Voorheesville breakfast at Gracie’s next to the tracks leads to talk of trains

On Tuesday, the second day of July, we ask the question, “Again, what happened to June?”

This Tuesday, the Old Men of the Mountain met at a new eating establishment in Voorheesville, Gracie’s Kitchen. Gracie’s sits right where the old Voorheesville Diner used to be. Gracie’s physical building is a lot different; at least some of the OMOTM’s taller members can stand up straight in Gracie’s.

The OFs commented on how the trains rolling by in Voorheesville are the same as they always have been, and one OF said they haven’t slowed down any either.

Years ago, the OMOTM stood in the middle of these Voorheesville tracks one sunny morning and had their picture taken. That picture has popped up recently in a couple of places. The OFs mentioned how many of those in the picture are now dead. It is an old picture, and we are the OFs.

It is easy to imagine all the OMOTM who have passed on are gathering on a cloud and having breakfast just like down on our planet. One OF wondered if we eat in heaven. No one there really knew. There are references but no one really knows how to interpret them.

The OFs started talking about trains as they rolled by. Most of the trains were carrying trailers.

This scribe does not remember actually how many went by during the short time we were there, but he is guessing six going toward Rochester and Syracuse and one going down toward New York City and all seemed to have trailers on them.

The trains going by the restaurant appear to be going at a good rate so UPS, Schneider, and all those other trucking companies should have their shipments by 11 a.m. or sooner.

Foul fowl

The OFs next discussed (from their farming days) nasty turkeys and roosters. Chicken are cute and hens make great pets, but sometimes roosters develop a real mean streak.

One OF had a rooster named Herbie and he was the best watch dog, acting similar to guinea hens. Anyone who showed up — Herbie went after them. It got so that Herbie would roost on the hood of the visitor’s car and defy whoever it was to get out.

If a visitor did get out, and Herbie knew it, this rooster would half-fly and half-run down the drive. The rooster would fly up on the long railing leading to the house and challenge the guest to go any further. 

Herbie became so protective of his surroundings that he began to go after the owners. That was the end for poor Herbie.

The other bird that was talked about was from another farmer OF who said they had chickens and turkeys on the farm mainly for supplying the dinner table with eggs and foul. The OF said they also had rabbits but they were just for fun.

The OF said his dad liked these rabbits and fussed with the few they had, but if he wanted to see rabbits all he had to do was look in the yard and watch the rabbits trying to figure out a way to get in the garden.

Mentioning turkeys, it was declared that generally the toms would be OK. However, once in a batch of turkeys they received, one OF said, he and his brother got one tom which was really miserable.

This turkey would drop his wings and flutter after the cats. The OF said it got so that this bird would do the same thing and then he would strut for the clothes on the clothesline. The OF said his mom had him go into the woodlot and cut a large sapling so she could raise the line. After that, the turkey couldn’t reach the clothes.

The OF said he thinks the turkey got mad because after his mom did this, the bedeviled bird started going after her. The strange thing about the bird, the OF said, is that he never went after men, or dogs, just cats, the clothesline, and women.

The OF said, “One day, my brother and I were in the yard when Mom came to hang out clothes, and she asked us where the turkey was.”

The OF told her, “We don’t see him (and we didn’t) but he actually was around the corner of the house.” No sooner did his mom start to hang clothes than the turkey came like a shot from around the corner of the house.

The OF said his brother ran in the house and came out with the woodchuck gun and with one shot that bird was in bird heaven.

To shorten the story, he was plucked, cooked, and served that evening — only not eaten. He was so tough, the OF said, that even after honing the knife three times that hide was like steel. The OF said the bird should have been parboiled for three days before attempting to cook it.

Making it through

One OF was talking about a mutual acquaintance from way back when. The acquaintance wanted to be in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This never happened because the Army caught up with him and he soon found himself as a “Dogface.”

The Army shipped him all over the place, hither and yon. He finally found himself in Hawaii. The second day he was there, he was playing baseball with a team that was newly formed, when all Hell broke loose; it was the day of infamy.

He made it through all of World War II and wound up a mail carrier.

Those OFs who made it through all kinds of adventures and misadventures and even found their way to Gracie’s Kitchen in Voorheesville were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Bill Lichliter, Josh Buck, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Bartholomew, Art Williams, David Williams, Pete Whitbeck, John Rossmann, Bob Benac, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Art Frament, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Gerry Irwin, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Rev. Jay Francis, Elwood Vanderbilt, Richard Vanderbilt, Allen DeFazio, Jerry Willsey, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.