Interest in toy trains left the station long ago

The Old Men of the Mountain met this on Tuesday, Jan. 14. We are halfway through the month and most of the OMOTM can take the weather we have had so far this January for the rest of the year.

However, we either need lots of rain, or more snow, for water in the coming summer. Most of the OFs (after 70 or 80 years of trodding these hills and valleys) say, regardless of what the weather does, it all comes out in the wash.

There’s no sense worrying about it: Take what comes, put on galoshes, or a heavier coat, or take off more clothes. Whatcha got is whatcha got — you ain’t gonna change it.

The OFs started talking about what they received as presents when they were kids, either at Christmas time or on their birthdays. It was surprising how many received train sets. The OFs began talking about what kind of trains they had, and how old they were. Some received Lionel; some American Flyer.

One OF said that his train set is still in its original packaging. A few dragged them out for their kids (when their kids were young) at Christmastime and put them around the tree. A few even purchased train sets for their own kids.

Most all the OFs say their interest is not there anymore, and they thought that kids today are not interested in them at all. With some adults, the interest grew and as adults they now have quite the train layouts.

One OF said he has a friend where the layout takes up the whole cellar and another OF said he had a friend where his train layout did the same thing. This particular set was on cables and came down from the ceiling of the cellar.

This column keeps mentioning that it is good to develop hobbies and interests when young. This means the type of interests that would be able to be maintained into adulthood.

One OF thought the electronics craze is not one that could be carried on. Then again, another OF thought it is not a strenuous hobby or interest and as long as you keep the mind active, and the body healthy, this OF feels that it would be a good hobby or interest.

There are many ways to look at everything; that is why it’s tough to get anything done by committee.

New truck conundrum

One OF purchased a new truck and, just like a new car, the new trucks are as confusing to run because of so much new technology installed. At the breakfast on Tuesday morning, there was quite a discussion between the OFs to try to help out this perplexed OF.

The OFs who have newer trucks and have been through the learning curve spoke up on what button to push when, why the truck won’t start when the door is open, and when to use all-wheel drive as opposed to four-wheel drive — stuff like that

One OF said, “Whatever happened to a switch that said ‘on’ and ‘off,’ or ‘run’ and ‘stop?’ That is all we used to need.”

This OF said, “The more crap (technical term) they put on these trucks, cars, and appliances, the more that can go wrong, and does.” The OF added, “Memory seats, clutch, brake, and gas pedals that move up and down depending on the length of legs of the driver — next thing you know, they will have these pedals anticipate the weight of the driver.”

Another OF added the fact that now it is not necessary to start the vehicle with a key, and the OFs covered this feature too. In the old days, if you lost your keys, at least you could have someone jump start the car to get it going. 

Now, the OFs say, if this is an electronic “start,” you are screwed (another technical term). This scribe is sure the manufacturers wouldn’t leave the customer in such a situation and there must be a way to overcome this problem but apparently they keep it a secret because none of the OFs at the scribe’s end of the table knew it, and some had these types of vehicles.

One OF mentioned that some vehicles are equipped with remote starters that will start from a distance. When the remote starting device is used, the driver does not have to be in the vehicle.

Now no one is there to have his foot on the brake to start it. How does that work? One OF said these remote starters don’t work if the doors are not closed and locked. How about the brake thing? The other OF didn’t know.

As we keep reporting, this electronic stuff is flying right by the OFs. Next thing you know, when we meet the grim reaper, there will be wings on coffins and we’ll just be shot toward the sun and that’ll be it. The OFs will be on their way to heaven anyway so why not meet them halfway?

The stress of getting dressed

The OFs discovered another facet of their lives that most of the OFs have in common and that is getting dressed.

It was found what happens after the wife does the laundry, folds it, and in some cases puts it away (and in a few cases it was told the OF puts it away, and in rare cases the OF does the whole thing). Anyway, what most of the OFs do is, when they get dressed, they put on whatever garment is on top of the pile, no matter what!

If these garments go together, great! If not, so what? The body is covered apropos to what the weather is. This causes, in more cases than the married OFs would like to admit, the wife going bananas.

One OF said his wife keeps throwing up the argument that he is wearing the same thing over and over. The OF said this is how he works.

First, he puts his clothes away by moving the clothes in the closet out and then he puts the clean clothes in. Then he puts the clothes he has taken out and places them on top of the clean clothes so he is always wearing the older clothes first.

The wife always answers if it is screwed up (yes, wives use technical terms) when you start, it is going to be always screwed up. To which the answer is, “Who the h--- cares? I am only going out to the barn, or out with the OMOTM.”

The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to Mrs. K’s in Middleburgh and, according to this scribe, did not look like clowns but he must admit he is a top dresser, (snicker) were: John Rossmann, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Rick LaGrange, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Joe Rack, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Jim Heiser, Richard Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Rev. Jay Francis, Marty Herzog, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Ted Feurer, Herb Bahrmann, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Mike Willsey, Wayne Gaul, Elwood Vanderbilt, Rich Donnelly, Fred Crounse, and me.