Tuesday, Oct. 8, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. Maybe the OFs have mentioned this before, but people going to work in the early spring and early fall and traveling east on Route 20, must have a difficult job with the sun in their eyes on an especially bright fall day. There are times in the morning when going that way, the sun catches your eye as you crest a rise in the road and the driver becomes blinded for a few seconds.

One OF said he had this experience and he could not even see the windshield of his own car, and that was with the visor down and sunglasses on. Heaven forbid there is anything or anybody in the road at that time.

One OF asked if anyone is ready for Halloween, and the OF received the standard OF reply, "Yep, I have my mask on already."

Another OF chimed in, "I'm going trick-or-treating naked so I can get my year’s supply of candy, and no one knows I am naked; they think it is a great costume and I get great stuff."

One OF asked, “Isn't Halloween a little cold to be running around naked?"

"That’s the point," the OF said, "The colder the better and, with all my wrinkles, scars, warts, and bumps, and a pair of clod-hoppers, tie, and a hat everyone thinks it is a cool get-up."

“You are going to get arrested, you old coot."

"Nah, won't happen; I just hit up relatives," the OF replied.

Besting the boss

Most of the OFs are retired from whatever. One of the topics that came up Tuesday morning was former bosses.

Some bosses were good; some a pain in the butt. The bosses we remembered the most were the ones who were not that popular. The OFs were relating stories on how they got, not actually even — but maybe in a way it was — with stunts the OFs pulled on the bosses that were pains.

Some of these stunts were quite clever, but some of the OFs just smiled and, come to find out, they were bosses at one time or another, or business owners — not the bosses in question because there was no correlation between the OFs even working together or for the same companies that these OFs did when they were bosses.

This led the conversation into talking about different kinds of people. With the conversation going down this path, the phenomenon of aura appears to have some credence of being real.

OF One can meet an OF Two for the first time and instantly not like OF Two, but OF Three can meet OF Two for the first time and instantly take a liking to OF Two. Bring in OF Four, and he can tolerate OFs One, Two, and Three, but really likes the new guy, OF Five. OFs One, Two, Three, and Four, all like the new OF Five. This is aura.

This is what happens with bosses. When the auras don't mesh, these bosses become real pains in the neck to the one that doesn’t click.

Then again, some bosses are just bums regardless of the aura.  The OFs were talking about one boss that some knew because they had worked for him and others knew him more or less (the emphasis is on less) socially and the consensus of opinion of the OFs was that the guy was a jerk.

The question became how someone like that gets to be a boss; now that the OFs are retired they can look back more objectively. The OFs agreed that most of the decisions this boss made were right, whether they liked it or not.

Then there are those bosses who are in charge that don't know a darn thing. The workers are continually covering up for their boss’s mistakes; one OF said he had to cover up the mistakes or lose his job. The OFs agreed this makes for a tough work environment.

The OFs had trouble knowing how this character (to them) got his job because nothing he did was right. The OFs attributed this to cronyism. This particular boss was in cahoots with his boss, and the workers are caught between a rock and a hard place.

“Boy,” one OF said, “I am glad I am retired now and all I have to contend with is the wife, and with that boss I am always wrong — even when I am right, I am wrong.”

Wedding woes

The OFs took up the subject of making plans with the family and how nerve-wracking this can be especially when the plans involve weddings. The logistics of getting everyone to a family event and not hurting anyone's feelings is hard. It is harder than working for a miserable boss.

One OF said, “Don't get involved; that is women's work.”

Another OG said, “That is my motto, too. I go where I am told, when I am told, and get what is on the list.”

One OF said he chauffeured his wife to one of these planning events with the other ladies and, instead of just dropping her off and going to the nearest bar, he went in with the planning group.

The OF said that they seemed to be in a real quandary and he offered what he thought was a simple solution and the OF said, “I might just as well have thrown a hornet’s nest in the middle of that group. Retreat was the better part of valor so I got out of there.”

Those OFs who retreated to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown, just to escape whatever and be among those of like aura, were: John Rossmann, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Karl Remmers, Frank Pauli, Steve Kelley, Roger Shafer, Henry Witt, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Bill Keal, Ken Hughes, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Harold Guest, Ted Willsey, Rich Donnelly, Jim Rissacher, Bob Lassome, Joe Loubier, Henry Whipple, Mike Willsey (with daughter Amy), Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, and me.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the first day of the new month, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. It takes about an hour for the OFs to dribble in.

