History, hijinks, and sap all part of Tuesday’s talk

This Tuesday, the Old Men of the Mountain sauntered over to the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh for their first cup of coffee. Not all the OMOTM start out with coffee, some take just water, with a few it is orange juice, but some type of liquid starts the day just as long it is not a “Bud” or a shot of this or that. The OF who starts out with those to start the day has a problem.

The OFs continued with their conversation on motorcycles like the OGs were in a type of soap opera. A few of the OFs missed the report from last week on the OF’s bike trip through New Zealand, and these OGs wanted to bring up the New Zealand discussion again only with different questions about the trip and the country.

However, this conversation turned to types of riders and ages and, like most hobbies or interests that started when the OFs were young and continued well into the OFs later years, motorcycle riding is one.

Years ago, there was an OF who, in his middle years, lost a leg. This OF continued to ride his bike with just one leg. The OF did have a prosthetic leg which he handled very well.

This OF also purchased a side car so he and the wife could travel about with the wind in their hair, the rain in their face, and the bugs on their teeth well into their senior years.


Anti-Rent Wars

The town of Knox on the hill is celebrating its bicentennial and some of the OFs are involved in this. A very interesting event that occurred in the 1800s that Knox and the other Hilltowns were very much a part of, is the Anti-Rent Wars.

The end of this disagreement settled the way we own property today throughout the country. “Very short version of the story.”

When traveling through the Hilltowns, the traveler may see a few state signs along the road mentioning the Anti-Rent Wars.

It is interesting to note that the building at the corner of routes 85 and 85A in New Salem that is now apartments was a tavern back then where the sheriff of Albany County massed an army to go after the anti-renters in Reidsville.

Reidsville is on Route 85, up the Letter S, two or three miles beyond Helderberg Lake. Altamont itself had quite a part in the settling of how landowners were to pay taxes and to whom.

Going back a few years into a bit of the local history, and listening to some of the names, the OFs commented that we are not too far removed from that period of time.

To which one OF said, “Because this group is growing a considerable amount of moss on our backside, and anyone can hear us coming by the creek of our canes, or the squeak of our un-oiled walker wheels, we should have a word added to the title of the OMOTM we should be GOMOTM, Grumpy Old Men of the Mountain.”

One other OF said, “That is not true; if anything, it should be COMOTM, Chipper Old Men of the Mountain because he is not a GOF, but COF.”

This scribe thinks any adjective could be slipped in because there are enough OFs to fit any inserted adjective. (How quickly the OFs get off the subject.)


The real stuff

There is an OF who produces a lot of maple sap, but not in this area. This is just the sap that comes from the tree, not the syrup that is oozed over your waffles, or pancakes, or French toast — only the sap.

The OF has been gone awhile while managing the sap run and some of the OFs were wondering how he was doing and when he will be back. This brought out some conversation on the syrup itself and nothing made from chemicals compares with the real stuff.

One OF had waffles for breakfast this morning, and he took the syrup supplied by the restaurant and meticulously filled each square of the waffle with syrup. This scribe often wondered why the waffle is a waffle, because it is only a pancake with squares in it — now the scribe knows. The squares are for either syrup or melted butter.

The stomach must be quite an organ to sort all of what goes in it, from foods, to drinks, to meds, and at times all at the same time. All being sorted out, this is good, this is bad, this is really good, and this is awful. Including some things that come along where the stomach says what the heck is this. This had better get passed as is, right away.



There was some conversation on the power generation plant in Gilboa where the generators are underground. The ground floor is not the first floor. The Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Station has their generators a few floors down. 

he OFs were discussing about times the fire company that covered this area was called to a fire. The OF relating the story said the fire company was told the fire was on the seventh floor

The company showed up and immediately went into action, one of which (other than laying hose) was getting the ladders ready. “Oops,” the OF said, “The seventh floor was down, not up. Ladders were not necessary.”

The OF did not say what the fire or emergency was, but it must have been minor because it did not make the papers.

Those Old men who made it to the Middleburgh Diner and chatted about everything under the sun including kilts, were: Miner Stevens, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Jake Lederman, Ted Feurer (who has put the winter hat away), Jake Herzog, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, and me.