Gray skies and rain, rain, rain send some OFs back to bed

Fortunately (or unfortunately) most people, so we are told, are creatures of habit. On Tuesdays, a certain group known as “The Old Men of the Mountain” are called to various diners, and restaurants.

This Tuesday, June 18, the OMOTM were called to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg. Monday, June 17, was a pretty nice day, and guess what! On Tuesday, the OMOTM traveled in the drizzle and fog, again to their appointed eating establishment.

The weather has been so wet, so far this year, that it was almost the lone topic of conversation at one end of the table. It is beginning to affect the OFs’ attitude towards many daily projects. The one thing the OFs agree on is that they look out at the gray sky and want to go back to sleep. Some do. One OF says all he does is drag around from project to project and ultimately does nothing.

Others say that many of their plants and gardens are doing nothing. One OF was going to paint his deck and stairs. This OF claims it is going to take all summer for the wood to dry out so he can do it.

“We have nothing to complain about,” was a comment made because of the situations in the southern and central part of the country. This has been brought up before. There is no doubt about the OF being right.

Rescue at Thacher Park

The OFs covered the topic of young people messing around in Thacher Park and the one young lad going over the edge. That was quite a tumble and required the use of many people and much equipment to rescue him.

These responders put themselves in harm’s way to do this. One OF said the responders practice for these situations and the safest way to do them, yet there is always an element of risk involved no matter how much they train.

It was brought out by the OFs (who were once young) who lived on the Hill. They, quite often, were part of the crowd that partied in the park when they were not supposed to. It was called an attractive nuisance by some, a dare by some, and a challenge by others.

First responders in the fifties were not trained as well, nor did they have equipment like we have today — helicopters for instance. Helicopters were around in the fifties but not equipped with technology like they have now. The OFs are lucky that none of them went over the ledge.

Many parties were held at Thacher Park, even way back when the Indians were still running up and down the cliffs 400 years ago. Many of the OFs had their high school graduation parties there. Only a few of the OFs are old enough to remember seeing the Indians there.

“The Eagle has landed”

The OFs have some birthdays coming up, one on July 20. The significance of this birthday, beyond that of being one of the OMOTM, is that it’s the day this country put a man on the moon.

July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong announced, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”  By referring to “Tranquility Base” to Houston emphasized to listeners that the landing was complete and successful.

When stepping onto the moon’s surface Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for [A] man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Somehow, that [A] was lost in the communication thus changing the meaning of that sentence and starting a lot of debate.

Finally, in 2006, a computer analyst in Australia, using new technology designed to help handicapped people, was able to hear the recording that Armstrong had made in 1969 and this proved that he did indeed use the [A] before the word “man.”

Neil requested that, when people used this quote, they should put brackets around the A.  Neil Armstrong died on Aug. 25, 2012, but he will always be remembered for being the first man to step on the moon’s surface.   

Some have birthdays that will always be remembered just for what happened on that day. In the case of July 20, there will always be skeptics of the event. These skeptics maintain it was only someplace like in a barn somewhere, or in Texas or Arizona.

Sometime this scribe will go back to the internet and find out what became of all these skeptics. One last note of interest: Today’s cell phones are far more powerful than the computers on the Apollo  Command Module and Lunar Module that were used to navigate to the moon and operate all the spacecraft control systems. Who said Google is just for youngsters?

Odds and ends

 Other birthdays hard to forget if yours falls on one of these days are Dec. 25, Jan. 1, July 4, or your Uncle Harry’s on May 3.

Many of the topics discussed at this morning’s breakfast were carryovers from last week — especially on animals. This gets to be redundant; just how much can be covered on animals?  However, the OFs continue to find something interesting but this week not so much — it was just animals. 

The OFs started to rehash computers and how they will soon be running everything (see the previous Neil Armstrong story) and many OFs are not ready for this. One OF said the young people will be controlled by these machines and not know the difference, but we OFs know what independence is and how to think for ourselves. One OF thought this was a little harsh on the younger generation, because we know little about it and maybe are afraid of what is coming.

Where have all the bugs gone?

The OFs ask where all the bugs have gone. The stink bugs, the elder beetle, the earwigs, etc.; the OFs were not complaining, just wondering.

One OF said, “Wait until it warms up, then watch out, they don’t like this weather either; the bugs are just holing up waiting to attack.”

The Old Men of the Mountain are not waiting for the attack of the bugs. The OMOTM are hiding in one of their selected hide-outs; those hiding in the Duanesburg Diner this week were: Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Paul Nelson, Bill Lichliter, Josh Buck, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Dave Williams, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Pete Whitbeck, Art Frament, Ray Gaul, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Russ Pokorny, Glenn Patterson, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Mace Porter, Gerry Chartier, Herb Bahrmann, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Elwood Vanderbilt, Bob Donnelly, Harold Grippen, and me.


The Old Men of the Mountain would like to offer their condolences and prayers to the family of Garry Porter, a good and loyal member of the OMOTM, on his passing on Tuesday.