Lol: A new wrinkle in the OFs’ name game

DELANSON — Tuesday morning found the OMOTM parked in front of Gibby’s Diner in Delanson/Duanesburg in or on vehicles ranging from motorcycles to a perfect 1956 red and white Ford Ranchero. Talk about bringing back memories of teenage years!

We talked a lot, of memories and farming in the Hilltowns outside of Albany. As the weather continues to be just about as good as it can get, it seems our number of OFs enjoying breakfast with old friends continues to climb from week to week. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

As this column about the OMOTM gets put to paper, sometimes this Second Scribe just can’t resist having a little extracurricular fun once in a while. Such as, for the past few weeks in the final paragraph where the list of the OFs present at that week’s breakfast is, that list always starts off with the same two names.

This is because the OF who starts the attendance list always puts his father's name first (a good son always does that) and then writes his name second. The names then appear in the final paragraph in the same order as they were written.

So to have a little fun when it came to the final paragraph, the beginning would start like always, with the father's name first, but then the son’s name would show up later in the middle of the list somewhere.

Well, the OF’s son knows how to play a game or two himself and never said a word. Good move on his part. So last week his name appeared at the very end of the list. Still no word. This is a very patient SOF. (Son of OF).

This week, when the list came around to my table to be signed by those present, there was a different name where the son's name always appears. After searching the list thoroughly, I found the son’s name, way at the end of the second column of names! Past everyone and everybody who would be coming later, the very last name located at the very bottom of the page.

After laughing out loud, this Second Scribe told everyone at the table what was so funny. OK, the fun is over; the SOF wins. His name will be back where it belongs this week. But it was fun while it lasted. Such serious men, these OMOTM can be at times.

Minding the meadowlarks

Last week a discussion about haying, first and second cuttings, occurred within range of my hearing aids, and I wrote about it while confessing my ignorance of the entire endeavor. I indicated my need to get in touch with the First Scribe Emeritus (he is better than Googling it) to get some info on the subject.

Well, he recounted how his father would never cut the hay in the spring because the meadowlarks were nesting in the field and he wasn't going to disrupt that process. So off I went to Google and the Audubon Field Guide all about meadowlarks.

About two hours later, I now know more about this bird than I ever thought possible. I know what they look like, where they nest, which is on the ground in open hay fields.

Now I know why the Scribe’s father would not do an early cutting in the spring. I even know that there are western meadowlarks and eastern meadowlarks. No, I am not going to tell you where they live. You have to do something for yourself.

Common ground

While talking with the Scribe about his memories of cutting hay on the farm and his memories of his father, he mentioned that he “does miss the sounds and smells of the farm, one being the smell of newly mowed hay.”

I told him that lately I have been recalling my past and I could empathize with him with regards to fond memories of important times and events, a way of life, in business, or just the pleasure of a walk in the woods.

I was no farmer. My working career involved a shirt and tie and shined shoes and the fluorescent lights of an office. A very long way from life as a farmer. A long way from the hard physical work of a farmer, but not so far away from the business side of being a farmer. We all had to put food on the table, and pay the power bill.

We have our memories, and we all miss the times we had making those memories. We remember exactly where that loose floorboard was in the barn, or how you had to open a particular door so it wouldn’t squeak.

As the OMOTM get a little longer in the tooth, Father Time sort of reminds us to start thinking about how to pass the torch to our sons and daughters and he has ways of telling us we can no longer do things as well or as easily as we once did. (Your Second Scribe has no idea when the last time was that he ran up, or down, a flight of stairs.)

Memories are the common ground for all of us. A Hilltown Farmer and a Flatlander Businessman, two different worlds, yet so much in common.

Which brings us to the Final Paragraph for another week. The great bunch of OFs who joined their fellow OMOTM this morning were; Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Frank A. Fuss, Michael P. Kruzinski, Peter Whitbeck, Wm Lichliter, George Washburn,  Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Ed Goff, Pastor Jay Francis, Roger Shafer, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Paul Whitbeck, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Ken Parks, Otis Lawyer, Joe Rack, Roland Tozer, Duncan Bellinger, Jake Herzog, Gerry Cross, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, Gerry Chartier, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Paul Guiton, John Williams, John Jaz, Lou Schenck, Henry Whipple, and me.