This is a good thing because, by the time the latecomers arrive, some of the early birds have flown the nest. This makes room in the restaurants, and the waitresses and the cooks do not have to get 25 to 30 breakfasts ready all at once.

This scribe was perusing his notes for the OMOTM report and thought it might be interesting to list what he has on his little 3- by 5-inch notebook.  The notes start out like this: dreams, dying, sunrise, farming, roadside farm stands, construction, getting dressed, slept in house, weather, Wal-Mart, prices of groceries and gas (again, where the best place is to buy it) — and those are just some of the topics.

At least the ones this scribe put notes to — on paper — because this scribe was running out of room on his little pad. Now to try and relate what these notes pertain to.

The note on getting dressed referred back to a discussion the OFs had about when they were younger how they threw on what they were going to wear in about 90 seconds. Now, it is completely different.

The shower takes some of the time but for some reason this process seems shorter than when the OFs were younger, but this is the only process that does seem to be shorter. The OFs stand at the end of the dresser with their shorts in their hands and wiggle around a bit — doing a little dance to get the first leg through without falling over.

OK — the OF is that far, then he leans against the wall or dresser and thinks a little bit, then flings his other leg up, gets this leg through the leg hole in the shorts, and now the OF is ready to hike the shorts up, and he finds they are on backwards!

The fly is to the rear. It is going to be one of those days.

Then the undershirt is pulled over his head and back, and it gets all balled up and won’t pull down, so, after the exercise of the shower, the OF now has the exercise of tugging at the shirt with considerable force to get it down. OK!

Now all the OF has is shirts, pants, socks, and shoes to complete the ensemble and the OF looks at this pile of fabric and leather like they are an enemy.  However, the OF is ready to attack each one with abandon and win these battles even if it takes half the morning.

New digs

It seems that, not long ago, this scribe reported on one OF building a new home and the wet weather causing problems getting things done. That was early summer.

At Tuesday morning’s breakfast, this OF reported that Monday night he and his wife slept in their new house. It is finished and most all the furniture is moved in and they are ready to go.

They will now celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in their new home. That must be a great feeling.  Everything is new — no more leaky faucets, or having an old furnace conk out, or old storm doors that don't shut.

But just wait; there are bugs in that new home waiting to pop up that will need to be attended to. No matter how new a place the OFs move into, the first things to be moved are the OF’s tools.

Sweet dreams?

The OFs talked about their dreams, and along with that — sleeping. A couple of the OFs have gone through the sleep studies for sleep apnea.

One OF stuck it out for two days, and one gave up in just a couple of hours. The one that stuck it out said these studies worked great and he now sleeps well at night.  The other OF says he still wakes up early, but to this OF that is a good thing because he gets a lot done in the wee hours of the morning.

Both these OFs said being involved in these studies is quite a process, i.e., trying to sleep with wires stuck all over your head. Some OFs say they take a sleeping aid to go to sleep, while others claim they are asleep before their heads hit the pillow.

Some of the OFs said they dream some real nasty stuff and don't like their dreams; others said they are just dreams, and some say they don't dream at all. Well, they probably do dream but just can't recall the dreams.

One OF mentioned that, suddenly, he started having dreams that were so bad he was afraid to go to sleep at night. This OF said that, at one of his bi-annual check-ups at the cardiologist, he happened to mention this just in passing.

The cardiologist said, oops, don't take another pill (now the OF couldn't remember which pill it was) and the cardiologist replaced the pill with something else and the dreams stopped immediately. This OF suggested to the OF that was having those constant bad dreams to check his meds.

Calculating COLA

The OFs do not know where the government gets the idea that there is very little cost-of-living increase, so the cost-of-living index is small. The OFs would like to know what planet they are living on.

One OF thought that it might be because we are living in New York, and other states do not see the increases in taxes, gas, food, and heating fuel, that we see here and they base their information on the country as a whole for this index.

With a quick glance at the Internet, this scribe found the following information. For instance, gas in South Carolina is $3.06 per gallon, Michigan $3.36, New York $3.67, and California is $3.87.  The average of these four states is $3.49.

