Advice from a 90-year-old on his birthday

The Old Men of the Mountain managed to gather at Mrs. K’s Family Restaurant in Middleburgh on April 4 where the OFs went to the expense of getting a cake for one of the OFs who made it to 90 years old.

This OF thought when he hit 60 that would be it, then came 70 and the OF said he thought this was really it. Then 80 showed up but the OF said he felt great but still thought he would cross over and see what life was really like.

Now it is 90, and the OF said he is a little slower and can’t do all he used to do, and he naps more, has a few more aches and pains but still feels OK (with question marks) — the eyes are good, the ears are questionable, and the mind was always a little on the weird side so that hasn’t changed. The OF said we shall see what happens now.

The OF offered these tips on how to fall asleep in a chair. Tip #1: Be old. Tip #2: Sit in a chair. That’s it; that is all the advice the OF has to offer.

That is a fib as the OF did offer some other advice that he pretty much adheres to and that is: Don’t smoke ever, don’t drink, cut down on red meat, and stay active.

“Oh,” the OF said, “find a good woman and stick with her; that helps.”


Ice-Out Day

Many of the OMOTM are, like we say, just that, Old Men of the Mountain — and on the mountain are a few small lakes. The OFs who are flat-landers asked the mountain men if there were any open water on the lakes yet. The answer on the larger of the two lakes was “no” to open water yet.

One OF mentioned he had the experience of being on Caroga Lake at the exact right time when the ice left the lake. At first, the OF said he did not know what the roar was until he looked up and saw the ice on the lake just flip over and sink out of sight. The OF said he often heard of the ice leaving but never experienced it until that day.


World War II planes

The OFs at one end of the table talked for some time on World War II airplanes, basically the fighter type. They discussed the Dallas air show crash of last year where six people died.

One of the planes in that show was the Bell P-63 Kingcobra, which was a souped-up model of the P-39 Airacobra. The OFs who were knowledgeable about the incident felt it was some royal screw-up.

Both planes in the air at the same time is not unusual at air shows, and at low altitudes showing off is what they do. The OFs said they thought the P-63, in a turn to the left, could not see down and behind the plane. The approaching B-17 flew directly into the blind spot from below and behind the P-63

One OF who flies wondered, even in an air show, what were they doing in the same air space. Generally, air space is assigned before any plane goes up.

This is not all the OF talked about when discussing these World War II aircrafts. One other thing mentioned was how much further the planes in the air were advanced than the equipment on the ground. The British Spitfire was built out of canvas and wood, and was quite a plane during the war.

Talking about that, one OF mentioned the Morgan automobile, which was originally made out of wood and the hood was held down by leather straps. Currently Morgan cars have an aluminum frame but the rest is made of a special ash wood.


What happened to shop class?

The OFs brought up a discussion on shop in high schools. Most of the OFs were in rural schools, and shop was taught in all of them. The Future Farmers of America was an active group along with shop.

Today, the way the OFs understand it, not all schools teach shop. This course has been dropped by many.

To the OFs, this is a shame, but what has taken its place are courses in technology and how to operate a computer and work with them.

One OF said teaching everyone how to saw a piece of wood has gone by the wayside and some of the OFs were wondering if it is even necessary. But today knowing how to use a computer is really necessary.

It is a toss-up, however, because if a kid learns how to fix a toilet he won’t ever be out of work. Matter of fact, the OFs think the poor kid will be overworked.



Now for something completely different. The OFs started talking about the shuttle to the moon, especially the one that exploded.

This led to a discussion on how much longer before we will be headed for other planets, and even out of our solar system. The OFs think it is going to come about sooner rather than later; they also think we have been visited by beings from other planets.

One OF thinks they are here now. This OF says this planet is pretty big, and changes come too fast; he thinks these geniuses may be from other planets and solar systems.

Another OF thinks, if these “visitors” are here they must be from other solar systems because this OF doesn’t think any of the other planets in our solar system will support life.

This OF was overheard to say, “With all the friends I have, some are so weird I think they all come from outer space.”

All the spacemen that landed in the Helderbergs who eventually became elderly and began to call themselves the Old Men of the Mountain to hide their true identities started by having their weekly meetings at different restaurants throughout the area so they wouldn’t be detected. These aliens thought the Old Men of the Mountain would be a good name for covering their activities.

So those that met this week were under the aliases of: Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Roger Shafer, Doug Marshall, Rick LaGrange, Russ Pokorny, Frank Fuss, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Ken Parks, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Ed Goff, Marty Herzog, Herb Bahrmann, Jake Herzog, Ted Feurer, Bob Addis, Don Peletier, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, John Dab, Paul Guiton, Dick Dexter, Lou Schenck, Rev. Jay Francis, and me, met at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh.