A quiet morning reverie brings back memories of good old days on the farm

If it weren’t for church on Sunday, and The Old Men of the Mountain on Tuesday, this scribe would not know what day of the week it was. So with that reckoning, this scribe knows it was Tuesday, Sept. 19, that The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner on Route 20 in Princetown.

It would seem to be that only the early arrivers had the opportunity to enjoy the nostalgic feeling with the smells of the early morning, just a slight breeze, and a thin veil of fog filling the air, but this same atmosphere was there even for the late arrivers. Time for the OFs to just stand outside of the diner and take it in. And many OFs did, not even knowing they were doing what they were doing.

Often this time of year takes the farmers of the OMOTM back to mornings like this and walking to the barn and then sliding the barn door back to catch the sounds of the cows as they stir. The stanchions were making their own noise as the cows stood up, and the barn cats were stretching out and jumping from the cows’ backs and scurrying to the turned-over old milk-can covers waiting for their first splash of warm milk.

Those were the days!

The OFs said you did not lock your doors, and people weren’t shooting people in the streets. Where and when did this type of culture come into our society?

One OF said we brought it on ourselves with the eye in the living room called a TV.   According to this OG’s opinion, that’s when this country went to Hell in a handbasket.

“Technology,” the OF said, “for all the good it does, it is also responsible in many ways for all the bad that is going on.”

Another OF thought that it doesn’t make sense to put all the blame in one pot. This scribe thought of the movie, “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” which showed trouble in a close, tight-knit society that basically had no problems until the introduction of a simple Coke bottle. This Coke bottle completely interrupted this society’s social structure. In this movie, there was so much tension, squabbles, and unhappiness the only thing to do was to get rid of the Coke bottle.

Messy geese

This is also the time of year when not only the OFs but many people notice the familiar “V”s of the Canada geese flying south, only many OFs say they don’t go that far south. One OF said they don’t go much further south than Poughkeepsie, or Red Hook, or Wappingers Falls.

Some of the OFs who are OF transplants and once were Long Islanders (although one started out in the hills of Schoharie) said the geese do go a little further down — like Long Island — and are a complete nuisance there.

Wherever these birds decide to camp, they make a mess. One OF said on a golf course on Long Island there is what is known as the “goose poop” trap. So many geese hang out in this particular part of the course that, if you are not a very good golfer and make a short drive off the tee and land short of the poop, you might take another shot over this untidiness.

On the other hand, if some golfers think they are good golfers and plan on shooting over the poop area, you had better be darn good because, if the ball lands in that goose dropping area, that golfer is deep trouble.

Why? Number one, the droppings look like golf balls and therefore it might take half an hour to find it. The other thing that is discouraging is that swinging through all that “stuff,” the club now has to be washed because that “stuff” sprays all over.

Many golfers, if they land in the goose poop trap, take the penalty of taking another whack at the ball, because the final insult is — your shoes are ruined.

Another Island OF said that particular golf course wasn’t the only place the geese have discovered, and he started naming parking lots, and beaches that those flying manure-spreaders made completely unusable. One OF mentioned one of these places brought in dogs to shoo the geese away, but that was only a temporary fix.

Another OF said social status makes no difference. This OF said he was at one of the classiest hotels in the country where the lobby was part museum-part hotel. The OF made it clear he was not staying at the hotel but he was just perusing the museum part.

The OF said there was a beautiful large pond and fountains in the back of the hotel and no one was there. The OF said he took one step outside and saw why. The walkways around the pond were purple with goose droppings; it was almost impossible to pick your way through the field of droppings to get to the venue in the back of the hotel.

Travel talk

As we have mentioned several times, many of the OFs are travelers. This time, the chit chat was about the Grand Canyon and how this scar on the Earth takes one’s breath away. Some said that it was one thing they would like to go back to and enjoy the wonder of these vistas from the scouring of the river below, which created all the colorful rock formations.

The OFs were not too enamored with the cities of Tucson, Mesa, or Phoenix, but Flagstaff was another story. For the temperature to get much over 80 degrees in Flagstaff is unusual; however, in the other three places, 100 degrees is a good starting point.

The OFs say that is too hot. But, as one put it, it is just like anyplace else. It may be possible to get used to weather conditions anywhere — some even like Alaska. Lots of people do like Arizona.

Those OFs who made it to the Chuck Wagon in Princetown, regardless of the weather, were: Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Marty Herzog, Pete Whitbeck, John Rossmann, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Jake Hundley, Harold Guest, Roger Shafer, Otis Lawyer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Gerry Irwin, Mike Willsey, Duane Wagonbaugh, Bob Lassome, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.