Remembering when school was a welcome respite from farm chores

Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Your Way Café in Schoharie and as usual some of the OMOTM were there to open up the place.

On the rides to the restaurants, the OFs can’t help but notice kids out waiting for the bus. This brings back memories of the OFs doing the same thing.

Many of the OFs were up, in the barn doing chores, rushing in having breakfast, cleaning up so they did not smell like the barn, hurrying out to catch the bus to school, and then, when school was out, getting on the bus, going home, and doing the same thing all over.

At that time, about the only buses hauling the little darlings to school were the International K9s. Couldn’t kill these things and they were like tanks.

The roads were not taken care of like today, not for lack of trying, but the particular equipment to clear the roads was not around at that time. But, as one OF said, we did have our snow days; most of the OMOTM remember listening to Don Weeks read the school closings over the air.

In most cases, many of the OFs would rather be in school because good ole Dad had plenty of winter chores to do if the OFs were stuck at home. Most of the OFs remember their bus drivers but have forgotten many of their teachers.


Prices are

out of sight

The OFs generally in the morning greet one and all with civil greetings of good morning etc. However, the early-bird OFs on Tuesday morning were boisterous and demonstrative.

What is causing all this commotion is the price of everything! Gas, food, clothes, restaurants; everything is going out of sight. That is everything!

There was even the occasional fist-whacking the table to emphasize a point. This is one discussion the OMOTM did not fight about; there were no opposite opinions.

It is tough to have a good boisterous discussion last long when everyone is in agreement.


Competition would

be welcomed

This was followed by another conversation where there was basically total agreement and that being how useless Spectrum is. The problem here is, according to the OFs, there is no competition for Spectrum — it is either Spectrum or no one else.

One OF said the company knows it is in the driver’s seat and does not pay much attention to complaints.

Another OF said that he had to watch his bills all the time because they would sneak it a little bit higher every now and then for apparently no reason at all. Eventually, the OF said, he was paying 40 bucks a month more for the same service.

One OF said it is not the service guys because they seem to work their butts off. It is the office and business practices of the company with ads and sales pitches that are nothing like the services offered.

Another OF said, as much as we complain about government, this is one case where government is all we have to fall back on.

Then one OF commented that Spectrum is so entrenched the company is not afraid of government, just like National Grid. Both companies have a lock on it.

If one or the other screws up, who ya gonna call? It sure ain’t Ghostbusters.


Counting cars,

trucks, and tires

Here we go with OMOTM-type observations.

One OF reported that, while he was waiting in his vehicle for someone and he had nothing to do, he just started watching cars go by. The OF said he understands that white is the most common color on trucks or cars and he can attest to that now.

The OF said three cars and one pickup truck went by on the road in front of the parking lot and they were all white. This piqued his attention and the next seven vehicles that went by were all white, then a gray SUV, and one red pickup went by and spoiled the situation. He will try the observation another time.

Seven seems to be the number because another OF on a recent trip to Chicago said that he was on the Thruway and moving right along, but he found that at times on these interstates moving right along is not quick enough.

However, the OF said, a Volkswagen zipped right on by, then another vehicle passed and it too was a Volkswagen, and he was passed by yet another and it was a VW, then another. The OF said seven vehicles passed him — all VWs. The OF thought it was a delivery of some sort traveling together, but it wasn’t. Some had different plates, and he noticed some were even different years.

Then another OF said that, on Tuesday morning, just in front of the restaurant, he noticed that five multi-axled large trucks went by all in the same space. Two were headed north, and three were headed south, all from the same company.

The OF assumed that at that moment rolling in either direction, in the little town of Schoharie was one-half to three-quarters of a million dollars worth of truck almost in the same spot at the same time.

Multiply that by the whole world and just in trucks the zeros behind the figure one would make a heck of a lot of dollars just in trucks.

Then one typical wise guy OF piped up, “Yeah, how about all the tires in the world going around and around right now?”

The OFs were getting into numbers they couldn’t even say.

The Old Men of the Mountain who were approaching the point of serious blood-pressure numbers due to rising prices, and Spectrum’s dictator-type policies and who attended the breakfast at the Your Way Café in Schoharie were: Doug Marshall, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Joe Rack, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Roger Shafer, Rick LaGrange, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Rev. Jay Francis, Frank Dees, Russ Pokorny, Jake Herzog, Gerry Chartier, John Dap., Paul Guiton, Paul Whitbeck, Jack Norray, Dick Dexter, and me.