This Afghanistan issue is just sad

What happened in history on Aug. 17? Not much except for those born on Aug. 17, but on Augu. 17, 2021, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie; that does make that date a momentous occasion.

After the normal greetings, the OFs began talking about the problems in Afghanistan, which shows they do keep up with current events. After much talk, the chit-chat faded out and resolved nothing.

In some major developments, there are as many opinions as there are OMOTM. Sometimes the rights and wrongs are so obvious that most of the OFs are in agreement; however, there are a few times (whether right or wrong) these debates follow basically along political lines.

This Afghanistan issue is just sad; it has been going on for centuries with elected leaders, or believers of Muhammad, or anyone who wants his name in the news. What a mess.


Cracking up

Quite often, in normal conversation, people make a statement that either breaks everyone up, or causes a collective moan. The people making the statements have no idea what they have said that caused such a reaction and they have a perplexed look on their faces, expressing complete lack of understanding of what just happened.

Sometimes, amid all the chatter going on at a table with about 18 guys sitting to eat, those speaking wonder if anybody is listening or are they just uttering sounds into the mix of words already mouthed across the table.

This will show that, while speaking, the OFs are listening as well, a trait that comes with raising kids in large families and getting old. Males and females have this ability when they hit their sixties or so.

So the story now is that one OF was on vacation and had shut his shop down for the month and was planning on taking his boat and having a few days cruising on the beautiful waters of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River.

He was telling the OFs about his pending trip and that now, after hearing the weather report for the week, he was not going to take his boat.

Then a discussion followed on how beautiful that area was and how clear the river was. The OFs started getting a history lesson on the region, with the naming of towns in that area, and how the water for the St. Lawrence comes from the Great Lakes.

One OF said that, when a drop of water falls in the Great Lakes, it takes 500 years for that drop of water to reach the river. A few other OFs said the river at one point is five miles wide, and mentioned information about Indian outposts, and the waterfalls.

The OF with the boat said he was friends with the people at the boat museum on the river and even docks his boat there.

After all this discussion on the Thousand Islands, and all that can be done there, the OF making the trip said, “I don’t care. I still don’t like getting my boat wet!”

At which point the whole restaurant broke up, because not many of them heard the discussion about the weather about a half-hour earlier.


Easy rider?

Then another OMOTM used his cell phone for show and tell. This scribe saw the picture as the OF was passing it around and commented that he saw that on television.

The OF said that the American Legion Riders in Altamont were asked if they could scrounge up 11 motorcycles to ferry the cheerleaders for the 2021 champions of the National Arena League, the Albany Empire indoor football team, around the field.

They managed to obtain the required motorcycles and drivers to do this ugly (?) chore, and the OF was one of these drivers. The picture was of the OMOTM with the very pretty cheerleader on the back of his machine.

The OF said this was not as easy as it looked like on his cell phone. Of course many of the OFs said there was a distraction on the back of the bike that might have had something to do with it, but the OF insisted the artificial turf was very slippery for the bikes to drive on.

Many of the drivers, when they first approached the turf, almost had the bikes slip out from under them so they drove very slowly.

The scribe noticed on television some of the drivers had their feet down, and the OF said, “Yes, it was not the easiest ride going around the arena.”

Not only did they have the distraction on the back of the bike, but one underneath as well. It was a very nice picture though; the scribe also noticed that some of the OFs hung onto the phone longer than others.

The Old Men of the Mountain who showed up at the Your Way Café in Schoharie (some came on their bikes and it rained a tad while the OMOTM were in the café) were: Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Miner Stevens, Rick LaGrange, Joe Rack, Otis Lawyer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Marty Herzog, Pete Whitbeck, Jake Herzog, Russ Pokorny, Gerry Chartier, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Elwood Vanderbilt, and me.