Somewhere over the rainbow — as far as the scribe could see

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner. On the way to the diner, this scribe noticed it was just this side of miserable weather — drizzle, occasional fog, and a breeze.

However, the scribe received one of the most unusual atmospheric shows he has ever seen and there are a lot of days under this OF’s skin. So this scribe will bore you with what the early morning heavens offered on this day.

Just as the scribe was pulling onto Route 145 from Cotton Hill Road, he noticed a short, wide, very bright rainbow with no actual rain ahead of him. To the left was the diner. The scribe pulled into the parking lot of the diner and faced west.

The rainbow was still there; not only that, but the rainbow continued south over the hills as far as the scribe could see down Route 145. In back of the hills, for at least a mile, the sky above the hills was colored like many rainbows.

Then the rainbows started to fade from the left to right until it came to the main rainbow directly in front of the scribe. When that happened, the rainbow that was still there began to slowly start upward and it began forming an arch.

The arch continued to the right until it rested on the Middleburgh Central School in the village and then the colors exploded in a bright red and then the whole rainbow vanished. This was just an amazing sight that lasted for some time.  

The Old Men of the Mountain who were already in the restaurant did not see the sky show just outside the windows. The OFs inquired of the scribe what he was doing out in the parking lot for so long, and this scribe had to tell them what was going on.

This scribe told them, if he ever painted a painting depicting the event, no one would believe it and they would say it was all made up. And here this scribe is with his camera on the counter in the kitchen.


Lost and found

An OMOTM was indirectly involved with one of the major news events of the day and that was the 82-year-old gentleman who was lost and an army of volunteers with professionals searched for and eventually found the gentleman in a brush pile in the woods.

This gentleman had turned off Route 443 onto Stage Road. Stage Road has a sharp turn a short way in from 443 and, if you do not make that turn, the driver will go directly down the OMOTM’s driveway, which the old gent did.

Then the old gent continued on through the OMOTM’s barnyard, passed the barn and hen house, onto a field road. The old gent proceeded down the OMOTM’s field road through a stone-wall gate opening onto a logging road that went into the wood lot.

The old gent drove along the logging road in the woods until eventually he hit a tree. He then left the vehicle and, not too far from the car, somehow collapsed in a brush pile by the pond where he was later found.

This scribe again remembers part of this trek very well because one day this scribe went to this particular OF’s barn to get some building material. (This was the same barn the old gent drove by.)

Anyway, the OF who owned the material and the scribe started hauling this stuff out of the barn. In the process, the two OFs disturbed a hornet’s nest. The OF who owned the barn was wearing bibs, his usual attire, and the hornets must have liked the bibs, or aftershave, because he attracted these nasty critters and some hornets flew down these bibs.

The OF with the bibs did a dance that was never seen before to the eerie music of screams. This came to be later known as the “Dance of the Hornets.”


Ritual replaces routine

The OFs discussed getting dressed in the morning. After many OFs reach their seventies, this daily routine is now a ritual — no more a routine.

To many, it could be considered their daily exercise. What used to take just a few minutes now takes half-an-hour to 45 minutes.

Bending over and pulling on compression socks is like a workout on an exercise machine. Getting a T-shirt hung up on the back that maybe is damp or is being put on over something else is a losing battle. If the OF isn’t a complete contortionist, the advice from the OFs is: Don’t try this alone; get help pulling the shirt down.

Another struggle is with twists and turns, tugs and pulls of muscles being used to the max just putting on a shirt that would normally be like using these same muscles in a gym. The OFs maintaining their balance while standing on one leg to put on their jeans is another good test the OF goes through getting dressed.

It is a good thing some of the OGs don’t say to heck with this and show up at the breakfast naked. This scribe thinks, if he showed up this way, his body is so wart-covered and wrinkled no one would notice anyway.

The OMOTM have mentioned before how lush this year has been, how thick and green the foliage, how the flowers along the highways (some people call them weeds) are like the foliage — thick and beautiful. It is like driving through a well-manicured garden. The Rose of Sharon is still in bloom like it’s bloomed all year.

The Old Men of the Mountain traveled to the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburg, and many huddled in the restaurant while the sky put on an aerial display akin to having the rare opportunity to view the Northern Lights, and these OMOTM were: Bill Lichliter, Kevin McDonald, Frank Fuss, Ed Goff, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Miner Stevens, Gerry Chartier, Pete Whitbeck, Doug Marshall, George Washburn, Russ Pokorny, Jake Lederman, Ted Feurer, Rev. Jay Francis, Jake Herzog, Ron Tozer, Herb Bahrmann, Dick Dexter, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, and me.