Just by using gas prices as an example, we found that bread, and a pair of (same brand) jeans averaged out about the same.  However, with the average income in the same four states, New York ranked fourth with $52,000 per year, California ranked next at 15th with $45,000 per year, Michigan comes in at 35th with $37,000 per year, and South Carolina comes in at 48th with an average income of $34,000 per year.

South Carolina has the least disparity from rich to poor while New York and California have the highest disparity from rich to poor. In New York and California, people, like many of the OFs, are on fixed incomes because fewer people are holding the big bucks and that skews the facts and the little guy is left holding the bag.. — more information than you want.

Therefore, someone making $52,000 a year does not have the same problem paying $3.67 for a gallon of gas as the people making $24,000 to $25,000 a year — big difference, and there are a lot more of the $24,00-a-year guys than there are the fat cats. 

The OFs have spoken, and this is a close to politics as the OFs get.  The OFs do get into some weighty stuff that has to be checked out, and this is so convoluted the readers are invited to go to the net and get their own information.

The bylaws of the OMOTM are designed to keep harmony so the group limits discussions on politics, religion, and wayward women, and on making overt passes at the waitresses.

Prefer a quick death

Now for dying. This is short.

The OFs would rather have a weak internal system than a strong internal system. It seems some OFs drag out the dying process by having strong constitutions and they are in wheelchairs, in pain, on oxygen, or in nursing homes for years.

Many of the OFs, say, have a bad ticker and, when it ticks its last tick, you are done.  The OFs don’t want any of this prolonged, agonizing hanging around where the OF just becomes a burden to his kids, or a human guinea pig for the doctors.

Those OFs who made it to the breakfast at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg, and none planning on dying any time soon, were: Miner Stevens, Henry Witt, Roger Shafer, Roger Chapman, Steve Kelly, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Frank Pauli, Harold GUEST, John Rossmann, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Ken Hughes, Lou Schenck, Duncan Bellinger, Bill Lassome, Rich Donnelly, Bob Benac, Jim Rissacher, Joe Loebier, Duane Wagenbaugh, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Mike Willsey, and me.

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Blue Star Café in Schoharie. This building used to house the Alley Cat (that name we could understand) but Blue Star Café?

The OFs have trouble understanding that one and what, if anything, it is connected to. The name was changed when uninvited Irene blew through town and ruined the aforementioned Alley Cat.

The OFs know some of the stars in the heavens are called blue stars and maybe one of them fell and landed on the old Alley Cat. (Ever accidentally step on a cat's tail, and not know the cat is there?  That is one good reason all homes should have a defibrillator handy.)

A debate

The OFs wish to bring up another fall weed — or flower, depending on how you look at it. To some, they are weeds; to some, they are flowers.

That is how the pearly everlasting have just bloomed everywhere. The OFs were discussing how all the wildflowers are blooming this year, all the wild fruit trees are loaded, and many of the pine trees have so many pinecones on them that they look brown, and the OFs predict that this winter is going to be a doozy.

But some other OFs say, not so fast — they attribute the bursting of all this vegetation to the very wet spring and early summer and all these plants getting a good start, and they note there is still moister in the ground.

One OF mentioned he was glad to see all the goldenrod because at least around his place the old familiar sound of bees working was back and they were giving the goldenrod a good going over.

“That is a good sign, too,” the OF said.

We have about six months to go to see which faction of the OFs will be correct.  Whether it is the water of spring, and winter is normal, or if this abundance of fruits and vegetation is nature’s way of supplying sustenance for the wild animals over a hard winter.

“We shall see,” one OF commented. “Mark your calendar with the days below zero, and the number of inches of snowstorms.”

“Let’s hope it is inches and not feet,” said another OF.

 Anchored with chains

The OFs started talking about some of the things they have seen in their travels and one thing brought up was the same type of early construction 1,800 miles apart.

In St. Augustine, Fla., they show in the Old Town a “schoolhouse” the OF thought was held down with anchor chains to keep it from blowing away in hurricanes.

Another OF said they do the same thing on the road that goes up Mt. Washington.  They have the buildings held down with chains so the wind does not blow them away. (Same difference.)

Then one OF said that they do the same thing with trailers in Florida to keep them from blowing away in gales and hurricanes.

Disaster spawns construction

Weather must be a boon to the building and construction industries; just look at all the homes and business that have been destroyed recently all over the country with floods, wind, and fire.

