Tales of travel, Morris Minors, and people too poor to keep pets

This Tuesday, Jan. 3, was our first gathering of the New Year, 2023, and it was at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh. Many of the Old Men of the Mountain hope ’23 is better than 22. ’So it is with much sincerity that the OMOTM wish one and all a Happy New Year.
One OF ended 2022 nicely with a trip to an Xcaret hotel in Mexico and returned to the OMOTM raving about his experiences there. Apparently these hotels are not for old folks according to this OF — Hmm.

This OF spoke of how some of the hotels in the complex are open; no walls or windows in the lobby and the animals of the jungle are invited to come in — just like the homo sapiens are invited; however, the animals use the facilities for free.

The OF related a story: Once, while they were eating, a monkey came up to the table; they gave it an apple, which the monkey ate right there with them. The monkey quickly left and ran into the jungle but came back shortly with a baby monkey, which was smaller than a squirrel, then proceeded to show it off to the people at the table.

The OF also reported that it got quite cold for the locals because the cold snap from Canada reached all the way to where they were staying. There was no way to shut the cold out because the place had no walls or windows, and they never expected anything like this. The OF said, thank goodness the cold weather didn’t last long.

This OF was traveling before all the problems people were having with the airlines cancellations and delays. However, they did have a problem with an airplane and sat on the plane for a while and then were told to return to the terminal for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Of course, this turned into hours, and finally the passengers were told they could not fix the airplane and they would have to bring in another, which they did and eventually they were on their way.


Ham drawing

The OMOTM had a drawing for a turkey at Christmastime supplied by Frank Dees. Frank was gracious enough to supply a spiral-cut ham for another drawing.

The ham was won by Herb Bahrmann and we hope it serves him well for the next couple of weeks. We believe there will be ham for dinner, ham sandwiches, pea soup, and ham salad.

This drawing was after the holiday because all the pandemic problems — i.e., colds, flu, COVID, etc. — seemed to catch up with many people sooner or later so changes of all kinds of plans were made, including for the OMOTM.


Morris Minors

Life is full of coincidences; in some cases, the chance of a coincidence happening is a daily occurrence. Such was the case on Tuesday morning.

Like always, the subject of cars, trucks, or some sort of equipment comes up with the OMOTM. On Tuesday, it was cars where the tale of a Morris Minor fit right in.

Shortly after the discussion, the OF who was part of it left his seat and, upon returning, he heard from the OMOTM sitting next to him that his first car was a Morris Minor. Not many even know what a Morris Minor is; now two people sitting next to each other chat about having their first car being a Morris Minor.

Both of these OGs said they would like to have that vehicle back; it was one of the best cars they ever owned, and the OGs were talking back to the late fifties and sixties. The Morris Minor was made in England and sold as a British economy family car.

These Morris Minors are still about; they have not changed and they look the same as they did then. The little boxy cars are still seen on British TV shows, like “Doc Martin” and “As Time Goes By” and also on the current show, M’idsummer’s Murders.” (What a gruesome name for a TV show.)

The cars maybe in other shows the OMOTM don’t catch. The Morris can be seen parked alongside a curb and sometimes even spotted on the move in some of these British shows.


Poor people

A few of the OFs discussed the increase in their Social Security and those who worked for the state of New York also received a notice that their retirement was going down. Say what!

The OFs said no way can you get ahead in this state. The increase in Social Security didn’t even keep the OFs level with inflation. Our illustrious leaders in Albany had the nerve to grant themselves a huge pay increase, and how did they manage it?

One OF said, “They took it from us to pay themselves.” We will leave it there.

The OFs wonder how poor people can afford to have any pets. It is a two-edged sword. Vets’ bills are getting to be so high that only rich people can keep a pet. This is sad.

One OF commented that it is not only pets but the cost of a lot of things that keep the poor people down with no way to climb out. We OFs are not talking about those who are working the system but down-and-out poor people. We will leave that one there too.

Those Old Men of the Mountain who piled into Mrs. K’s Restaurant after not leaving their Morris Minors at curbside were: Joe Rack, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Paul Nelson, Russ Pokorny, Roger Shafer, Ken Parks, Bill Lichliter, Doug Marshall, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Warren Willsey, Frank Dees, Marty Herzog, Jim Rissacher, Gerry Chartier, Henry Whipple, Elwood Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgetts, Bob Donnelly, Allan DeFazio, John Dab, Paul Guiton, Lou Scheck, Dick Dexter, Herb Bahrmann, Jack Norray, James Darrah, Ed Goff, Frank Weber, and me.