We have OFs with muskets, swords, and cannons

Tuesday, July 11, and our area needs rain. It looks like the whole country needs rain, but not a deluge; a nice three-day steady, soaking rain would do it.

Regardless of the weather, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s Family Restaurant in Middleburgh. It has been really nice weather to go for a short ride over the mountain and into the valleys. Schoharie, Mohawk, and even the Champlain valley — the small towns and villages are at their best right now.

At one end of the table there was a discussion on black powder. This is powder that goes boom, not the black powder spread over the eggs in the morning. Re-enactors use this powder in considerable amounts during educational re-enactments of times before we had modern firearms.

Many of these events included uniforms and clothing of the period.  Our area is lucky enough to have many authentic locations for these demonstrations to take place like the Old Stone Fort, the New Windsor Cantonment, or even the Mabee Farm.

Also, there are people concerned enough to take part in these re-enactments. Again in our area we have people who partake in doing demonstrations of the Renaissance period.

Unfortunately, none of the OMOTM is in any group that participates in that era of showing history of the period with royal knights in shining armor prancing around. We do, however, have some OFs who can demonstrate the Neanderthal period just by waking up and getting dressed for the day, scribe included.

On Tuesday morning, we discovered we do have a OF who owns his own gun and participates in cannon shoots. These are not cannons of today but guns of the revolution, actually before and after that period. We have OFs with muskets, swords, and now cannons.

This scribe has yet to sit at a table where there are OMOTM who shoot old-fashioned bows (and arrows). The scribe thinks they are the longbow, not these things that go through a series of pulleys and can shoot an arrow through a two-by-four.

Oh, the talents of the OFs! This column has quite often mentioned the many varied talents and interests of the OFs and now we add to this group a cannon re-enactor.



In Voorheesville, there once was a pizza place called “Smitty’s.” Smitty’s is no longer there and many of the OFs liked going to Smitty’s. The OFs began reminiscing about the place and telling a few stories about their trips to Smitty’s.

The OFs like watching the train run around the ceiling of the place. Without posting signs, a bar entrance, and a dining-room entrance were available, and, after making a couple of trips to Smitty’s, most people knew the ropes. 

Along with this conversation, some of the OFs thought of another place to eat and this time it was not in the valley but at the foothills on the way to Thacher Park. There is a little place to eat in New Scotland called Emma Cleary’s.

This is another place the OFs say is good once the OF learns the ropes on how to order. The ambiance? Well, the dining area is square with tables. That’s about it, but for some reason this eatery seems to be loaded with a certain ambiance.

This discussion was brought up about many places where we go to eat. We talked about how some places go all out to try and create an atmosphere and nothing happens.

These places have fabric tablecloths, live music — the works — and it just doesn’t connect, while others do the same thing and the OF can’t get in the place without a half-hour wait, or reservations in advance.

Then one OF suggested someone could purchase four old outhouses, stick them together, cook burgers on a grill in a shed in the back, and it becomes the best place in town. Go figure.

One OF wondered why a slab of bacon is a slab of bacon but a BLT in one place is nothing like a BLT in another; the same goes for a tuna sandwich. A can of tuna is a can of tuna — how can the same fish taste so different in different places?

One OF suggested he thinks half the OFs don’t know what they are eating; it is just the comradery along with all the yakking that goes on, yet some are pseudo connoisseurs and have taste buds that can detect one grain of pepper too much.


“Don’t ever move!”

One of the OFs is moving. The name will be suppressed so the law can’t find the OF; however, it isn’t very far.

The advice from this OF is the same advice the OF received from another OF who moved to warmer climes just to get out of New York’s weather. The advice was “You OF, don’t ever move!”

The moving OMOTM, OF now understands why this OF gave that advice. It is work, it is confusing, and it is very tiring.

Not only is it physical, and at the ages of the OFs who now take hours to do what they used to do in minutes, it is understanding who, how, and what agency to let know the address has changed, let alone having to let all your friends (if they are still alive) know the new phone number.

This is unless the OF is astute enough to know how to operate a “smart phone” and not have to change the number.

Those OFs who made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and did not show up in animal skins were Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Paul Muller, Doug Marshall, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Ken Parks, Russ Pokorny, Frank Dees, Jake Herzog, Wayne Gaul, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Pete Whitbeck, Robie Osterman, Gerry Chartier, Duncan Bellinger, Rich Vanderbilt, Elwood Vanderbilt, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Ed Goff, Johnny Dap, and me.