After the storm, OGs plow into doing good deeds

On Feb. 8th, and the Old Men of the Mountain visited the dining car diner in Princetown called the Chuck Wagon Diner. A busy place on Route 20.

This was the first breakfast after a nasty winter storm called on our area and also a better part of the country. The OFs discussed their snowplows and what a time they had trying to plow this stuff.

Hearing the OFs who had snowplows talk about them, this scribe did not know there were so many different kinds, and different approaches to plowing snow. This scribe found out what worked and what didn’t work because he was the only OF at the table who didn’t do this type of work.

The OFs who had plows performed much humanitarian work, and for no pay. The OFs (plural) plowed out their churches’ parking lots, shoveled the walks, and basically cleaned up these hazardous spots.

One OF said he got up at 4:30 in the morning to be sure his church parking lot and walkways were cleared before services began. This scribe did not ask but noted that these OFs are making contributions that are not recorded.

The OFs were in agreement that this snowfall (or whatever it was) was tough to handle and to move. One OF said it was harder to plow three inches of what fell than it was 14 or 15 inches of snow.

Checking the ages of some of the OGs plowing and shoveling snow, especially this stuff, is not recommended for these guys. But judging from how active the ones discussing doing this type of work, in one way or another throughout the year, it is this scribe’s guess the OFs are in shape to handle it.

There was much chatter at the table that this scribe was at, and much of it was of how to take care of the snow, and the equipment used. One thing noted was that the work on clearing the snow or ice takes quite a toll on the equipment.

Snowplows, snow blowers, shovels, and the human body take quite a beating. It is good exercise to some extent, but in many cases the wrong kind. The heart and back don’t seem to be made for too much shoveling snow; however, working in the garden is different.

To go along with all this discussion, the OFs (and modern technology) brought out the cell phones. This was particularly showing work done with their equipment and what can happen to it.

One OF showed pictures of a broken part that should not have broken. This was immediate evidence as the photos showed how the work was being done and then showed a broken part.

This OF said the dealer took care of the broken part right away and was good about it. However, the OF said the dealer stood behind his equipment and said the part was up to snuff.

All this points up to what can be done with a phone now. These smartphones are not that simple; many OFs can’t operate them. They can operate the older “flip” phone because all the OFs want to do is make a phone call.

But in cases like above it is handy to know how to use the more sophisticated phones. Saves a lot of “he said vs. they said.”


Better bartering

The way prices are going with the “supply chain” right now, it seems the old-fashioned barter system is coming back. The OFs talked about services for goods, or swapping “I need and you have” for “I have, and you can use so let’s make a deal.”

One OF suggested this sounds like it could be an internet thing, and maybe there is one out there that I don’t know about. For old cars and tractors, there are swap meets all over the place and this is close to what could happen.

Have a barter site on the net where the OFs could list what they need and others could list what they have and want to get rid of, and are willing to swap the item out.

One OF suggested he thinks this would be a good idea for those OFs, or anyone for that matter, who are downsizing. One OF thought this would be better than a garage sale.

The way this OF described it, it would not be necessary to haul all that stuff out, price it, and hope the weather holds for when the OF scheduled the garage sale. Now the OFs are talking about taking advantage of using the new technology.

This scribe then thought, here the OFs are talking about using the “new” technology. This “new” technology has been around for so long now that it is not new; maybe a better word would be current.

Using the current technology seems to be a better word to describe using the net, the “smart” phones, and some of these “apps.” These apps are another thing. Many people use “apps” while many OFs are leery of getting involved with them.

Well, when you fall down and your iPhone is in your pocket and you hear a crack, you’ll be thinking, “Lord, please let that be my leg.” That’s when you realize you’re really hooked on this new/old technology.  

When looking at what people the ages of the OMOTM have accrued, downsizing is a full-time job for months. What the OFs have collected over the years (in many cases) is only valuable to the OFs who have it. Not much good for bartering.

Those OFs who made it to the Chuck Wagon in Princetown on a pretty nice day (considering the nasty weather days before) were: Miner Stevens, Jake Herzog, Roger Shafer, Rick LaGrange, John Muller, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Bill Lichliter, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, John Dabrvalskes, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Paul Bahrmann, and me.