Many prefer the beauty of New York and blizzards over hurricanes

— Photo by Frank Dees

Landlocked: Large boats like this one are still on the streets and in the mangrove trees six months after Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers, Florida. “There sure are a lot of logistics to go through I guess to get them out of there, if the boats are even water worthy,” said John R. Williams “Don’t tick off Mother Nature.”

On April 11, 2023, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie. On the way to the café in the early morning, different occurrences, or visuals, catch the OFs’ eyes, enough so it is mentioned by some when the OFs arrive at the eating place.

Tuesday morning, it was the amount of deer and turkey spotted while driving in. It was not one or two deer or turkey, but herds of deer, and flocks of turkeys. The mountain appears to be loaded with both.

Not only is real spring close for the homo sapiens, but also for the birds, and animals, plants and trees.

One OF wondered if animals have watery eyes and runny noses from all the fresh pollen like humans with allergies do.


Active August

Tuesday was another day in which to celebrate a birthday, and this one was on the day of the issuance of this OF on this whirling rock. So the OFs were already in tune to sing “Happy Birthday” to another OF who made 87.

With all these great people being born in April, August must be a very active month.



One OF just returned from three months in Florida for the winter (wimp, afraid of a little snow) (other OFs call those who can do smart, and wish they could) (maybe the whimpers are jealous). Choose one of the above.

Anyway, this OF reported on all the damage done to Sanibel and Captiva islands, plus other areas like Fort Myers, by the hurricanes. It is surprising how many other OFs have been to these places and knew exactly what he was talking about when the OF said only this one building was not touched but all the others are gone.

According to this OF, the damage is total; the OF said that the foundation of many of the high-rise buildings have been eroded and washed out. The buildings are completely empty.

This country complains of shoddy workmanship in other countries when we have enough of that in our own country ─ it is like the pot calling the kettle black.

This led to some discussion on insurance and how much the cost has risen, especially in Florida. The OFs wondered about how the insurance companies are able to keep up with all the natural disasters going on in this country alone.

The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the fires out west, the list goes on and on. One OF mentioned we don’t hear much about what goes on in South America except the drug problem. I bet they have their natural disasters also.

One OF took many photos of the damage the hurricane did in Florida. Some are reminiscent of photos of our own storm (Irene) with boats sailing in the mud quite a bit inland. The much voiced statement from those who don’t fly in the wintertime, saying they will take their blizzard anytime over the hurricanes and fires, were muttered a couple of times.

Much is said about the beauty of these places, and they are beautiful, with the warm weather, swaying palm trees, and smooth roads, but many of the OFs say, “So what.”

Many of the OMOTM (who have said this before) maintain that, outside of its politics, taxes, and big-city sponges, New York is a beautiful state. The Adirondacks, Catskills, and even our own Helderbergs can match any place for calendar scenes.

The OFs say that we have our own lakes, rivers, and streams for fishing and boating, our ocean shore- line for serious boating, our own wooded areas for hunting, our own mountains for skiing, and even the arts excel in New York.

One OF commented that there are so many hiking trails in our area anyone who is a serious hiker can walk his legs to stumps trying to do them all.

Quite a few of the Old Men of the Mountain made it to the Your Way Café in Schoharie but the OMOTM surely didn’t hike there. The OFs came in their fancy cars and trucks because for many of them hiking just a few feet is an effort. Why some trails keep toilets close by is because the hike to the john is an excursion.

Those OFs who made it to the Your Way anyway were: Frank Dees, Doug Marshall, Frank Fuss, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Marty Herzog, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Miner Stevens, Ed Goff, Rick LaGrange, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Roger Shafer, Jake Herzog, Jamey Darrah, Paul Whitbeck, Paul Guiton, John Dab, Lou Schenck, Dick Dexter, Jack Norray, Elwood Vanderbilt, Rich Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgetts, Bob Donnelly, Herb Bahrmann, and me.

Writer’s note: This scribe would like to make a correction on the April 13 column where we discussed World War II aircraft using wood in the construction. One was the Hawker Hurricane and not the Spitfire as mentioned; sorry about that.