Café is a beacon, turning a dark morning into a good day

Here we go again. It seems like this scribe just sent this article to the paper. However, it is Oct. 1 as I write this and the year is flying by. The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café and we are ready for a weather report on this particular Tuesday.

The early arrivals (there are quite a few OMOTM who have things to do and they do arrive early) traveled in the dark and driving rain, with fog on the mountain thrown in for good measure. What fun! Even so the Your Way Café was there as a beacon with its lights on, coffee brewing, and the staff ready. That eliminates the weather and turns it into a good morning.

It is strange how conversations morph from one subject to another within a single topic. This exchange started out with TV shows; one of the shows was “American Pickers.”

Many of the OFs like this show because they have much of what the pickers are looking for right in their garages and barns. One OF said his whole house was furnished in what the pickers are looking for.

Then it quickly led to what must be an OF trait — the observation of the props used in many TV shows. This began as a discussion of Adirondack chairs and what is a true Adirondack chair and what are similar but not true Adirondack chairs.

This discussion then somehow worked into a discussion on Korean and World War II vehicles — especially the jeeps.

One OF said that the Korean War used World War II jeeps, and another OF who was in the Korean War raised an objection, saying they didn’t use World War II jeeps in Korea; the jeeps he drove were newer.

This OF even had a picture to prove it. The Korean War was from about June 1950 until 1953. The jeep was already modified by that time and called the CJ 5 and, when the Korean War broke out, they just used the same vehicle, calling it the MB38 and these vehicles were then all painted olive green and sent overseas.

Proving who you are

Again, conversation was about getting the enhanced license and one OF asked what he needed at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get an enhanced license. The reply from many of the OFs was to bring everything, including the name of the boat your mother and father came over on.

The OF replied, “Will the Mayflower do?”

The OF said he does have a passport (not much help here). All that will do is allow the OF to use that instead of a birth certificate. This OF still needs all that other stuff.

One OF said he bets they will still send him home for something. This OF thinks it is a contest between the staff at DMV as to who can send the most people back to bring in more information in a single day.

Hints on downsizing

This scribe does not know the reason for the frequent discussions on downsizing. Maybe it is the snowbirds leaving the nest to warmer climes at this time of year. The OMOTM had another OF at the breakfast Tuesday morning shaking hands and commenting he “will see ya next year.”

This time, the downsizing was on what to do with items you don’t want, the kids don’t want, and friends and neighbors don’t want. One OF suggested Craigslist.

This OF started telling of items he has put on Craigslist and how fast they sold. Some of the OFs who are not that computer savvy wondered how that worked because they have tons of stuff to get rid of and some of it is in pretty good condition.

One OF said he isn’t going to get rid of anything. He is going to leave all his possessions for his kids to hassle out. This OF said he still is using most of these things and rarely purchases anything that he isn’t going to use.

The OF who uses Craigslist says he has sold some pretty big-ticket items and has had friends who have done the same. One friend of the OF sold almost a house full of furniture in 43 minutes. Hmmmm.

Another OF mentioned that there were other online sites available that it was possible to sell items on but he didn’t know how any of them worked.

Another OF said, “Do they take anything? I would like to put the ole lady up for sale and I wouldn’t ask much either; heck, I would even deliver her for free.”

Hard work

The OFs, as a rule, at each breakfast discuss work; we have said this many times. This time, the talk was about what work was the worst job that most of the OFs who were farmers had, but were glad to leave. 

Those jobs were hooking up the stone boat to a couple of horses and then going to pick rocks. That was the hardest work for man and beast on the farm, the OFs thought.

Rocks in the field do not need any seeds — they just come up year after year. Gathering them up and taking them to the hedgerow, or the rock pile, was back-breaking work, and the horses didn’t like it either.

Dropping the hook of the chain on the stone boat into the whiffletree would make the horses turn their heads and give you the dirtiest look ever because they knew what was coming.

However, one OF mentioned that he would rather pick stones than mow hay away in the barn on a hot, humid day.

Those OFs who drifted back into their younger, more robust days, when they didn’t go to bed hurting, but now go to bed with tons of hurts and then wake up in the morning with the same hurts, were glad to shed some of those hurts for a little while at the Your Way Café in Schoharie, and those OFs were: Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, John Rossmann, Bob Benac, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Jamie Dairah, Richard Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Joe Rack, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Otis Lawyer, Rick LaGrange, Ken Parks, Karl Remmers, Pete Whitbeck, Lou Schenck, Herb Bahrmann, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Marty Herzog, Mike Willsey, Joel Willsey, John Dabrvalskas, and me.