Strong coffee kicks the early diners into gear

The Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh this Tuesday on April 9.

Ms. K’s Restaurant is becoming an OMOTM museum. There are a few artifacts displayed here and there that have been donated by the OFs.

This establishment has the unique distinction of having “Loretta” (the original proprietor) attend Schoharie Central School along with some of the OMOTM, and she actually was in the same class as four of the OFs. Now her daughter and her granddaughter are running the restaurant.

Tuesday morning, the early OFs’ coffee would put hair on your chest. “It was coffee with a kick,” one OF said. This was truck-driver, 24-hour stuff.

Another OF said he put cream in it and the coffee never changed color. A third OF said that the cook was just trying to wake us up. Ordering up decaf wasn’t any better; it was he-man stuff too. The later rounds were fine, and the early guys were now wide awake. Patty had her fun with the early-morning OFs.

Fruitful talk

Awhile back, the OFs were discussing their fruit trees. Tuesday morning, the OFs told us how they are concocting ways to take the apples and make cider.

One OF is going to make cider using a corn shredder. This will be the second stage in the process; the first stage is picking the apples and getting to the shredder.

The OF said he is going to electrify the corn shredder with an electric motor, instead of rigging it up with a belt and one of his hit-and-miss engines. Then what comes out of the shredder goes into the press. Bingo! Cider!

The other OF said he has a shredder-type object on top of his press. The only problem with that is that everything is manual, and he has to turn a crank to cut up his apples.

Another OF has apple and pear trees. One other OF said he should cut a few of each and press them together to see what type of flavor comes from the combination of the two. The OF thought he could do 50/50, then maybe 60/40, then 70/30 both ways — this OF said it sounds like it would be fun.

Bear facts

The OFs started reminiscing about a mutual friend who they used to hike with. Real hiking days of some of the OFs are days in the past. Struggling to make the legs move with the arthritis is not much fun.

Apparently the mutual friend has now taken up kayaking. The OFs said they used to do kayaking, and would like to do it again, but getting in and out of one of those boats is nothing they now can do.

The mutual friend came into the conversation because there was an unwelcome visitor in the backyard — a pretty good-sized black bear. Pictures were taken to substantiate the intrusion.

One of the OFs who lives not too far from the mutual friend was called and advised that the critter was out there roaming about. The state’s Department of Environmental conservation was called but, by the time they got there, the animal was gone and the DEC was unable to locate it.

One OF said the he/she bear will pop up someplace else but, if the bear is finding food, he/she will hang around. The hunter-gatherers of the OMOTM said in the spring bears can be pretty nasty because they are hungry; later on, when there are plenty of fruits and berries around (unless you mess with the bears), they will pretty much take off.

Some of the OFs said they wouldn’t want to check that out to see if it is true.

Friends help ailing friends

The OFs started talking about the vehicles they had when their bones would cooperate and move without pain going hither and yon throughout their bodies. The OFs commented that sports cars are out for them now just because the OFs can’t get in or out of them. One OF complained he has trouble getting out of some newer cars.

The OMOTM as a group right now has a few ailing OFs. There are three OFs with cancers, and the rest of the OFs are getting quite a lesson on the disease and the various current treatments.

We also have one OF finding it necessary to get help from the Bone and Joint Center and relief from physical therapy. This scribe hopes these OFs get strength and consolation from the vibes and prayers of their Old Men of the Mountain friends.

Those OFs who share in the decorations of Mrs. K’s in Middleburgh and the rest of us who, on every seventh Tuesday, share in the decorations just by being there were: Miner Stevens, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Roger Chapman, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Bill Lichliter, Dave Williams, Marty Herzog, Ken Parks, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Otis Lawyer, Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Herb Bahrmann, Gerry Irwin, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Gerry Chartier, Mike Willsey, Elwood Vanderbilt, Allen DeFazio, Harold Grippen, and me.