The only Tuesday-morning absence allowed by bylaws is if an OF marries

Again through the fog, the drizzle, and the rain, it was a dreary Tuesday morning, July 25. Still, through the mist, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont. It is nice that, once we are through the doors of the restaurants, the feeling is not so dreary even though the OMOTM mutter about it as they belly up to the tables.

We have another OF who ignored the bylaws of this nefarious group and made an appointment (which could have been scheduled at any time) on a Tuesday morning. His absence caused some of the other OFs to grumble about him not being here.

It may be that we have to print out a new release of the bylaws of the Old Men of the Mountain. In order to do this, it will be necessary to take up a collection for the printing process because the 28-page document takes up a lot of ink and paper.

Then the OFs will have to schedule a supper meeting to vote on any amendments, additions, or corrections to the current bylaws all because one OF decided his health was more important than the OMOTM.

According to the bylaws, no OMOTM is permitted to die; have a funeral; attend a wedding; or attend someone else’s funeral, baptism, or birthday on a Tuesday morning; however, the afternoon is fine. The one exception to this is, if an OF decides to get married on a Tuesday morning, all the OFs are automatically invited to the wedding and get a chance to kiss the bride.

The clatter of chatter

As the OFs file into the Home Front Café, or any other restaurant the OFs frequent as far as that goes, the din of chatter increases. There comes a point where it is hard to distinguish one conversation from another. One OF mentioned this to the OF sitting next to him as they both were trying to converse in separate topics with other OFs.

One OF said, “Boy there is a lot of chatter going on” and the other OF said, “Yes there is, but it is all intelligent chatter.” A good observation.

There was one conversation about the quality of many of the items we purchase today. One OF said that purchasing tools is one area where the OFs must be diligent when checking quality.

It is hard to destroy an anvil because that is one tool that is meant to be abused. However, this OF said he heard of another OF breaking an anvil. Now that is hard to do.

One OF accused another OF of purchasing tools just to hang on a wall and not using them. He said the OF does this to look like a mechanic. That was like two artists squabbling and one artist telling the other artist he can’t paint. It is all subjective.

Still working

There are many OFs who are still working; most of the work is being in business for themselves and still offering their services. Some of these endeavors are buying and selling and there was a discussion of people attempting to get a deal.

The OFs say many times they offer an item and quote a price and the buyer wants it cheaper. The OFs say, “The price is the price. I will keep the machine; you can keep your money.”

One OF said, “People watch too much TV like ‘American Pickers’ and ‘Pawn Stars.’”

Commitment to country is gone

The OFs did a little time-jumping on Tuesday morning and talked about rationing, savings bonds, and saving stamps. This scribe may be wrong (and his wife maintains this scribe generally is) but he thinks many young people wouldn’t even know what the discussion was about.

The OFs remember purchasing savings bonds and going to shows where the reason for the show was to encourage people to buy bonds. Kids remember purchasing or having their parents give them savings-stamp books and, when the book was full of savings stamps, the kids could swap it in for a $25 savings bond. All this was for supporting the war effort.

Kids saved scrap metal; they also saved the aluminum foil sticks of gum came wrapped in and rolled it into a ball and turned that in. Gas, sugar, meat, and many other items were rationed. Gas was rationed in ABC classes. The OFs said farming was rationed at one class, gas for business at another, and getting back and forth to work yet another.

Squeezing the red dot on the oleomargarine (which turned the white shortening-like margarine to yellow so it looked more like butter — did I mention butter was also rationed?) was still another chore the kids liked to do. The OFs remember this as a contribution to the country and really not a chore.

The OFs think a lot of this commitment to country is gone. One OF said, “Too many takers and not enough givers.”

This OF went on to say, “Too many now think the government, that is, the country owes them a living.”

Guard geese

My heart knows

  what the wild goose knows,

And I must go

  where the wild goose goes.

The OFs next discussed what good guard dogs geese make, maybe not all geese but most. One OF had a single goose settle in his pond in front of his house and this goose wants this pond all to himself or herself. This bird attacks people, cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other geese.

The OF said a small flock of geese landed in the pond and in short time that single goose (which has been there since late spring) had chased all the interloper geese away. The other OFs mentioned having similar experiences with geese both wild and domestic. One OF said they are not afraid of anything.

Then again, it was mentioned that some of these birds have real pleasant personalities and make great pets; these OFs also said that the birds can be either wild or domesticated. One OF had a wild goose settle in and it acted like a dog. The goose hung around the house, greeted people as they visited, and followed them around.   

Those OFs who made it to the Home Front Café in Altamont, and were going home to get the snow blowers out, were: Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Lou Schenck, John Rossmann, Harold Guest; his guest, Jim Guest, Bill Bartholomew, Dave Williams, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Mace Porter, Karl Remmers, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Ted Willsey, Bob Lassome, Duane Wagonbaugh, Henry Whipple, Rich Vanderbilt, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.