The OFs have seen this young country change over and over

Tuesday, Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, was a day for the Old Men of the Mountain going to the polls to exercise their right to vote. For the OMOTM, they considered it really exercise.

Exercise to the OFs generally is just taking a shower and getting dressed. When the OFs were younger, voting wasn’t so much exercise as it was a very important civic duty.

A couple of OFs mentioned that voting now means we have to sign our name with a stylus on some kind of screen. When the OFs said they write on one of those devices their signatures are no more like the way they really write than the man in the moon. (There is a common phrase that this scribe has no idea what it means.)

However, it is true. This scribe thinks if you just draw a straight line the electronic device will accept it.

Based on the wording, not showing up to vote is either a vote for or against; at the polls — to some — there is no such thing as a “no” vote. The only satisfaction is that, if things go wrong, the OF who didn’t vote can say he didn’t vote for it, him, or her.

That doesn’t help much was the reply. However, sometimes in the OF’s heart neither one running is worth the effort so the OFs say neither one is worth his vote. Now the OFs said they are stuck with voting in their mind for the person, or idea, that is the best of the worst and hope somehow it or they can be changed.

Then one OF said, “Once in office, always in.”

Whether good or bad, occasionally scandals or criminal acts can get the bad apple out, yet sometimes the rotten ones are the best for the country. Some guys are number-one womanizers, and get their exercise by chasing the ladies but still are great organizers and leaders.

One OF said, “Why is it always attributed to men? There are really smart ladies who do the same thing, and have the same leading qualities, and chase the guys the same way the guys chase the ladies.”

What a mess! At our ages, the OFs have seen this young country change over and over. The market goes up and down, depressions and recessions come and go, the years are hot and cold, the world is going to end in a few days — the OFs have seen it all but somehow nothing over all these years seems to change.

Things are just different every now and then, but change? The OFs think not.


Leaf conundrum

Along with the above talk about change, the OFs remember as kids, and even as adults, the pleasant aroma of burning leaves in the fall. Dad and the family would rake leaves along the yard to the edge of the driveway, or to the road, and on a relatively calm, dry day touch them off.

Some would rake up the ashes when they were cool and take them to the compost. Burn leaves now in many places and the neighbors rat on you, or the burn police spot the smoke and the OF gets a ticket for burning leaves.

Now in the suburbs they burn all that gas to come and suck these leaves up and haul them away. Then there is something that makes no sense at all.

“We cut down thousands of trees to make bags to put the leaves in,” one OF said. “Where in blazes do they think oxygen comes from?”

Maybe the OF has a lawn mower with a mulching gadget and mulches them. “Which,” one OF said, “is not a bad idea; it’s the only one that makes sense.”

One OF said he likes most of the seasons — even nice days in winter. This OF likes the end of the leaf season when the leaves are off the trees. The weather is still tolerable and he doesn’t mind being outside and with the leaves gone he can see deep into the woods.

The OF claims that, on some of his walks in the woods, he spots stone wall fences going nowhere. The OF said it is fun to try to imagine what was there to generate the building of these walls

 It is quite nice on a fall day to take a walk in the woods and smell the new-fallen leaves, and hear the rustle of the small animals scurrying under these leaves as they forage for something to eat.


Blood moon

A few of the OFs were up early enough to see the full moon bright red. One OF mentioned it is called the “blood moon” for a reason.

Another OF said that some of the cameras on the cell phones are good enough to capture this phenomenon. With the price of some of the phones, one OF added the camera should be able to capture the moon people that live in the center of the moon opening the big doors to let their spaceships out.

“They can,” the OF retorted. “Why, those cameras are so good they can see the moon people out walking their dogs, and even so good you can see the breed of the moon dog.”

Those Old Men of the Mountain who made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and had to leave their moon dogs in the car to guard their moon pies were: Roger Shafer, Rick LaGrange, Doug Marshall, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Joe Rack, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Jake Herzog, Otis Lawyer, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Paul Whitbeck, Bob Donnelly, Allen Defazzo, Elwood Vanderbilt, John Muller, Paul Guiton, John Dap, Dave Hodgetts, Dick Dexter, Jack Norray, Frank Weber, and me.