‘You gotta be tough to get old!’

It was Nov. 20, 2018, when the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown, and the weather did it to the OMOTM again! It was miserable.

Six to six-thirty in the morning, snowing, roads slushy and slick, a thin mist in the air and the OFs are out in this wretched chaos. Like one OMOTM said when he showed up, “You know we are Northeasterners and tough because we keep showing up for breakfast just to be with you guys after driving 23 miles in this stuff.”

(This reminds the scribe of something his 92-year-old mother told him, “You gotta be tough to get old!”) This is true.

Hair-raising talk

How this next banter started, this scribe does not know, but the OFs spent considerable time speaking about (this is true) hair. Their own hair (who had it and who didn’t), who cared about their hair, and who could care less if they had hair or not.

One OF (who still has hair to make some envious) said he was about due for a haircut, and he was. His hair was growing down around his ears, and this OF wears hearing aids, which doesn’t mean much because most of the OFs also wear hearing aids, but some of the OFs thought that hair over the ears, would seem to negate the hearing aids. (This outfit is beginning to sound like ladies at the local beauty parlor.)

Hear! Hear!

That prompted the discussion to jump to the wearing of hearing aids by so many of the OFs. Now this has been covered many times, but this time one OF said, “We all wear these darn things, and we are still hard of hearing.” (Basically, he was right.)

Instead of the “Amen”s that a few would utter after a profound statement, or sometimes the chorus would be huzzah, huzzah, the ending of this conversation was Hear! Hear!

Excess of exes

Then a new subject arose from nowhere again, or maybe this scribe missed what the intro was, but the new subject was on ex-wives.

The OFs started telling stories on how ex-wives (according to these OFs) took them to the cleaners. It seems that the OFs didn’t care; the OFs were glad to get rid of them.

These stories led to other stories of others that were in the same boat, and the OFs started naming names. Just listening to these reports this scribe said to himself, “Hey there has to be good book here someplace.”

This scribe also thinks these stories, though funny now, were not so funny at the time, and the stories will be placed into the file of stories for the OMOTM’s ears only and that file is quite thick, almost ready for another folder.

Pop’s Place shot up

On the news Monday night and Tuesday morning was the shooting up of one of the restaurants the OMOTM have in the wheel of restaurants they frequent. This is Pop’s Place in Preston Hollow.

The OFs only know what they hear on the news and read in the paper of what happened. The OFs can’t understand why anyone would do this. What for, what purpose does it serve?

“Now to shoot up a restaurant,” the OFs said, “what if it were a Tuesday morning and we were all in the place?”

The OFs don’t know if the police will catch these idiots or not but we hope they do. “Then take their guns and hunting licenses from them — if they even have licenses,” one OF added.

“Nah,” another OF said, “Whoever did this was just being stupid.” This OF thought that the ones that committed this offense should pay for the repairs, and be required to eat at the restaurant twice a week for a year, even if they live a hundred miles away. Then they would realize how much work the small entrepreneurs put into their businesses for darn little money.

Many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the OFs discussed this time of family and food but the discussion of thanks never entered into the conversation. We did, however, discuss the ways many of the OFs celebrate the holiday.

Some will go out and eat at a nice restaurant, especially those who have family spread all over the country. Some have all their family gather at their home, and that has now become a tradition.

Like most families that become large, the young ones run the family like a committee and each family is assigned what to bring to these events, just like a church supper. Mom and Dad, Grandpa, and Grandma have to make sure the house is clean, and the spare bedrooms are ready.

Then there are a few OFs whose tradition it is to go and volunteer at the big meals prepared for the less fortunate. There are also the OFs who at their ages now travel to whoever is having the family — these OFs are beyond all the work that is involved.

They will bring their assigned dish or dishes but, as one OF put it, “We even have someone come and chauffeur us which is great.”

However it is done, the microcosm which is the Old Men of the Mountain covers how most people spend the holidays. There may be some Humbugs out there but the OMOTM say let them Humbug all they want — the OFs don’t care.

This scribe, as he finished this little report, said to himself that, though thanks was never mentioned, it sure was expressed by actions and unspoken thoughts, of these Old Men of the Mountain who were at the Chuck Wagon in Princetown, and who did a lot of thinking were: Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Roger Chapman, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, Joe Rack, Otis Lawyer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Gerry Irwin, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Mace Porter, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Rev. Jay Francis, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.