Driving through tunnels of color after colorful conversations

Tuesday, Oct. 18, was a rare day because the Old Men of the Mountain locale had not lost the beautiful colors of fall to either being blown off, or taken down by a hard rain shortly after showing off their colorful foliage for this fall season. This year, the weather hung in there for quite some time so the Old Men of the Mountain could get out (along with many others) and enjoy the show.

On Tuesday, the OMOTM drove to Schoharie to have breakfast at the Your Way Café while it was still dark. Along with the early morning dark and the sun just waking up, there was not much to see outside the range of the headlights, but going home from the Your Way Café the OFs were able to drive through tunnels of color.


Lithium batteries

One OF gave what was like a report or a lecture on how lithium batteries were made and what went into making one. If the source of information is legit, and it seems so, this type of battery manufacturer uses pretty nasty stuff to produce one.

Seems like the same battle between the biggies and who has the most clout politically because money was not the problem. For instance, Firestone and Ford argued about what material they should use to make tires.

Ford again and farmers disagreed with the steel companies on what to make car bodies out of, soybeans or steel. Tesla and Edison bickered on whether to use AC or DC; no matter what the world choices are, the world just keeps rolling along.

The OF’s dissertation was interesting. The OFs do talk about things other than old cars, trucks, farms, and machinery.



Schenectady had very interesting early inhabitants. Edison, Steinmetz, Westinghouse — and one OF at the breakfast was quite familiar with Westinghouse. The birthplace of George Westinghouse was in Old Central Bridge in Schoharie County.

Westinghouse was the inventor of the air brake and, as this OF resided in Central Bridge for some time, he knew a lot about Westinghouse. The OF is quite a historian and is reasonably versed on the history of the locality.


Revolutionary raids

Talking about Westinghouse led to another discussion on little-known history. One OF discussed the Brant raid on Schoharie County during the American Revolution.

The fertile land of the county was very important to the Revolution especially in supplying food to George Washington and his army. Brant subsequently burned many of the homes and crops during raids on the county.

This is well-known history but the rest of the story is not. The OFs talking about all this were in agreement that most of the wooden homes were burned; however, the buildings of stone or brick were left standing.

These included the Reformed Church (Old Stone Fort) and George Mann’s residence (George Mann Tory Tavern), which were spared basically because of what (or who) they were, and the construction of the buildings.

One wooden building was spared because of who lived in that building and were neither Tories nor revolutionaries. The building housed slaves who worked the land and the Indians did not burn this place.

The way the OFs explained it is that now the building is being restored and has not been visible because of the vegetation that had grown around it. This undergrowth has been cleared and the structure is now visible.

A true split-rail fence has also been constructed around the site. This scribe cannot find this on Google to check it out but it seems these OFs know all about it and they are from the area. Sounds plausible, and similar to the Schenectady massacre.


Social Security

Of course, a concern to all the Old Men of the Mountain is Social Security. At this time of such high inflation and prices on many items, which seem to be going up daily, the OMOTM have had to cut back on items that are to some necessities, like medicines, and groceries, throw in gas to get to treatments, and any little extra they can get helps.

The OFs understand Social Security is supposed to go up 8.7 percent in 2023. The OFs don’t want to wish their life away but they would like to see 2023 get here in a hurry.

The OFs think they will have to see how things work out for 2023, or even late 2022, to see what the inflation rate will be like. One OF said right now he does not think the 8.7 is going to cut the mustard.

Although the OF also added he is not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The OF said he is too old, hurts too much, and he has no idea how the new technology works to get another job to augment his income.

Besides, the OF said, it now takes him two to three hours just to get dressed in the morning and sometimes he says he announces to himself, “To heck with it” and mogs around in his slippers, PJs, and bathrobe all day and has a good time doing it.

“Saves gas,” the OF said. “If Walmart would let greeters dress like that, I might consider taking a job there.”

Then another OF said, “Hey, dressed like that you would be considered an elite some of the getups the people at Walmart wear.”

The OFs want to show up at the Your Way Café in Schoharie in their Hydrogen fuel-celled powered vehicles and do away with all the lithium, and fossil fueled stuff and these Old Men of the Mountain were: Doug Marshal, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Roger Shafer, Joe Rack, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Paul Nelson, Miner Stevens, Rick LaGrange, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Jake Herzog, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Duncan Bellinger, Marty Herzog, Paul Whitbeck, Pete Whitbeck, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Paul Guiton, Lou Schenck, Herb Bohrmann, Rev. Jay Francis, Steve Vanderbilt, and me.