Boredom reigns and hair grows as the OFs crave clubs and outings

As usual, these are a few notes from the Old Men of the Mountain who email or who this scribe speaks to over the phone. From those spoken to, they are beyond bored. The lack of socializing is getting to all of them.

There is some “social distancing” but the freedom of going to anyplace at anytime is a freedom that is not allowed now. Even the routine of grocery shopping is now a planned event.

The OMOTM miss the weekly breakfast, they miss church and the events the churches hold, lodge gatherings and all their events, seniors lunches with bus trips and their other experiences. The OFs with their hobbies and outside interests that hold weekly or monthly meetings and again have planned events, like car clubs, antique clubs, vegetable and flower gardening clubs, and military associations are sorely missed. The list goes on and on.

Then there is just going out to eat, meeting friends at the restaurants, and being unable to do that now because most restaurants are closed. The OGs miss traveling to family and friends that may be just a couple of hundred miles away and seeing the grandkids, or just plain old socializing.

The OFs spoken to are tired of regular TV, but there is a resurgence of the old cartoons and to the OFs it is like seeing them for the first time. Bugs Bunny is the new superstar.

The OMOTM have a problem adjusting to, and don’t think they ever will, these “shows?” called virtual TV, and communications, and they can’t quite dig fan-less sports. One OF complained he is too old to fiddle with this; however, maybe it will become normal for the younger crowd.

This scribe has a narrow selection of OFs to base opinions on but when a call comes in from a different OF, that OF seems to reiterate what the others have said.

Nursing homes

The ones who call say they hope they have been nice enough to their kids because a common remark is to be nice to them since they are going to pick out your nursing home. The OFs say this is one place no one wants to be, and they ask how the virus knows to go where it is full of easy pickings.

If the nursing homes are using disinfectants to clean with and watching the food coming in and checking each employee, how is the virus getting through the defenses?

This scribe thinks this virus needs a unified worldwide three-pronged approach. One for a cure, two for a vaccine so we don’t get it, and three to find out where the heck it came from and destroy it.

If this virus comes from where this scribe’s wife says it comes from, destroying it will be kind of tough. She thinks it comes from extraterrestrial life, which the dictionary says is of or from outside the Earth or its atmosphere.


Back to the self-style quarantine type of living and how beauty salons, or barber shops still have to remain closed. As the OFs have mentioned before, their hair is really getting long and scraggly. If it gets much worse, one OF and this scribe began a scenario conversation on grooming.

The OF and this scribe do not have much hair on top but still enough to grow; the edges are over our ears, and the back is down our necks. Pretty soon the OFs will fit the characters of the Hatfields and the McCoys, or Li’l Abner, who are all like real OFs.

All the OFs will need to do is put on their bibs (OF-speak for their bib overalls), take the musket off the wall, go and sit in the chair on the porch with the dawg, and wait for them revenuers. That is about all we can do. The OFs can’t go down to the store and whittle — tain’t allowed no more.

Home brew

Speaking of revenuers, the scribe can remember way back when in the hills of Schoharie County (and a couple in the hills of Albany) there were stills cranking out home brew. A few may have been for profit but most just for kicks and giggles.

Traveling the short distance on Route 443 from Berne to Schoharie, it was common to see smoke from the stills drifting into the air. But then it wasn’t bibs and bandanas, it was tight jeans neatly folded at the shoe tops, with T-shirts and a pack of Camels or Pall Malls rolled up in the shirt sleeves, and duck-tail haircuts.

That was the dress for the still runners in the OFs’ younger days. On Saturday nights, they would grab their instruments and lightbulbs and head to Lasalle Park in Schoharie. There they would play, dance, sing, and check out who had the best ’shine. Oddly enough, the most drinking was store-bought beer.

At that time, the jail and the sheriff’s office were in back of the Parrott House, and Lasalle Park was further up the hill in back of the jail and sheriff’s office. When the weather was right, these places were within shouting distance of each other.

This scribe cannot remember a fight breaking out, but there were some pretty loud arguments, and most of those were about cars and women.

 In preparation for, and trying for, inspiration to write this column, this scribe was wondering why music was coming from his printer. Apparently the paper was jamming.