The OFs have the best of three worlds: Good friends, good food — and no need to fix it

A tad chilly this Tuesday morning, Oct. 24, but it is the Northeast and this is what it is.

The Old Men of the Mountain who ventured out of bed this morning had breakfast at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh.

Some OMOTM have breakfast served to them at home; some though married do what the little lady says, “Hey, fellow, I wait on you all day so you can make your own d--- breakfast,” and the OF does.

Then some have the part of their life that is not the best and are all alone (and not because of their wishes) and these OFs have to make breakfast by and for themselves.

At least once a week, the OMOTM don’t have to worry about it; the OFs have the best of all three worlds. Good friends, good food, and all the effort the OF has to do, other than getting to the right restaurant, is tell the server what he wants, and hope there is enough in his pocket to pay for it.

One of the so-called founding members of this rag-tag outfit had a personality as big as the whole outdoors. Many stories are told of this OF; one story was how most of the time coming back from the dump, he had more than what he took to the dump.

Over the years, the Old Men of the Mountain have had members with enough money that banks would ask them for a loan; however, one would never know it. Bibs and Dickey shirts were the basic outfit, sometimes even at formal affairs.

This scribe was fortunate enough to be good friends with this OF, and he was the next-door neighbor to boot. This OF wore a piece of rope for a belt when he wore jeans, and would say, “Why pay for a belt when this does the same thing and is always the right size?”

One day on a trip to the dump, this OF returned with one brand new shoe in the OF’s correct size. The OF’s wife questioned why he brought back the one shoe.

The OF replied, “Who knows, some day there might be another one tossed and I will have a pair; they might not match, but it will be a pair.” Perfect logic.

That shoe did come into play later on. This scribe was helping the OF rebuild his barn after a fire.

The OF and this scribe were playing construction among the rafters for the roof and this OF accidentally drove a nail right through the shoe nailing it to the joist, just missing the big toe and the one next to it.

The OF worked his way out of the shoe and finished the day with one shoe on, and the other foot barefoot, and that shoe is still nailed to that joist till this day.

Much, much more could be told about the antics of this OF and those around him and, if this OF’s wife had not kicked out those who gathered in the OF’s kitchen so she could get something done, more likely than not, there would be no Old Men of the Mountain.


Sure shot

Now for some current notes from the OMOTM. One topic was the difference between trap shooting and skeet shooting. OK, but there was no information on what the difference was, only that they discussed the sports.

Trap shooting is from a single location, only at different angles, with the clay target going away from the shooter. Skeet is a little more challenging. There are two clays which go up from different heights and the shooter is to get both.

These heights are varied as the session goes on and the clays cross over each other. Talk about hand-eye coordination. Thank you, internet.


Sleeper hold

Another topic, according to the reporter, was how the OFs discussed old-time wrestling. Back in our day, when the OFs were in their teens, wrestling was like choreographed dances (gee, old people use that term a lot — “back in my day”).

That hasn’t changed, and back then there were no ladies battling it out. The report states the OFs discussed the sleeper hold, which is very dangerous because it shuts off blood to the brain and, if applied too long, can cause death or brain damage.

When used in wrestling, it is often thought both parties were in on it and the fainting (supposedly) was faked. However, none of those guys are going to admit it.

Wrestling was on early TV, with a small screen, and in black and white, a staple. Many people got into it and would swear it was real.


Battling Mother Nature

Another report was on an OF who has property on Warner Lake and to get there one has to go over a rickety, little wooden bridge that crosses a small stream running from in back and to the side of this OFs property, down to the lake.

Apparently, this year, with all the rain and wet weather, this stream has gone from stream to creek and the OF is fighting the erosion of this running water on his property. In the battle of humans against Mother Nature, as in real life, Mother usually wins out.

Let’s hope this OF can divert Mother Nature if he can’t win the battle.

That little wooden bridge holds up because it is only holding half the vehicle; the front wheels are off the bridge and on the ground just before the rear wheels are on the bridge.

Those Old Men of the Mountain who made it to the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh for breakfast no matter what the situation was or is were: Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Miner Stevens, Marty Herzog, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, Lou Schenck, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Rev. Jay Francis, Ed Goff, Doug Marshall, Frank Fuss, Frank Dees, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Gerry Chartier, and unfortunately not me again.