One OG commented that he does not know how the insurance companies can keep up.

Another OF said he thinks much of this went on before but we just didn't know about it; however, today it is instant news and communication in real time, so the whole world seems like it is right in our own backyard.

This is true, some of the OFs said; one OG said he has relatives and friends in Alaska (he used to live there) and he reads the paper online from Anchorage all the time.  Others commented on reading Florida papers the same way, and some from Tucson, Ariz. do the same.

“It is amazing,” one OG declared, “how some of the papers and news stations run web cams, so it is not only possible to read what is going on, but watch it also in real time.”

Different tastes

On the napkin holders on the tables in the Blue Star Restaurant there are interesting little sayings of the Will Rogers type.  One saying referenced leftovers.

One OF’s mom had leftovers — leftovers all the time. For 30 years, they had nothing but leftovers.

“This,” the OF said, “was not funny because at his house it was true.”  The OF said, “Like the saying, they are still looking for the original meal; no one knows what it was.”

Another OF said he likes leftovers “because sometimes the food tastes better the second time around, especially spaghetti.”

“I don't like leftovers at all,” was a reply, “The meat seems tough, bread is awful, vegetables are soggy; to me, I am acting like a garbage can because that is where leftovers belong.”

“Oh no,” an OF replied. “You can't beat a meatloaf sandwich after the meatloaf has been in the fridge a week. No wonder there are so many cookbooks; there are so many different tastes it would be impossible to satisfy everybody.”

Those OFs who made it to the Blue Star Restaurant in Schoharie with everyone ordering the same breakfast — not — were: Robie Osterman, Roger Chapman, Jim Heiser, Harold Grippen, Miner Stevens, Steve Kelly, Roger Shafer, John Rossmann, Frank Pauli, Mark Traver, Karl Remmers, George Washburn, Art Frament, Bob Benac, (visitor from Texas, David Chase), Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Don Moser, Don Wood, Joe Loebier, Duane Wagenbaugh, Bob Lassome, Rich Donnelly, Mike Willsey, Harold Guest, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, and me.

Tuesday, the Sept. 17, The Old Men of the Mountain met on a beautiful morning at the Country Café on Main Street in Schoharie.   Constant reminders of the floods of two years ago in Prattsville, Middleburgh, and Schoharie are around today.  With what the people in Colorado are going through right now, it seems like the world is full of one disaster after another.

At one time, Colorado must have thought it was the end of the world with the fires around Colorado Springs, and now the people around Boulder are looking for Noah and his boat so they can get on board.

One OF who went through the flood of Irene said he would rather have a fire than a flood. The way this OF looked at it was that, after a flood people, had mountains of cleanup to do and they tried to salvage this and that. In a fire, if the house burns to the ground, it is not necessary to worry about any of that, everything is all gone — just shovel up the ashes and start over.

How easy to say, how hard to do. Then again, one OF said, “Stuff is stuff, and it is possible to get more stuff, but mementos, keepsakes, and memories are impossible to replace.”

When going into the Country Café, on your left is a black sign with white letters mounted on the wall and a line on this sign marks the height of the water as it coursed through the village — that mark is shoulder high.

Righting the Costa Concordia

Continuing on with the water topic, the OFs discussed the righting of the cruise ship Costa Concordia that hit the rocks off the coast of Italy. The raising of this ship was quite an engineering feat, and cost quite a bit of money to boot.

One OF suggested that they should have used that money and made a tourist attraction of the ship on its side with possibly a plate-glass walkway under the water like Bush Gardens has the plate-glass walkway at SeaWorld.

They could charge admission and people could see the fish swimming in and out of the ship, and they could possibly put on a water show to go with it. One OF thought that would be gross because 32 people died in that accident and he didn't think that would be appropriate. Funny how two people can look at the same thing and view it 180 degrees apart.

This talk about the Costa Concordia re-floated the conversation on the aircraft carrier, and smaller ships like frigates. How these ships were constructed in the 1950s and how they are made now. Just more of last week — same words just strung together differently.

The smell of home

There was other banter back and forth as ideas come and go, like any ad hoc get-together. Some points were dwelt on more than others; one of these points was harkening back again to the memories of when the OFs were YFs.

