What do you do when you’re old?

Most of the Old Men of the Mountain found their way to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, the OMOTM almost filled up the restaurant, so this scribe believes most of the OFs got the message of the restaurant change.

What to do when you are old?  The OFs are quick to insert that little nuance “age by numbers only,” which was more or less a theme of this morning’s breakfast.

How do you manage your “stuff?”  This “stuff” includes your property and your money. When the OFs reach an age where anything can happen and the OFs want to protect their assets from the clutches of the courts and the government, what course should they follow?

After all, as one OF put it, he worked a lifetime to acquire what little he has, and in this lifetime he spent much time dodging the grabbing hands of said government. He felt the government did all it could legally do to grab his money while he was working, and he wasn’t going to let them win out in the end because he felt the government took more than its fair share the time he was working.

One OF suggested it is not only the government, it is nursing homes and other institutions that want it all. Sometimes, if you ticked off your kids, they, too, might want to get their hands on whatever you might have acquired.

One OF said, “Let them fight over what I have. There is not much money and the rest of the ‘stuff’ they may wind up taking to the dump because I was going to anyway.”

Some of the OFs have their financial arrangements taken care of, and some don’t quite know what to do. One OF suggested at this stage of life it might be a good idea not to be too secretive about what he has.  For instance, other people (whom the OF knows he can depend on) should know about the OF’s situation and those people will know if something out of the ordinary is going on.

Pain meds

Still in the aging theme, another topic the OFs touched on was pain medication. The OFs talked about over-the-counter medications; one suggestion was, “What the heck? At our ages, take what works.”

The OFs discussed the advantages of one over the other and it seemed that Aleve works much better than Tylenol — at least for many of the OFs. Aleve is not supposed to be taken when taking some other particular meds.

The OFs are not doctors and are not prescribing anything. However, some OFs say taking Tylenol is just like taking a glass of water, or a handful of gumdrops. It is interesting to note how the OFs agree on these items, but can’t get together on which lawn mower is the best.

The OFs discussed hydrocodone and found most could not take the stuff. One OF said that, after a particular surgery, the first set of pills he was given in the hospital contained hydrocodone. This OF said he had hallucinations that scared the living daylights out of him.

He said he felt like he was walking, and would swear he was walking, only when he looked at his legs they were perfectly still. Then he said he felt like one of his arms was at the side of the bed hanging down, and the other was across his chest.

They weren’t, of course. One was at his side and the other arm was in back of his head; however, all situations were so real it could have been the other way around. At one point he thought he had four arms.

The OF said he refused the next pill and said he would take the pain — to heck with that stuff. The OF said the doctor changed the hydrocodone to Tylenol 3, which he understood was codeine. That worked and he only took the Tylenol 3 twice.

Kids ask for everything

The last topic was geared to kids and the times. The OFs say they don’t remember when they began giving in to their kids. Somehow it seems the OFs think they must have. The OMOTM’s kids are worse (in some instances) than the OFs think they themselves were.

The OFs to a man did not remember asking their parents for anything. The OFs took what they got and were more than happy with it. Some remember getting help purchasing their first car or motorcycle, but they worked for it. Mom and Dad did not just up and give them a vehicle.

Today, it seems kids are asking for everything from $150 sneakers, to cell phones, to TVs, so they can play their games, which can also cost in the hundreds of dollars. The OFs think they must have started this with their kids, but don’t really remember when.

The OFs have often traced this (what may be called a problem) back to Fifth Avenue marketing along with well-designed advertising, creating a demand. This has been coupled with the rapid development of communications, and World War II mixing all kinds of people together and finding the farm boy wants what the city boy has.

One OF thought it really wasn’t us wanting things; it was that we did not know there were things to want. Maybe a shotgun, or high-top boots, but not much else.

Those OFs who made it to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville (because they wanted to) were: Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Karl Remmers, Bob Snyder, John DeMis, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Lou Schenck, Ted Feurer, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter (Welcome back, Mace), Herb Bahrmann, Jack Norray, Marty Herzog, Jake Lederman, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Jim Rissacher, Wayne Gaul, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.