By John R. Williams
Tuesday, Feb. 12, was one of those winter days where the roads were of the “oops” type. Early in the morning, the OFs were talking about this because the sun was shining (a tad) but the wind was really whipping, especially on the mountain. There was a little snow during the night and the wind would blow it across the road where there were open fields.
These are the type of conditions when the OFs would be cruising along on wet and even dry roads and then whoops — the OFs would come upon a stretch of road with two to three inches of snow blown across. Hit one of those at 55 miles per hour, on a turn, and the driver will have his hands full and he just hopes there isn’t another car in the same spot with another driver with his hands full.
Even with these challenges, the OFs made it to the Blue Star Restaurant in Schoharie without incident.
This has been mentioned before but again it was noticeable. There was another group of guys at another set-up of tables at the Blue Star. This group was not as large a group as the OFs; there was a table full of loggers having breakfast before heading to the woods along with the OFs and two other tables with some patrons seated there.
In other words, the place was full. One waitress, and the owner, and the OFs don’t know how many in the kitchen but we think maybe just one cook and a dishwasher, and that was it. The waitress also cashed everyone out, and did some of the bussing of the tables along with the owner.
The OFs know they couldn’t keep all that straight. Must be experience.
Scant Valentine’s plans
The subject of Valentine’s Day came up because it was only a couple of days away. The routine question asked was, “What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?”
There was quite a lull that led the scribe to think the collective answer was not much.
One OF said, “Hey, I show up for supper every night, that is Valentine enough. What more does she expect — cards, flowers, candy; that stuff is for sissies.”
The ice appeared thin here so the subject drifted off into the sunset.
Views on cruises
The OFs started talking about the cruise ship that was adrift in the Gulf of Mexico and tugboats that were being sent out to rescue it. This started talk about cruises the OFs have been on with the pluses and minuses.
One OF said he has been on two cruises and doesn’t care to go on anymore. This OF said his first trip was to go across the ocean to go to war and they ran into a typhoon. His second trip was to come back home and again they ran into a typhoon. That is enough cruising for him.
Another OF said they had the same experience as the ship that was floundering in the Gulf of Mexico. They ran into a storm with a waterspout, and, after being tossed about a bit, one of the engines quit. They experienced the exact same thing with people becoming ill, nothing working, toilets overflowing, etc.; it was not pleasant.
Like the OF going to battle and coming home, this OF has not been on a cruise since.
Other OFs think they are the best thing going.
“We get to see other places,” one OF said, “and we are waited on hand and foot. It is a good thing that we do stop at ports of call; otherwise, it would be like a floating jail that we couldn’t get off of.”
One OF said, “Bus trips are like going on cruises only they are on land and generally are a lot of fun except for the old ladies taking forever to get off the bus at break stops and with me having a full bladder. On these trips, we are catered to and get to see a lot of the country, so I guess I can put up with a couple of full bladders. Using the facilities on a moving bus going 70 miles an hour is not the easiest thing in the world.”
A second OF said, “There are a lot of things that have to be thought out before venturing out on any of these type of excursions.”
All this talk of travel and getting away for a little while had the OFs winding up in Florida — where else? The conversation just rambled with one OF saying he was in such-and-such a place, and another OF saying, “Yeah, so were we,” and that led to the set of circumstances that to any traveler is hard to explain.
One OF related a story saying he was in a Piggly Wiggly supermarket, and right behind him checking out was a good friend of his that, because of relocation, he had not seen in about three years and there he was in the Piggly Wiggly 1,300 miles away.
The other OFs began to relate similar stories; one OG said, “Here we are 1,500 miles from home and we run into a neighbor from just down the road. Some number cruncher should crunch the laws of probability on these types of occurrences.”
Those OFs who were at the Blue Star Restaurant in Schoharie, and not in the Piggly Wiggly were: Roger Chapman, Steve Kelly, Miner Stevens, Roger Shafer, Bill Krause, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Dave Williams, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Jim Heiser, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, Jim Rissacher, and me.
We did have one OF who was not at the breakfast because he was called out to go to Boston on a volunteer mission. The roads are closed! The OFs are dedicated.