The bylaws are strict but the conversation is free-wheeling

Tuesday, Nov. 18, this scribe traveled to the Country Café in Schoharie all alone (boo-hoo) since one of the riders was scheduled for surgery on his elbow. We tried to convince this OF that, because it was elective surgery, it was strictly against the OMOTM bylaws, (Page 6, Article 14, Section E), which specifically states, “Non-emergency surgeries cannot be scheduled on any Tuesday.” The exceptions would be surgeries due to an accident, to repair broken bones, etc.

Page 6, Article 14, Section F also covers funerals. If any OMOTM should pass away, his funeral is not to be scheduled on a Tuesday, with the exception being travel. Relatives that come from considerable distances, and have time restraints, will be taken into consideration and the funeral can take place on a Tuesday afternoon.

Any OF who deviates from these rules without previous permission from the governing board are subject to fines that will be assessed by the same board. Fines will not exceed two weeks’ payments of all OFs in attendance breakfasts’. The scribe was instructed by the sergeant-at-arms to re-emphasize this particular section of the OMOTM bylaws. 

 The other riders were legitimately excused by a rather lengthy section of the OMOTM bylaws that this scribe will not go into at this time.

The OFs looked up and down the table and considered how blessed many of the OFs are just to be able to attend the breakfast. The subject came up because some friends of the OFs are down with this problem or that.\

One OF’s friend just found out he has multiple sclerosis, and he is not that old. Another was developing ulcers on his feet because of not paying enough attention to his diabetes; he will now, the OFs hope.

Even with the OFs’ maladies, the OGs manage to attend the breakfast and do not give in to them. There isn’t an OG at the table who doesn’t hurt in one way or another. 

One OF came to the breakfast all tanned up; he may hurt but it sure didn’t show. This OF just returned from Aruba, just in time for the breakfast and a 20-degree morning greeting.

Old Uhai

The OFs briefly touched on Uhai Mountain in Berne. It was thought that at one time, when the ax factory was going full blast in Berne, that the mountain was denuded of trees. The wood was used for the forges to temper the axes.

According to one OF, the mountain after being clear-cut was farmed. Much of the land around the Bernes and Knox was farmed and planted with grains because of the grain mills in the vicinity of Berne and East Berne.

According to the OFs, the trees were replanted by the Boy Scouts, the OFs thought in the 1930s, and these trees have now all grown to the same basic height so the canopy of the trees appears to have been cut with a lawn mower.

Why not knit instead?

The OFs also briefly discussed the attacks on cigarette smoking and the apparent dangers of puffing on this supposedly ground-up leaf. This was brought up by one community considering banning all smoking.

The OFs do agree that this is a nasty and sometimes deadly habit.  If not putting some six feet under it puts many in the hospital for considerable stays, and is a drain on the family after that.

“However, there are the occasional few,” one OF said, “that puff until they are 100 years old with no consequences. It is a crapshoot.”

“Are you going to be one of the few that can handle it or not?” asked one OF.

The experience of the OFs indicates the odds are definitely against you to be one of the few.

 Now “they” are demonizing tobacco, and replacing it with something just as bad, if not worse: marijuana.

The OFs say we pay high enough medical insurance for taking care of those that smoke and all their lung and heart problems, and now we will have to take care of all those that wind up in mental hospitals, and on harder drugs, which will increase our taxes to pay for the extra police to control that problem.

The OFs feel that the need to do something with our hands is the problem. Hand to mouth with the cigarette, or hand to mouth with the marijuana.

Jingle-belled to death

Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up. Duh, does anyone need to be reminded about this — especially about Christmas?

The OFs said they are already being jingle-belled to death. The merchants started even before Halloween.

Before you know it, the merchants will start touting their wares on Columbus Day, or even before that. One OG thought that, if merchants start pushing anything electronic that early, by the time Christmas comes around it will old hat, out-dated, and obsolete.

“If I get one,” the OF said of an electronic gadget, “I know I will be stuck with it because they make the new ones so the old one is not compatible.”

“Hey,” another OG said, “they go to school to learn how to do that.”

“Well,” still another OF said, “they can’t outfox me. I do my Christmas shopping on December 24th.”

“Yeah,” was the reply, “we always knew you were cheap; that way, all that is available is leftovers.”

“I don’t care,” the OG said, “because everything I give is always brought back to the store anyway.”

“Ya know, that is not such a bad idea,” an OG chimed in. “Give them some cheap thing you know they won’t like, they take it back and get something they need, or do like, and you are a hero.”

The OF added, “I am going to keep this little trick in mind.”

Show and tell

At this breakfast, we even had show and tell from an OF who brought in items for identification, and the OFs were not faked out this time — many knew what these items were.

This also showed what can be found at rummage sales, and in box lots at the end of auctions. Sometimes there is unknown quality hidden in some of those boxes like what the OF brought to the breakfast.

The OFs who made it to the County Café on Main Street in Schoharie on a January day in November were: Harold Guest, Dave Williams, Chuck Aleseio, Glenn Patterson, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Otis Lawyer, Mark Traver, Frank Pauli, Robie Osterman, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Bill Krause, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gil Zabel, Gerry Chartier, and me. (And the fly on the wall was there again, and buzzed it would be the last time until there is a wall free around Christmas time.)