Old Man Winter gives the OFs plenty to do, except the OF who has moved to a condo

On Oct. 21, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Home Front Café in Altamont.

The question was asked: What time do the OMOTM meet? Because our bylaws are so extensive, the time is obliterated: One page says one thing and another page says something else.

As this is a collection of OFs that get together, the time for each is arbitrary. Some of the OFs are quite ambulatory while others are not. Some ride with early risers, and some share transportation with those who were not farmers and arise a little later.

Still, some who do the chauffeuring for that day have quite a trip to round up all their OF passengers. Adding all this together makes for an interesting XYZ equation. So the OFs get to the restaurants when they get there.

The restaurants understand this; they know they are dealing with the senior section of our society, and the restaurants, God bless them, know that, if the OFs want to wear purple, they will.


Now that fall is on its way out, the OFs talked some about winterizing their homes, putting away the summer items the OFs hauled out in the spring back to the winter-resting places. This, to many of the OFs, is a lot of work, seeing that the lawn mowers, weed eaters, tractors, and other gas-engine powered lawn equipment is ready for their winter hibernation.

All the lawn furniture is undercover, or covered up, hoses are drained and stored, outside water is shut off, the snow blower is ready to go, the plow is on the truck and ready, and there is enough wood in the shed. This is what keeps the OFs — OFs.

All this activity, and just planning for summer and winter and all that is involved, may be one of the thought processes that keeps Alzheimer’s at bay.

As always, there is one spoilsport. One OF said he sold his home and has moved into a condo so this OF doesn’t have to worry about anything, not even plowing the driveway.  He has no storm windows to put up, no old caulking to be redone, no hay bales around the foundation — none of that.

“Hey,” as one OF put it, “Now what are you going to do for fun?”

Camera shy

This scribe continually reports on how many of the OFs are at least up to the 20th Century on some of the newer technology with computers, cell phones, GPS systems, and the like. We are in an age that much of what is done can be, and will be, caught on camera.

There is no more hiding behind the barn with the lady next door, or picking your nose, or running around half naked to be comfortable; it will now be fodder for some camera somewhere. The OFs can whip out their cell phones, or iPads, or whatever electronic device is at hand as fast as anyone and record it.

Car conundrum

A never-ending conversation with the OFs seems to be OFs and old cars. These conversations are what keeps the interest up and subsequently preserves the history of cars (and it doesn’t have to be only cars) and Tuesday morning it happened to be Volkswagens.

An OF reported that, when they were young, they had an old V.W. This OF couldn’t remember if it was one with the small taillights or not.

The OFs’ memories now and again can be quite vague unless it is something of real interest; apparently, the OF was not interested in that old car. What is interesting to some is not interesting to others so the Volkswagen must not have impressed this OF until now because the V.W.’s with the small tail lights (that still run) are in popular demand.

One OF suggested that in World War II we were trying to blast the Germans to kingdom come; now we run around in their cars, and tout German ingenuity. The same with the Japanese and the reliability of their cars, and most of the vehicles with Japanese names sell like hot cakes. It is a good thing memories are short.

“Elderly” is subjective

It was brought up that the OFs should respect our elders.

Well, who the heck is more elder than the OFs? What elder were they talking about?

This scribe was furrowing his brow at this one until the scribe found out he was the elder in question. This scribe in not elder, there are more elder than this scribe in the OMOTM group.

The OFs as a whole take exception to the use of elderly by the newspapers, TV, and radio. An example recently used in a local newspaper stated, “The car in the accident was driven by a 72-year-old elderly man.”

Hey!  To the OFs, that driver is just a kid, not elderly.

Who determines what age is “elderly?”

Some young reporter on the scene might call the person elderly, but, if the reporter on the scene is a year or so from retirement, he might just say a 72-year old man, and leave out elderly.

Why is elderly even used the OFs want to know. It is just letters to fill up space; it has nothing to do as an adjective to describe anything.

The word is subjective; a 72-year old person is sufficient, that is enough of a description. Would you say a 72-year old wrinkled old hag fell down the stairs? Wrinkled old hag does nothing — just a 72-year old lady fell down the stairs. The OFs are robust, not elderly!

The OFs have spoken.

Those robust OFs who made it to the Home Front Café in Altamont under their own power were: Jim Rissacher, Roger Chapman, Henry Witt, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Frank Pauli, Harold Guest, Dave Williams, Jim Heiser, Otis Lawyer, Chuck Aleseio, Glenn Patterson, Bill Krause, Lou Schenk, Mace Porter, Henry Whipple, Bill Keal, Ted Willsey, and me. However, three OFs made it to the wrong restaurant and they were: Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, and Gill Zabel — and these three apparently had a good meal.