Snowbirds have flown, hard-core Northeasterners remain

On Oct. 7, The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Scho/Co Diner in Schoharie. The group now has fewer people barging in on the restaurants that are on the OFs’ round-robin list of eateries because most, if not all, the snowbirds have flown

This leaves the group with the hard-core Northeasters and the few who wish they could fly with the snowbirds. This second group has many reasons for not joining the southwestern, or southern brigade — family and friends, doctors, money, and some just don’t have the guts to pull the trigger and go.

The OFs wonder sometimes why we are at the table. This breakfast, the OFs were discussing accidents they have seen, they have had, and the many close calls that were had among the OFs.

Recalling some of these accidents the OFs have had (or almost have had), the OFs noticed that once the accident started it seemed to transfer into slow motion. There are all types of accidents: falling, industrial, shop, car, and just living-type accidents.

Then again, some happen so fast (as one OF put it once) that the OF can just pick himself up from the floor and say, “What the H--- just happened?”

The OFs say no one goes out and says, “I guess I will have an accident today.” That is why they are called accidents.

One OF said, “Accidents are caused by our own stupidity or someone else’s stupidity.”

But another OF said that being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn’t help either. All the OFs now have a fear of falling down and not being able to get up.

“Even if I get down on purpose,” one OF said, “I have a fear of not being able to get up.”

This conversation was because one of the OFs had such an accident recently, and it was of the “Holy Cow, what just happened?” type. This particular OF is one hurting individual right now.

Wondering about

winter weather

With the snowbirds flying, the subject of the upcoming winter arose and what type of weather it would bring. The OFs whipped out their own Ouija boards to predict the winter.

The OFs also rely on the marking of the wooly bear. So far, that little caterpillar says a long hard beginning to the winter, and a little break in the middle, and a short hard ending. This friendly little thing is generally right, but, then again, as one OF said, so is the Farmers’ Almanac.

An OF said he just waits and watches what happens during the winter months and, come spring, analyzes what the winter was — whether it was hard, average, or not bad. Trying to predict is useless; even the weather guys can’t get the next day right much of time so why should he bother to try and figure out what is going to happen for three months.

Bionic OFs

Some of the OFs have had knees, or shoulders replaced recently, even a hip or two. One just had a piece of kidney taken out so the OFs started talking about pain pills: Some of big boys like hydrocodone, or oxycodone, or morphine, and, though it seems as if these pills take the pain away, sometimes the side effects are worse than the pain.

Some of the OFs have hallucinations that are downright scary, while others break out in hives or other types of rashes. On one occasion, an OF took only one pill and wouldn’t take another because of the hallucinations — so the doctors gave him Tylenol #3, which seemed to work but another OF said he even has a reaction to that. Weird.

However, some can take the things as if they were candy and the only side effect they have is sleep. “Sleep,” one OF said, “is the best pain killer going and maybe that is what those things are supposed to do — knock you out.”

“Heck,” one more OF said, “if that is all they are supposed to do, I will come over and whack you with a hammer every now and then.  That’ll put you to sleep.”

It is tough to beat the logic of the OFs.

Eagles for real?

The OFs at this table were talking about seeing eagles and some of the OFs hoped they were not mistaking turkey vultures for eagles since there are tons of turkey vultures around. The eagles the OFs claim to be spotting are around the Thompsons Lake area of the Helderbergs; the Camp Woodstock area, also in the Helderbergs; and along the Schoharie creek between Middleburgh and Schoharie.

Some of the OFs are waiting for some photographic proof on these majestic birds, i.e., real eagles, and not the ones that sit atop the very high tree stumps in one OF’s yard.

Those OFs who made it to the Scho/Co diner in Schoharie and didn’t have any accidents along the way were: Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Henry Witt, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Glenn Patterson, Karl Remmers, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Dave Williams, Bill Bartholomew, Dick Ogsbury, Miner Stevens, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Don Wood, Bill Krause, Duncan Bellinger, Rich Donnelly, Ted Willsey, Joe Loubier, Duane Wagonbaugh, Jim Rissacher, Bill Keal, Carl Walls, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gill Zable, Harold Grippen, and me.