OFs wonder about people on the edges of their long-ago lives

June is almost gone, and the last Old Man of the Mountain breakfast for June was on Tuesday, the 27th of the month, at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. The longest daylight day has come and gone; Christmas and snow is just ahead, better get your shopping done.

According to some of the OMOTM, one would think that the most important item on the planet was not the almost civil war in Russia, or interplanetary finding of possible space-travel wormholes, but the sore toe on the right foot of Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.

This is a disaster, as one OF put it; it should be in all the papers in the United States and then some. Doctors from all over the world should be consulted to find out how to heal this toe, have it healed and get Judge back on the field. These OFs think the world would be a better place if Judge were back out there.

Glutton’s punishment

To get to the Chuck Wagon, OFs come from some distance; eventually, they have to get on Route 20 either from Duanesburg and go east, or from points east from Princetown and head west. Those who were heading west on Route 20 encountered a very large bird, dead in the road about 1,500 to 2,000 feet from the Chuck Wagon.

Some thought it was an owl, some a hawk, and some a vulture. All thought it had found something dead in the road and was using it as a meal and was so intent on eating that it failed to notice an oncoming vehicle and met its demise right there in the middle of the road.

This scribe thinks it was a vulture because hawks, kestrels, and owls are not scavengers and don’t eat dead animals — vultures do. If there were a live bunny hopping across the road and some large hawk spotted it, and car/truck, bunny, and bird all met at the same time, then it could happen. Probably not.

Waning creatures

Previously, the OFs have mentioned, and this scribe has commented on, the absence of many insects or at least if spotted how few there seem to be. Bees, dragonflies, lightning bugs, butterflies, etc., they all seem to be disappearing.

On Tuesday morning, an OF mentioned how his garden had something eating his vegetables so he set some traps and found it was woodchucks. This is a rodent that has seemingly been on the wane along with the insects and snakes.

There used to be woodchuck mounds all over in the fields and they could be seen scurrying across the road quite often. This OF said he caught three of them and thinks that is the lot. The OF said they were living under a shed on the farm, not in the fields like they used to, and those were the only chucks he had seen in quite awhile.

One OF piped up saying, “With all these creatures disappearing, are we next?”

Old connections

As usual, there was a discussion on, “Where are they now?” This time, it was not necessarily on OFs but on those the OFs knew in high school, or when they were young.

This is a study in concentration and memory. First, the person or persons has to be someone other OFs knew so that part of the search starts, “Do you remember XYZ?” And, if no one remembers, then that hunt stops.

Quite often, these are sad trips when one is found, because of the ages of those in this inquiry find so many of those being inquired about are either sick or dead. Another rather common find is that they now live in Florida, or Georgia, or the Carolinas.

One OF commented, “What are we chopped liver? We are still here.”

Another OF retorted, “There is no place I would rather be than right here.”

Again this reminded this scribe of a song sung by Johnny Russell, “Red Necks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer” — great song.

All of sudden, people in the OFs’ high school, or not-too-often college yearbooks, or classes, or even neighbors that the OFs only knew on the edges back then, and rarely if ever spoke to, are now lost friends that the OFs somehow want to contact, or really know how they are doing.

One OF commented that, even though they seem to be missing quite a few, and the group at the class reunions is getting smaller, we seem to be living longer. We do have our aches and pains but seem to be in better shape.

One OF said, “You can’t prove it by me. Every morning when I wake up I say, ‘Oh darn, I woke up again; now I’ve got another day to get through.’” Talk about a downer OF.

A second OF said just the opposite; the OG used a cliché that is heard often. The OF said, when he wakes up, he rushes to the bathroom to look in the mirror and see how much better looking he’s gotten since the day before. 

The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown and all better looking than the day before were: Miner Stevens, Rick LaGrange, Paul Whitbeck, Doug Marshall, Frank Fuss, Roland Tozer, Pete Whitbeck, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Marty Herzog, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Jake Lederman, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Duncan Bellinger, Paul Guiton, John Dab, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, Lou Schenck, and me.