require lots of concentration and are not completed in a day or so.
Others are stress free. These OFs seem to be in a constant state of relaxation. The outcome of both of these conditions — wound tight or stress free — is that both (as far as the OFs go) have contributed to pretty darn good long lives.
As one OF said, “Why am I supposed to believe some snot-nosed kid telling me how to live long? For crying out loud,” the OF continued, “I am 87 and still going strong, and this specialist who is still in diapers is so worried about me living long that he will be standing in line when he is only 50 years old with all the other ‘tell them how to live’ 50-year-old people, at the pearly gates waiting for them to open in the morning.”
The OF raved on about how this same 50-something at the pearly gates will be looking down at us OFs below. While his grave is being dug by some retired OF who has had fried eggs, bacon, hash browns with gravy, toast and black coffee for breakfast, the 50- year-old at the gates just had half a grapefruit, a glass of water, and dry toast for breakfast, and died on his morning run.
“Nature gone berserk”
The OFs were wondering how much more we can take from under the Earth before the Earth starts collapsing on itself.
As one OF mentioned, “The crust becomes so thin that the magma breaks through and creates volcanoes and mountains where cities once were.”
Nature abhors a vacuum, so, when all the oil is pumped out, what fills the space? When all the coal is mined, what fills the space? Does water rush in, and from where?
One OF mentioned all these sink holes that are cropping up. What made the hole that they are sinking into?
One other OF said he thought these sink holes have been evolving forever, only, with real-time communications and the ability to report happenings from just about anyplace on the globe, we are now hearing about them more.
“Yeah, but,” one more OG alleged, “that is not what the problem is because, years ago, no one was taking the stuff from under the ground; the wheel hadn't even been invented yet.”
To which the other OF responded, “Maybe not when you were around, but the wheel was around when I was.”
“That’s right,” a third OF joined in, “but the wheel when you were around didn't have a hole in it yet.”
One OF mentioned all these offshore oilrigs. He exclaimed, “I hope they are pumping water back in where the oil was because, if that hole caves in and the ocean rushes in and meets the molten magna, man! That will be some display of nature gone berserk.”
Still working at 80
Generally, the OFs meet on Tuesday morning at the next restaurant in line; however, this week, many of the OFs met twice. The OMOTM met again on Wednesday at Mrs. K's in Middleburgh to help celebrate Loretta's (the proprietor of Mrs. K’s restaurant) 80th birthday.
Not only were the OMOTM there but half the county as well. (This scribe has maybe let the cat out of the bag, maybe Loretta does not want everyone to know she is 80. Oh well, there were so many people there, it definitely is not a secret.)
Many OMOTM showed up to help Loretta celebrate. Loretta was a high school classmate of some of the guests and some of the OFs. When asked when she was going to retire, she replied she is not going to retire — she enjoys the work and the people. As long as she can do the work, she will be at the restaurant. Congratulations.
Those OFs who we able to make it to the breakfast at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville and grateful that none of the restaurants have thrown us out, yet, were: Ken Hughes, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Bill Keal, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Glenn Patterson, Jim Heiser, Bill Krause, Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Andy Tinney, Bill Rice, Henry Whipple, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gill Zadle, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, and me.