Regaling with tales of great gales and high seas

The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner in the village of Middleburgh on March 29. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 16 years since the world was supposed to come to an end, all the computers were supposed to crash, and the second coming was supposed to occur.

The OFs’ first discussions were about the winds during the early morning hours of March 29. For our area, it was a blow. For all the howling of the wind, the OFs did not notice many trees down. There were some smaller branches and a few larger dead limbs or small dead trees down but nothing to write home about.

If any of the OFs have had the experience of being in a hurricane, no OF in the hearing range of this scribe mentioned it.  What an experience it must be with winds double the speed of the night we had on March 29.

What happened to March going out like a lamb? Maybe the timing isn’t generic.  The timing is definitely March 1, and the 31, so the 31 may yet be tranquil and warm so the ole saw will fit.

The OFs did mention being on cruises in high seas, and both of the OFs telling tales of what went on was like the OFs were on the same cruise at the same time. However, the times were different and the departure cities were different.

One left from New Jersey, and the other from Fort Lauderdale. The similarities were uncanny. One OF said that the ship was shuddering from the pounding of the waves that were hitting the ship as high up as the sixth deck. This OF said that after the storm abated the ship continued on and completed the cruise.

The other OF said that on his ship the waves were washing all the furniture that was on the decks off the fantail, and letting the sharks have the tables, chairs, umbrellas, and all that stuff for their next picnic. This OF said that there was a water spout off the port side of the ship that sent out two huge rolling waves

The ship went up on the first one and started back up as the next wave hit the ship and sent it back down. The OF was not familiar with the group of people he was standing with but all of their knees buckled and all of them went to the deck.

The casino was closed, the deck doors were locked; it was quite a ride. The engines were disabled, and the mechanics managed to repair one and eventually they limped into the Bahamas, turned around, and went back to Fort Lauderdale with one engine. The OF said that on the return trip the ocean was as flat as a table top — not a ripple in it.

These types of adventures the OFs can relate to. Certain events the OFs use to date other events, like using the phrase “Oh, that was right after the cruise we took to Timbuktu,” or something like that.

The description of “barf bags” everywhere, hanging on the railings and over the backs of chairs is why both OFs thought they were on the same boat. One of the OFs said they thought “The Poseidon Adventure” was not that far fetched.

The natural segue was travel by air and some of the experiences the OFs had on that means of travel. This scribe noticed that all the stories (both boat and plane) were of when things went awry. The tendency to keep in mind all the traveling, where on the trip everything went well, the OFs did not remember much.

Bugged by bugs

A common conversation among the OFs is their current health condition. These are not pity parties just stating the facts of life for the over-75 crowd. These conversations are generally quite short.

At the breakfast Tuesday morning, it was found that many of the OFs have been battling this cold/flu/allergy bug that is going around. The OFs found that apparently this is not a local bug.

In talking to relatives up and down the East Coast, many have the same problems. What makes this interesting is one OF’s description of it. It is rare for this particular OF to not be present at a breakfast and he did miss one.

This past Tuesday morning, he said he had the “two-pail flu” and is still weak from it. For those who have had or are in the process of going through it, it is not over in a week or so.

The OFs who have had it probably still have vestiges of the nasty bug, because this bug hangs on for weeks and weeks until it can find another home. Some OFs think the bugger comes back. (When did bugs come to be associated with colds, flu, and a variety of other ailments?)   

The mysterious “S”  

The OFs mentioned Warner Lake this past Tuesday and wondered where the “S” comes from on some of the spellings of the lake. There is no “S” on Warner Lake, just like there is no “S” on Wal-Mart.

Many people will say “I’m going to Wal-Marts, which is wrong. Well, this is the end of this week’s report from “The Old Men of the Mountain” — not Mountains.

The Old Men of the Mountain made it to the Middleburgh Diner, where the waitress made an announcement that a waitress from another restaurant wanted to say “Hi” to the OFs. The OFs who were at the Middleburgh Diner said “Hi” back and the OFs are glad we make a favorable impression, and those OFs were: John Rossmann, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, Dave Williams, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Chuck Aelesio, Don Wood, Roger Chapman, Marty Herzog, Miner Stevens, Lou Schenck, Gerry Irwin, Jack Norray, Wayne Gaul, Jim Rissacher, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Mike Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Ed Traeger, Jeff Ward, Dave Porter, Gary Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.  It was good to see Gary Porter at the table this morning.