This was the way life was then with the smells of new-mown hay, the orchard in fall, fresh-turned soil, a brisk early fall day with the fog on the ponds and coming off the creeks, the smell of horses and the horse barn, the hay mow, and the cows in the barn. These aromas were better than any florists, greenhouse, or $75-an-ounce perfume.

“Each house,” one OF said, “Had its own smell and each barn had its own smell.”

Another OF said, “Yeah, especially when the cows first hit spring pasture.”

Well, not all the smells were pleasant. One OF mentioned how no one seemed to mind at school if someone showed up with a little barn smell or if they were running late.

As a matter of fact, many of the farm kids did run late and the smells were not only accepted, but, for the most part, in the one-room schools or the bigger schools with two rooms and two teachers, the farm smells were natural and no one (even if they noticed) paid any attention.

Even today, each house carries its own character and smell. Some people try to hide the natural aroma of their home by burning candles and using all sorts of air fresheners.

One OG then remarked, “Ever notice, in the stores, how much aisle space is used on changing the odor of the air?”

Another OF said, “I can understand that if fish is being cooked, or some other highly aromatic food is being prepared, it is good to open the doors, and windows and add a little scent.  With all the sulphur water on the Hill it’s good to add some scent to cover up the sulphur smell when the water softener goes bad or the aerator does not work.”

“That is true,” another OG replied. “Like the other OF said, not all smells are sweet and what some think are sweet, others think are rotten.”

Harvesting fruit

One OF said his apple and pear trees have so much fruit on them this year that they are bending over with the weight. That was going to be his project for Tuesday after the breakfast.  He was going to go and pick the apples and pears.

This OF is not the tallest member of the group, and the OG said he will pick only what he can reach, which is smart because we don't want any of the OFs falling off ladders and out of trees.

What this OF needs is a rambunctious billy goat and he should try and get the goat to butt the trees and shake the apples out. This OF is only going to go and make applesauce and cider anyway. Maybe the OG can con his wife into making some apple pies and freezing them.

Scents that make sense

Going back to smells — the baking, and cooling, of an apple pie in the house is a great smell. So are bacon and eggs, hash browns, and an English muffin with honey and cinnamon. These are great house smells in the morning.

They make candles with all kinds of fragrances like essence of heather, or bloom on the lilacs, and stuff like that. The OFs want to know why don't they make scents that make sense like ham and eggs, sizzling steaks, hot coffee, spaghetti sauce, pizza, or essence of hot cocoa. Now there would be candles worth buying to improve the aroma of any home.

Those OFs attending the breakfast at the great-smelling Country Café in Schoharie and all enjoying the breakfasts coming out of the kitchen (when a mechanic comes home from work, he smells like gas and oil, but, when cooks come home, they smell like bacon and eggs) were: Steve Kelly, Dave Williams, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Roger Shafer, Bill Bartholomew, Frank Pauli, Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, Art Frament, Bob Benac, Lou Schenck, Ken Hughes, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Don Wood, Henry Whipple, Bill Rice, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, Duane Wagenbaugh, Rich Donnelly, Joe Liebier, Bill Krause, and me. 

First, I have to get the weather and date out of the way. The Old Men of the Mountain traveled to Middleburgh again to have breakfast with Loretta and Patty, at Mrs. K's Restaurant in Middleburgh, on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Our area of the country has had a decent stretch of nice weather and some of the OFs are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Pessimists. The OFs also commented that this is the year of golden rod and teasel. The fields are bright yellow with these weeds.

The village of Schoharie had its garage-sale days on Saturday, Sept. 7, and some of the OFs were there. No matter how old the OFs get, it seems they always need something "and want to get it ‘cheap’." Why not?

How much longer have the OFs got to use whatever it is — why buy "new?"

Right now, this scribe needs four wheels for something he is building; this scribe thought he had some wheels but can't find them, or they have already been used. So the scribe checked out old lawn mowers at the sale so he could take the wheels off the mower and take the rest of the mower away to the landfill in case some one needs a small engine. Couldn't find any.

Like one OF said, "That is what garage sales are for, aren't they?"

"No,” another OF said, “I use the dump — why even spend five bucks for something someone is going to throw away anyway?"

The Navy, then and now

Some of the OFs who were in the Navy sat alongside each other and began to tell us what it was like to have been in the Navy 50 years ago. One of the OFs just had a tour of a new aircraft carrier because one of his relatives is now in the Navy and is assigned to the George H. W. Bush carrier.

