Similar events have different meanings to those experiencing them

On Tuesday, June 28, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. Early in the morning, traveling west on Route 20 just about anywhere, there are not many people actually headed in either direction. Add a few hours and the area between (the localities are just a guess) Richfield Springs and the Northway, the highway is abuzz with vehicles with the drivers all late for work.

It seems for most people life is divided by events that happened which are either joyful, traumatic, or in some way meaningful, to each individual. These events can be the same, albeit totally different, depending on the person’s perception. In some cases, the event won’t mean a thing to one OF, but to the another OF it may mean a lot.

Birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations, college, learning to drive, first car, first kiss, military, scoring a winning touchdown in a big game, are just a few of the major events that can enter the lives of all of us.

Tuesday morning, it was military, and the loss of a loved one and how these incidents affected the lives of some, while to others the same events didn’t mean much; they were just a part of life and living. The OFs, as often noted, are a microcosm of everyone (male at least) thrown in one pot.


Updates from the trail

Tuesday morning had reports of the OFs who are hikers and how they did, and what they did on their solstice hikes. The Looking Glass path hikers had nine people marching along with the flag of the “Long Path-ers” waving proudly up front.

The group sang camp songs as they marched along.  This makes a nice, fun group out for a walk.

Then another couple of OFs were planning on building a raised walkway on the path in Dutch Settlement. At the Tuesday breakfast before the job was to be done, the OFs planning the project were concerned about how they were going to get the material up a very steep hill to the site to even get the job underway.

The OFs were very much surprised at how many volunteers turned out to help. A job the OFs planned would take about two days took less than a day because so many helped — including a troop of Boy Scouts.

Now hikers can transverse that area of the path safely. This section of the path at times was very muddy and slippery, and at times during the year some areas have about six to eight inches of water running across the path. Now the hikers are high and dry.


Fuel rates

A couple of OFs are on degree day rate with various oil companies for delivery of fuel oil. Some of the OFs with this pay-in-advance plan with locked-in prices have made out very well for this past winter.

However, for some others, those contracts have expired. Even though we have had a few warm days, the OFs said ,not only has it been cool so far this late spring and early summer but very dry, at least in our section of the country.

One OF said, when looking at the weather map, it looks like most of the country is on fire and here in the Northeast it is cool enough for the furnace to kick in on occasion.

This is the problem: Some OFs automatically are in line for a drop of fuel oil because of the degree/day formula and the tanks are topped off.

One OF said that, when he saw that bill, his hand shook; it was over $1,000. “Where is this amount of money coming from?” he asked. “It sure wasn’t in the budget, and neither were $200 grocery bills.”

The OF said he has to go into his savings to augment paying for bills like this.

If the politicians want to force us to use electric cars and now electric heat because they have their money invested in batteries and windmills, they are doing a good job of it.

There has to be some reason for all this, one OF said; it has happened too much too fast, and seems to be well organized, and well planned. All the truckers and pilots did not fall into some giant pit, along with all the other workers.

“How did they all disappear in just a few weeks?” the OFs asked.

The OFs think this is kinda weird.

Scribe’s note: The OFs have discussed this before, and probably will again, as their wallets get thinner and thinner. One OF said we have to follow the money, see who is getting the bigger boat, and fancier car, and moving to 5,000-square-foot houses by the ocean.

Those OFs who made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner, and arrived on horseback, or bicycle from their new homes (which are tents out in the woods) — some even used the old symbol for transportation, “the thumb,” to get to the breakfast — and they were: Jake Herzog, Paul Muller, Johnny Dap, Ted Feurer, Wayne Gaul, Jay Williams (guest of the scribe), Rich Lagrange, Doug Marshall, Wally Guest, Frank Dees, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Pete Whitbeck, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Russ Pokorny, Elwood Vanderbilt, Bob Donnelly, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, and me.