Some OFs would rather chug along than race to keep up with the hectic modern pace

On Tuesday, June 4, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Country Café in Schoharie after experiencing a really cold night for the month of June. Some of the OMOTM went to bed with the temperature at 42 or 44 degrees.

Dang! The OFs are mostly on blood thinners and they feel this chill; the OFs still are using flannel sheets and flannel PJs. The furnace is set at 65 and that sucker is continuing to kick in.

On Tuesday morning, the OFs who reside in the hills southeast of Middleburgh found they had ice or frost on their car windows. This is the OMOTM’s weather report for June 4, 2019.

All this wet weather and the cold, near the beginning of summer, was what was handed out for weather Tuesday morning and this weather report kept the OFs’ gardeners buzzing. Some have kept their plants in the containers they started them in and these plants are now pretty good-sized.

One OF just had a chance to till his gardens but nothing is in the dirt yet. This OF plans on doing the planting after our breakfast before the rains come. We will have to wait until next Tuesday to see if these preparations come to pass.

One OF wondered if his favorite team will be able to get the ball game in before more rain; it is odd watching some of the baseball players still wearing their hoodies this time of year.

Seventies upheaval

The OFs who once worked in industry, and who are now retired, talked about what it was like working in the fifties and sixties and how much changed during the eighties and nineties. Most say that things started to change in the 1970s and the changes that came about were very complex. The seventies were an era of economic struggle, cultural change and technological innovation.

To the OFs, at this point in time, circumstances became more hectic, and less friendly. The hurry-up attitude seemed to put an edge on people.

One OF thought it was because we had become older in the seventies and had the comparison of working in the past (to the seventies). The younger people joining the workforce were already in the fast pace so this OF thought the fast pace didn’t seem so fast to these baby boomers.

This OF considered that, as OFs, we were used to civility, and that seemed to be (to him anyway) disappearing as the pace increased.

Another OF said that, now that he was retired (and has been for about 15 years), to heck with the pace, he will just chug along in low.

The OF mentioned the companies that are no longer around since the time they were in the workplace. Many of these companies were local to our area.

GE with over 22,000 employees and ALCO (the American Locomotive Company) with its thousands working there, made Schenectady the city that lights and hauls the world. GE’s workforce now is down to much less than Price Chopper, and ALCO is gone.

Those are just two companies the OFs came up with, others also — gone. One OF mentioned that many smaller companies probably have been replaced.

Green meat and Other delicacies

This scribe does not remember how the OFs began talking about cooking, but it was not cooking like making spaghetti or a stew. This discussion was about flour, and flour mills, wheat etc., and also about meat — storing meat, and preserving meat.

This scribe (if he heard it right) heard the OFs say that the little bugs found in flour are OK to cook up — they don’t bother anything. Some OFs questioned that.

However, a little research (thank you, Google) said: “Yes, it is safe. Assuming the flour is in something you will bake or otherwise heat up because the high temps will kill the bugs. They are mainly protein so you might even consider them healthy. At the same time, you probably don't want to eat food or be served with food with dead weevils in it.”

Weevils? We hadn’t discussed them.

Then one OF said that big silos of ground grain are allowed a certain amount of bugs, and mouse droppings. It can’t be 100 percent avoided.

One OF said, “Count me out now from eating bread, cookies, and buns.”

Another OF said a friend of his was a butcher for a large chain grocery store and this butcher would save him (and a few other friends) the meat, especially steaks, that had green mold on them.

When he had some meat on sale that wasn’t “perfect,” he would call his friends and let them know how much he had, and how much it would cost. The OF said this was great meat, extremely tender, and flavorful.

Misery loves company

The OFs were talking doctors again, basically on the nasty, debilitating, disease called arthritis. It was funny how some of the OFs found out they go to the same doctor, not only for arthritis but for other ailments too.

It seems like many of the OFs have the same medical problems so it wouldn’t make sense to complain about these problems because who you are complaining to has the same problem you do and maybe even worse!

However, all the OFs still complain to each other. This probably completes the ole saw “misery loves company.”

This scribe is going to promote himself. If you have the time and want to see a little show of some of the scribe’s paintings, the scribe has 12 of them hanging at the Berne Library for the month of June.

The library has sort of an uneven policy for when it is open. The times are as follows: Monday, 2 to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.; Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.; Friday, 2 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it is closed Sunday.

There was a contingent of OFs hanging around outside enjoying the early morning air waiting for the restaurant to open, and it did, of course, then the other Old Men of the Mountain began to arrive and they were: Richard Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, Karl Remmers, Roger Shafer, Miner Stevens, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, George Washburn, Wally Guest, David Williams, Roger Chapman, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Otis Lawyer, Pete Whitbeck, Art Frament, Bob Benac, Rev. Jay Francis, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Duncan Bellinger, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me. Finally, after most of the OFs had eaten breakfast and left, two more arrived: Marty Herzog and Jim Rissacher.