Traveling hither and yon across the USA teaches more than school

The magic of Tuesday draws the Old Men of the Mountain out of the mountains and to the restaurant of the day for breakfast. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh was the draw. Some of the breakfasts the OFs pack away on Tuesday are such that they must be the only meal of the day.

The good ole US of A is a big country. It is the fourth largest country in the world behind Russia, Canada, and China, and yet many of the OFs have traveled the breadth and depth of it. Tuesday morning, there was much discussion on the people, some places, and the atmosphere of different locals, from here in the Northeast, to the tropical weather of the Deep South. It is different where’er you go.

If one leaves by plane, in a matter of a few hours in the USA, the OFs mentioned leaving one area in mukluks and mackinaw, then getting off in sunglasses and shorts. Of course, the reverse of this is true.

The OFs who travel north and south noticed the biggest change in the weather; those who go east and west not so much. Those traveling top to bottom experience the change more because the north-south latitudes are greater than the east-west latitudes. Key West is much closer to the equator than the tip of California. Texas and Arizona are getting down there.

One OF mentioned that a relative of his who lives in Texas now, but who occasionally comes to the OMOTM breakfast, said they are getting excited down there because a cold front is coming through. It is going to get down to 96 degrees.

As the OFs discussed their travels hither and yon, the names of places and what it was like in other states was mentioned quite often. The OFs discussed travels in our huge country like all they are doing is going to the store for a loaf of bread not realizing that some of our states are larger than many countries.

Looking at Canada, the same thing happens. You can hop in a car, plan a trip, and go from one coast to the other, from Halifax to Ketchikan, British Columbia, Canada. All the OF would need is money for gas, food, and lodging, that is a 6,500-mile trip.

One OF took his kids out of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school for awhile, and traveled from Maine down the east coast to Florida, across the bottom of the country up the west coast to Washington, and then across the top back to Township, Knox, New York. Needless to say, the OMOTM are a well traveled group.

One OF mentioned that in our country he found he has trouble understanding some of the people when he travels or stays South, particularly in Louisiana when he gets in Cajun country. Another OF used to travel to Cajun country all the time and he even played the Cajun accordion with groups in Cajun country.

One OF told of an experience his family had in traveling. This OF has an aversion to snakes; the OF definitely does not like them. On the trip, one of the parks they stopped at had a serpentarium (a snake house) and the kids wanted to see it.

The OMOTM said no way would they stop now. He was hoping they might forget about stopping on the way back, but they did not. The OF said he only purchased tickets for the family excluding him. He told them he would wait in the car.

The kids told the dad that, when they went in, all the harmless snakes were loose and crawling on the floor, some of which were pretty big, according to the kids. The OF said, if he went in there, he would have fainted on the spot. Some of the OFs think that this approach would be a surprise to many visitors, not only this OF.


Fall predictions

The OFs, as an aged group, talked about the weather (again) but this time in relation to the type of fall we will have this year because of the unusually wet summer, and all the lush foliage. The OFs say this year they have no idea what it will be like.

Some thought that the leaves have produced all the sugar the plants are going to need and the leaves will just dry up and fall off. Others think that, if we have a good cold snap, and some bright sunny days, the carpet of colors is going to be great.

While another OF said he is just going to wait and see. He thinks it is just going to be the same as all other falls. Some spots will be bright; in some areas, the colors will just be dull as always.

To this OF, predicting the fall is just like predicting how much snow we will get. The OF said he will see what the Farmers’ Almanac says. That book is usually a pretty good guide.



It’s time again when the Old Men of the Mountain offer their condolences and prayers to the family of a long-time, faithful Old Man of the Mountain who passed away on Sept. 26, Harold Grippen. Harold was 93 earth-years old when entering into the body of Old Men of the Mountain and their own private cloud in heaven. Our sympathy and condolences are extended to Harold’s family.

Those Old Men of the Mountain still roaming the third rock from the sun met at Mrs. K’s Restaurant, were: Joe Rack, Pete Whitbeck, Bill Lichliter, Roger Shafer, Rick LaGrange, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Doug Marshall, Kevin McDonald, Ken Parks, Jake Lederman, Ted Feurer, Roland Tozer, Marty Herzog, Jake Herzog, Duncan Bellinger, Herb Bahrmann, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, Elwood Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgetts, Bob Donnelly, Paul Guiton, John Dab, and me.