By John R. Williams
Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Old Men of the Mountain met in the hills of Rensselaerville at the Hilltown Café.
The bridge across the creek that flows out of Myosotis Lake going out of Rensselaerville towards Huntersland or Preston Hollow or Livingstonville or all points (well, sort of southeast) was still decorated for Christmas. Many OFs hate to take the decorations down because now the house for some reason looks less cheery.
The OFs think that we all need some winter color; snow should fall in colors like red, green, blue, white, and various tints of these colors — wouldn’t that be great? It would not be necessary to decorate the outdoor trees, just let the snow fall on them and then shine a spotlight on the trees.
This scribe is having trouble trying to encapsulate the discussion on guns that pervaded the table. To sum it up: The governor, at least with this group, is not speaking for New Yorkers, at least as he implies that it is “all” New Yorkers.
The statements should be preceeded by the adjective “some” New Yorkers, and, with most of the OFs, it should be “a few” New Yorkers, again at least as far as north of Route 84 is concerned.
The governor is not speaking for us. One OF put it nicely when he said the governor is a lackey for Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, and the governor in this case is really representing only the boroughs of the city and not the state of New York.
There was much more to this and the process by which it was done, whether it is guns, knives, or cows. It was political railroading with many sidings.
One OF said that many people harp on bullying and have extensive campaigns against bullying but, as this OF said, if you want to see a prime example of bullying, it was on display by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the bullies from New York City — and most of the other legislators caved in.
Enough of that.
We discussed the current flu epidemic and how many people are getting the flu. The OFs are a microcosm of the general population in that some have had the shot, some have not, some had no reaction at all, and some became sick within a few hours after the shot with mild flu-like symptoms.
The OFs who have had the flu say it is something they wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy, although some withdrew that statement and said it would be better than wishing they had boils.
One OF who was at the emergency room with his wife over the weekend said that the number of flu cases, or people with the flu, was filling up the place.
The OF said that, if anyone was at the emergency room with a broken leg and had to wait very long, not only would he or she have the broken leg, but probably would get the flu to go along with it, and that little problem he or she would have picked up right there in the emergency room. The OF said there was almost a fog in the waiting room because of all the flu germs floating around in the air.
The art of plowing
Many of the OFs still have their own tractors (or Doodlebugs) with plows on them for plowing out their drives when it snows. These OFs reported that the ground is still soft, and the OFs have to be very careful or they would have their lawns all dug up from the plows digging in. These OFs say that there is not much frost in the ground and the last snowfall sucked up whatever was there.
The OFs, in their discussion of plowing snow, turned the subject of plowing into an art form with varied opinions on how best to plow, what type of blade, ease of attaching the plow, and the way it is attached to whatever type of equipment is being used to push the plow.
There were a few smart OFs who said they don’t worry about it; they didn’t put the snow there and whoever did can just take it away. These OFs said they will just leave it where it is until whoever did it takes it away.
Those OFs who made it to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville (and if anyone uses Bing maps and clicks on Rensselaerville, and follows Delaware Turnpike out of town, they will see the Hilltown Café marked on the map as a landmark and this might be because of the time early on that a carload of OFs became lost trying to get there) were: Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Roger Chapman, Carl Slater, Miner Stevens, Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Arnold Geraldsen, Don Moser, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Henry Whipple, Harold Grippen, Elwood Van Der Bilt, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, and me.