Inflation puts a nick in the fun factor of meeting for breakfast

The Old Men of the Mountain meet every Tuesday at one restaurant or another. The Tuesday for this week, on Oct. 25, was at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown. Usually the OMOTM do not concern themselves with the cost of breakfast; however, in a few short months, it has jumped up considerably.

The OFs can understand this because the restaurant is at the end of the product line; all their costs have gone up and they can’t stay in business selling their product at cost or below. Now the OFs have to add the price of fuel (or call it energy) so the breakfasts are not as inexpensive as they once were.

This puts a little nick in the fun factor of gathering to enjoy each others’ company at least once a week to leave some of the cares, aches, and pains behind for a little while.

One OF related the current upward spiral of pricing on one factor: energy.

Other OFs based it on supply and demand. Some said the Covid pandemic played quite a role in the whole thing by lack of workers to produce necessary products and that contributed to lack of supply to common demand.

One OF thought the catching up is slower than thought, while another OF said the pandemic is not over. Then one of the nonagenarians (now that this scribe is very close to becoming one himself, the scribe loves using that word) just muttered, “So what else is new? … Been through them before,” and took another bite of his omelet.


Death is a sneaky S.O.B.

Then the subject of nursing homes, and apartment living came up and not many of the OFs were happy with either one. Nursing homes were out, according to the OFs.

The Eskimo practice of putting the OFs on an ice floe and shoving them out to sea was not a bad idea. One OF said he thought this was just folklore and never really did happen, but he too agreed with the idea and thought it is better than a nursing home.

An OF wondered why, when we did what we were sent here to do, didn’t we just fall asleep and not wake up. Like one of the founders of this group did. His name was Herbie, and Herbie felt fine, went to bed, and never woke up.

This scribe could vouch for that because just a couple days earlier this scribe and Herbie were out in the shop, making a huge frame for a very large map. He was fine then and even the next day when checking to see if the frame was OK.

Another OF commented that, if that is the way it was going to be, it would be necessary to keep all your businesses in order all the time. Nah! This was the answer for any one of us because the OFs could leave here this morning and be squashed by a run-away bulldozer. None of us really knows when we will be called up yonder.

That ain’t exactly true came an answer. If you killed your mother-in-law because she ticked you off too many times and you got the death penalty for doing it and the day was a given, you definitely knew when and how. No matter how you look at it, Death is a sneaky S.O.B.


Winter winds

Now the subject of winter came up and the winds of winter became our apprehension. Insulation of our homes was the topic of concern.

Many of the OFs live in, or have lived in, older homes. By older, in our conversation, it meant older like over 100 years.

Insulation at that time was considered, but the technology of today was not even around to produce the products that insulate the homes in the year of 2022.

Back then, glass was still full of bubbles, and rippled. The use of only one pane of glass was used with old-fashioned putty that hardened.

As one OF said, storm windows weren’t considered until much later. On his home, there were workable shutters that could be closed during cold, wintry blasts. Included with this were heavy drapes that were pulled shut to keep out the cold drafts.

The OF said he piled straw and leaves around the foundation to keep out some of the cold. Though the house was large, in the wintertime many rooms were shut off until springtime.

One OF mentioned he used to sleep in the same bedroom along with his brothers in the winter. Again, as with the other OF, the house was large, but in the winter it shrunk.

On many winter nights, the OF said there were drifts of snow at some of the windows inside the house, but that did not seem to bother us because we were all quite snug, wrapped up in our feather ticks. In the morning though, we did scurry downstairs to get dressed by the fire rather quickly, because we had to get to the barn for chores.

“Today,” one OF said, “houses are so tight and the air inside is so unhealthy, it is necessary to have air from outside pumped in and purified.”

Another OF thought that the OMOTM are the OMOTM because we had the start that we had, and this OF didn’t think these young whipper-snappers are going to make it because they have not had the experience of contacting many germs and building up natural antibodies to drive them off. These young-uns are too sterile.

The Old Men of the Mountain who shook out of their cozy beds in their toasty homes and made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner through the fog so thick some drove beyond the place because they could not see it, were: Rick LaGrange, Wayne Gaul, Ted (the hat) Feurer, Miner Stevens, Doug Marshall, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Paul Whitbeck, Jake Herzog, Marty Herzog, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Paul Guiton, Jeremiah Hebring, Bob Donnelly, Elwood Vanderbilt, Allen DeFazio, Dave Hodgetts, Dick Dexter, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Tim Norray, Herb Bohrmann, and me.