Youthful years are different now because of the internet

With the nice sleeping weather, this scribe is finding it harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning.   The scribe is still awake but wants to just lie there — nothing hurts, and the day looks fine, and there are no disasters (yet).

However, duty calls because it is Tuesday, Aug. 13, and it is time for the Old Men of the Mountain to gather at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg.

In order to find our way to Duanesburg, almost all of the OMOTM have to travel west on either Route 88, or Route 7, or the Schoharie Turnpike. Those of us who traveled on the Schoharie Turnpike noticed the bright red sun; it looked like you could reach out and touch it, or drive right into it. The OMOTM noticed this because on routes 7 or 88, the red sun appeared in the heavens like it should. This was quite an optical illusion that caught the attention of the OFs on the turnpike.

The OFs also noticed that this year the sides of the roads are like bouquets with asters, trefoil, Queen Anne’s lace, and whatever other weeds are mixed in, and the OFs wonder if it is the salt on the highway that produced this proliferation of splendor because most fields are not like this. There was a very wet spring this year and some of the OFs thought that might have brought forth the beautiful flora, and also hastened the growth of the trees.

Watching the OFs order their breakfast was interesting on Tuesday morning. For some reason, this scribe tuned into a few of the OFs as they ordered breakfast. Not all the OFs, because pretty soon the collection of OGs becomes rather noisy as more and more show up.

But this clan is a fussy bunch of old guys. Each breakfast had its own little twist. The waitress must have her own style of shorthand to get all this down and get it right.

Pent-up energy was released through work

The OFs’ talk drifted back to the forties and fifties and early mornings on the farm, and the radio playing in the barn. Most of the farmers back then found that cows enjoyed listening to music and produced better.

This scribe has mentioned before WGY and the early morning farm show with the Chanticleer, John Charles Stevenson. The OFs were drifting back into a quieter, more peaceful time.

This brought up all that is going on currently with the young people and how they are behaving. The OFs pinned it down to basically two things:

— The advent of the internet with constant news and constant shoot-em-ups; and,

— Pent-up energy that has to go someplace.

In the locale of the mountains, the OFs said, we were no different. We had the pent-up energy, only it had a release and it was called work. The OFs got into farm-boy trouble but it was nothing like today. An OF said we all had guns, many had more than one, but would never think about shooting another person.

What’s wrong with this picture?

An OF who lives on the water and has a few boats said that, over the weekend, he had house company. The OF said he was having breakfast and the OF kept looking out the window and finally said to his company, “Something is not right out there.”

There was a deer on the lawn but that wasn’t the problem; deer appear quite often. The more the OF looked, it finally occurred to him! A boat was missing.

He went out to check and, sure enough, a boat was missing. Well, that would dampen your day. Now what? The OF didn’t say.

Smart fish

Speaking of boats, the OFs queried another OF who is a fisherman, and wanted to know how he was doing. The reply was “not well” because he was fishing for a particular type of fish.

The OFs said the fish are there; the OF should be catching them. The  OF (who fishes) said the fish are smarter than he is and know what is going on.

Then the OFs started talking about different lures; the OF said he has tried them but claimed the fish are not that dumb. This OF says, as soon as his boat is in the water, the word gets out among the fish that he is on the water trying to catch them.

Another OF said it is not only fish but he thinks rabbits and deer do the same thing. This OF says he can walk in the woods by his place with a stick and the deer come so close he could tap them on the butt with the stick.

“Let me go in the woods with a gun,” the OF continued, “and I think there is not a deer within miles.”

One more OF then advised the fisherman to leave his poles and tackle box on the dock and the fish might just jump in the boat.

No one will ever accuse the OFs of having deep, tedious, meaningful discussions.

Canine companions

The animal vein chit chat continued but this time it was all about dogs some of the OFs had. Combining all the conversations, one would think some dogs were people and part of the family. Sleeping on the bed. Special diets.

Nothing happens for the start of the day until the mutt is taken care of, nothing even for the kids — the dog comes first. This scribe wonders if the dogs know all this.

The OFs insist that dogs, and even cats, can tell the weather before the weatherman comes on the radio or TV and tells listeners the area where the weather is going to happen. One OF said his dog heads to the bedroom before there is even a sound of thunder off in the distance.

A few of the OFs said their animals act peculiarly before a thunderstorm and the OFs say they have learned the dog’s signals.  Who is training whom?

Those OFs who made it to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg, and all their animals were behaving normally, were: Roger Chapman, Miner Stevens, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Josh Buck, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Art Williams, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Roger Shafer, Marty Herzog, Peter Whitbeck, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Gerry Chartier, Rev. Jay Francis, Mike Willsey, Jamie Dairah, Gerry Irwin, Ted Feurer, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, and me.