Teaching dogs to drive

The Old Men of the Mountain met again in Middleburgh, this time at Mrs. K’s Restaurant on Sept. 7. At Mrs. K’s there is generally a lively crowd and Tuesday was no different.  

Topics were many, from local Indians, to upcoming trips to Maine. A tad of time-jumping here.

The art of keeping pets was mentioned and then confined to one OF who has three dogs. This OF claims that he has taught these dogs to drive. He also claims that this wasn’t hard to do.

He feels that the reason most dogs have their heads out the car window, with their ears flapping in the breeze, is so that they can learn how to operate that vehicle. So the OF thought, “Why not let them try?”

The OF said it takes quite a bit of strain off him, but their eyesight is much better than his. Also it takes more than one dog to attempt this. When anyone meets this OF on the highway, they will see what this scribe means. It is very hard to tell who is behind the wheel.


School is back, so are packs

The breakfast is on Tuesdays and some of the schools were open. This was evidenced by kids along the road waiting for the yellow conveyance to pick them up.

One OF wondered what was in all the backpacks every one of the kids had slung over his or her shoulders. Some of the packs were larger than the little kids hauling them.

The OFs remembered when they were in school and school work was done in school. There was darn little homework because on the Hill and in the valley the teachers knew, when the kids arrived home, for most of them there was work to be done, and it wasn’t schoolwork.

One OF said books are heavy, but a 6-year-old might weigh 45 to 55 pounds, and it looks like these backpacks are heavier than that. But the backpacks might have other things than books because many of these kids have computers and they don’t weigh that much.


Fair memories

The OFs talked about flies again, and fairs.

The OFs remember at least the Altamont Fair being on when they were in school, and all the kids wanted to go to the fair. That would put the fair around Labor Day, and still the flies came out.

One OF mentioned he particularly liked Kids Day at the fair. Boy, this exchange went back quite away because another OF mentioned the fair had a really cool aroma, and he still remembers that. Another OF said this OF was still smelling the barn on the farm.



It was found that some of the OMOTM travel to Maine and more than was first mentioned in last week’s column. Tourism, according to the politicos, is a big money-maker for that state.

It must be for other states too. The OFs travel all over, and many people must travel to New York. But this scribe finds that many OFs travel right here in New York and this must lump them with tourists.

In listening to the OFs chatter about their travels, Maine and Florida appear to be the two at the top of the list. Florida must be the big draw in the colder months because the OFs mention making friends with people from Michigan and Canada while they are in Florida.

Snow may call some, but the sun seems to be number one, especially with the OFs and their creaky bones.


Back In Time

The Times Union has recently copied what The Enterprise has been running as long as this scribe can remember, and that is an informative small section on 100 Years Ago Today. These are very interesting to the OFs.

So much of their conversation of “when we were young” is beginning to border on these little snippets of 100 years ago today. If the report was 80 years ago today some of the OFs would be 8 or 9 years old and able to remember it firsthand.

This is getting scary. As one OF put it, “You would think a lot has changed but it hasn’t; all they have done is covered the same old stuff with plastic, and called it ‘new’.”

Some of the OFs didn’t know about that.

As Benjamin Franklin noted, aging folks really need only three faithful friends: an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.

The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and would like to be the age of kids in junior high, or high school, but not have to learn all this new stuff were: Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Ken Parkes, Glenn Patterson, Paul Nelson, Jake Lederman, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Rich LaGrange, Roger Shafer, Otis Lawyer, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Pete Whitbeck, Duncan Bellinger, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, John Dabrvalskes, Jake Herzog, Marty Herzog, Russ Pokorny, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Rich Vanderbilt, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, and me.