A fine fall leads to talk of stream repairs, Veterans Day, hunting and real racing

This scribe jumped out of bed at 5 a.m. on Nov. 11 and found it was Tuesday, and time to round up whoever was going with him to the breakfast. Even at 5 a.m., when this scribe and riders arrived at Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh, the restaurant was already half-full

What hour in the morning must these OFs get up to be at the breakfast, showered, most shaved, and reasonably dressed? Some must still be thinking they have to roll back the barn door and get ready for milking.

The OFs have been enjoying this fall, and commenting on it at every breakfast. A couple of the OFs have mowed their lawns again; it was Nov. 10 when they were at it

One even commented on a farm putting in third cutting. The OF said that the alfalfa was nice looking stuff, deep green color, but not many bales, which is understandable

It is interesting how the OFs talk about what they observe on farmland as they drive by and sometimes they comment on the other farmers — still farming — just as if the OFs were still in the business. Forgetting they are thinking horses, and the farmers today are using GPS guided tractors, and individual machines that do all the work as they go through the fields. Tain’t the same, Magee.

From the horse’s mouth

The OFs carried on with the discussion of the work being done on the Little Schoharie Creek that the OFs mentioned last week. They are still amazed at the amount of work being done, but the OFs can’t see how what they are doing is going to help.

Loretta and Patty (proprietors of Mrs. K’s) said that the “boys” (their term) working on the project stop in for breakfast in the morning before going to work. Maybe one of the OFs who live in that area should stop in one morning, seeing that these OFs are some of the ones up that early, and get the information from the horse’s mouth by talking to these “boys.”

The expression “horse’s mouth” must be from the racing game where a bettor bets on some swayback nag to win the race and, lo and behold, it does, because the horse told him it was pay for the hay day. That’s straight from the horse’s mouth.

“Thank you, vet, on your day”

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day; it was Armistice Day for the end of World War 1. This armistice was signed on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918.

Some parts of the world call it Armistice Day, and, in others, Remembrance Day. The United States changed it to Veterans Day to honor all veterans.

The Old Men of the Mountain is a group with many veterans in its midst. Not only have they made a major contribution to this country, but to the neighborhoods in which they live now.

The Old Men of the Mountain who are vets should be honored for both of their contributions, and son of a gun they are still are contributing just by being at this OMOTM breakfast.

This scribe wonders if it should be, “Thank you, vet, on your day” instead of, “Happy Veterans Day” because to some veteran it may not be that happy.

Opening day of deer season is a quasi-legal holiday

Deer hunting starts soon and the OFs were discussing this semi-holiday in our neck of the woods. Some were enthused that hunters are now able to use rifles in most of Albany County.

This also alarmed a few of the OFs because the errant shot of a rifle could travel quite a distance and cause unintended harm. Still and all, the opening day of deer season in many households is a quasi-legal holiday.

The OFs remember, when they were working, the opening day of the deer-hunting season was when the hunters and non-hunters were making arrangements to switch vacation times and days off so the hunters could hunt.

This scribe remembers the significant drop-off in hunting permits issued after the Walt Disney movie, Bambi, came out. With just a tiny bit of imagination, it is possible to see the deer all clapping in the woods for the release of this picture.

When racing was real

There was some discussion on automobile racing since NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) really took over. It has changed the sport considerably.

The OFs remembered in the 1950s and ’60s going to Fonda for the races and having to leave the house early to get a seat, and get to the track really early to get a seat where you wanted. It is not like that today. It is possible to get a seat just before the first heat is to start.

Pete Corey was a racecar driver back when the safety rules were simple and races were fun to watch, said The Old Men of the Mountain. — Photo from John R. Williams.


The OFs talked about the older drivers, their cars, which in the ’50s and ’60s were not fake souped-up cars but the real thing — a Chevy coup was a Chevy coup, a Plymouth was a Plymouth, a Nash was a Nash, a Hudson was a Hudson, a Ford was a Ford, and a Gremlin was a Gremlin.

Each team did its own thing from engine work, to set-up. The safety rules were simple — roll bars, automatic fire extinguishers for rollovers, seats, safety belts, and a few others.

The OFs agreed the races were fun to watch, and each race team had its own following and many would sit together in the stands; some of the OFs were part of that crowd. One OF actually worked on them, well, not really “worked” but did some of the lettering on the racecars.

Those OFs who made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and arrived in their own conventional chariots were: Miner Stevens, Jim Heiser, George Washburn, Dave Williams, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, with guest Mathew Pauli, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Don Wood, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Jim Rissacher, Henry Whipple, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, and me. (Plus the little fly on the wall was there again.)