This OF was also on a carrier many years ago — the USS Wasp. So these old Navy guys who are now OFs compared the two time periods of then and now.

It must be said there is a difference. You can't stop progress. 

These OFs mentioned sleeping on canvas bunks that would stretch as time went on, so occasionally they would apparently gather the canvas bunks up, and throw them over the side and drag them through the water. This little maneuver would shrink the canvas so they were tight again and the guy in the bottom bunk wouldn't have the guy in the top bunk sleeping right on his face.

The new carrier (the Bush) has fiberglass bunks with mattresses and privacy curtains, each separated with a little bulkhead that has two buttons — one for heat and one for air.

The Wasp was a little over 300 feet long; the Bush is a little over 1,000 feet long and carries about 6,000 thousand people. The Wasp had no Ladies Quarters; the Bush does. (Now, there is a big difference, the OFs said.)

The Bush has a MacDonald’s, a Wendy’s, and a Starbucks. The Wasp had tin cups and beef jerky. The Bush has two nuclear steam engines; the Wasp had a paddle wheel. 

The OF said that the Wasp had F-4U Corsairs and Grumman dive bombers; the Bush has jets. The OF said those flying off the Wasp landed with engines cut and, if they missed with the hook, the plane flew into a big net and was then pushed overboard. The Bush has the newest jets and the OF said they land full bore and, if they miss, they just juice it and come around again.

One thing the OF said a couple of times is — the Bush has no guns. The OF did not elaborate on how the carrier defends itself.  It must have something like heat-seeking rockets, or something newer.

The Wasp had all sorts of guns and gunners, but maybe with the older, slow-flying prop planes, that was sufficient.  However, with jets coming at you at 600-plus miles per hour, training a gun on this jet would be a trick. In World War I the pilots would shoot at each other with pistols.

The OFs continued with their then-and-now conversation on being in the Navy. Being in the military means a lot to some because these OFs wear caps identifying the types of ships they were on.

Flooded with memories

Somehow, the OFs still talk about the floods (from tropical storms Irene and Lee) that happened in Schoharie County in 2011 and they remember so many different stories and how it is still incomprehensible that there was so much water pouring from the heavens.

The OFs were talking the water damage done with ponds giving way, and culverts and roads being washed out at elevations from 1,200 to 2,200 feet. It seems that, when the OFs visit the restaurants in Middleburgh and Schoharie, a memory of the flood comes up each time.

Like many of the OFs say, it is hard to realize that we are sitting in a restaurant where at the time of the flood the water would have been over our heads. It still doesn't seem real.

This prompted talk of unusual high water that the OFs have encountered in their travels in the west and Midwest.  Arizona and Colorado were mentioned specifically.

One OF said he was caught in one of these "gully washers." This OF implied that the water comes just like someone turned on the tap because, even though it might not have rained where you are, it may have rained high up in the mountains, and the water comes rushing off those mountains and into the gullies.

“Some road signs,” the OF said, “tell you to abandon your car immediately and climb to higher ground when water starts building up in these dry gullies.”

Reunions of all sorts

High School reunions were another topic brought up.  Why, this scribe failed to catch, but this particular topic did come up.

Some of the classes seemed to have kids in them with a good group of genes because one OF said his class was missing some members but not many. Another OF said his class was just the opposite, that, out of the total number of kids in his class, half are gone.

College was not mentioned.  Probably because the high school reunions seem to mean more since most of the kids graduated with whatever OF they grew up with from kindergarten. College was a melting pot; friends were made but it was rare that you even knew the parents.

Military reunions, again, are different for the reason that these guys and the OFs went to hell and back with each other and there were also some had friends who never returned. That makes for a different kind of bond.

Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K's restaurant in Middleburgh where the Class of 1952 from Schoharie had its reunion (my goodness, that was 61 years ago) were: Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Miner Stevens, Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, Otis Lawyer, Steve Kelly, Harold Guest, Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Mark Traver, Frank Pauli, Roger Shafer, Roger Chapman, Duncan Bellinger, Art Frament, Bob Benac, Don Wood, Ken Hughes, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Joe Liebier, Duane Wagenbaugh, Bob Lassome, Rich Donnelly, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, and me.

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