Do you feel like the dog or the hydrant?

On Tuesday, March 21, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. The OMOTM who drove east to get to the diner said that those who drove from the west missed a beautiful sunrise with a red sky that completely covered the horizon and then some. (If the horizon is covered, what is the “some” that is covered? Hmmm)

That was a key to what most of the early morning discussion was to be — it was the weather — of course. Those who live off the Hill missed a real dose of winter. Many of the OFs are Old Men of the Mountain and they were discussing, and showing pictures of snow measured in feet not inches.

It was thought that if (there is a “that if” quotient) it were not such a wet, heavy snow the measurements would be higher yet. The OFs claimed that the weight of the snow lowered the actual total depth. (But isn’t “actual” what is wound up with anyway whether snow is wet, or light and fluffy? What is on the ground is on the ground, no matter what its composition is?  Hmmmm.)

So the 30 to 34-plus inches of snow under different circumstances could be 40 to 48. No matter what, it was a lot of snow!

One OF saw a picture of an OF clearing his driveway with a push snowblower in one section, and a snow blower on the end of a tractor in another section. Snow flying in every direction.

Another OF said that, listening to the weather reports, it would be a good idea to get as much snow off as possible because the next day was going to be warm and, with the snow off the walks and driveways, it would clear pretty quick.

Yet another OF was more of, “Hey, Mother Nature put it there; Mother Nature can take it away.”


Feeling good

One OF came in and as usual was asked almost in unison, “Hey (name), how are ya doin’?”

This is a common greeting not only with OMOTM but in general. An answer is not expected other than, “I’m fine,” or “I’m doing OK,” etc., but this OF answered with, “Some days you feel you are like the dog, and others you feel like the hydrant. Well, today I am the dog; I haven’t felt this good in a long time.”

To which another OF said, “Be careful with that.”

This OF said his old man came out of the kitchen and announced the same sentence (he hadn’t felt this good in a long time) and went into a little room that was an offshoot of the kitchen to put on his shoes and socks, sat down in a chair there, let out a little grunt and fell to the floor dead.

When the doctor came, the doctor said he was dead before he hit the floor.

“Well,” one OF added, “I guess it is best to feel rotten all the time.”

Another OF declared, “At my age, if I didn’t feel rotten all the time, I would think something was wrong.”


Hats off?

Last week, this column was about 2022; this week, the OFs mentioned an event in another restaurant that is no longer there — it was the Home Front.

When most of the OFs arrive at the restaurants, they are wearing baseball-style caps; with many of the OMOTM, they are gray with the OMOTM logo on them. Some caps do represent other logos but not many.

The subject here is most of the OFs eat with their hats on; however, a few had manners introduced at a young age and do remove their hats while at the table, but it is not many.

At one time when eating at the Home Front, there was a waitress who was “old school” and she tolerated no hats at the table. The OFs remembered her well because, if the OF forgot and left his hat on, she would remove the hat and remind the OF, “No hats at the table.”

Some waitresses, or even other people, would cause the OFs to take offense at such conduct. However, the personality of this waitress was such that the OFs would put up with the hat removal and didn’t mind.

Comment: It is odd that some people can get away with this type of behavior and others don’t. With the temperament of some of the OFs, if a different waitress tried the same move, an OF might leave and never go back.

The OFs very loosely hang together and join in a few social events. One such gathering is again a weekly thing and it is still having breakfast.

A few of the OFs go to breakfast at the Rock Road Chapel on Rock Road in Berne. The breakfast is from 7 to 9 on Wednesday and is free; however, they do accept donations. The OFs that go have a good time, and say the breakfast is pretty good.

“There,” one OF said, “they do take their hats off.”

With this type of meeting for some of the OGs and this type of atmosphere, the Old Men of the Mountain are getting to be like one great big family. Maybe they were all along. 

The Old Men of the Mountain who were able to get out since the temperature rose a few degrees, plus the good work of the highway crews, so that all who made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown without having to use horses and sleighs were: Marty Herzog, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Miner Stevens, Russ Pokorny, Doug Marshall, Frank Fuss, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Jake Herzog, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Paul Guiton, Lou Schenck, Dick Dexter, Jack Norray, John Dap, Herb Bahrmann, and me.