One-time tough guys have become shallow wusses

Tuesday, Nov. 23, The Old Men of the Mountain traveled to Schoharie again to have breakfast at the Country Café in that town. One OF commented on how it seems odd that a fried egg is a fried egg; there is not much that can be done with that.

“However,” the OF said, “The same fried egg seems to be different at each restaurant and also different at home.”

Another OF picked up on this and said that he is the first one up in the morning and makes his own breakfast. Generally it is very simple and most of the time he makes fried eggs over easy, and each time they seem to come out different, and taste different.

Why is that? The OFs’ replies were just a bunch of “duhs.”

“Maybe,” one OF ventured, “it is because all the eggs don’t come from the same chicken.”


Auction adventure

One OF regaled the table with a trip he made to the auction barn in Unadilla and what the experience was like. Apparently, to the OF and his wife, it turned into an experience, akin to an adventure.

The Unadilla auction barn holds livestock auctions every Wednesday and they also have monthly horse and tack auctions. The tack auction was what the OF described to us.

According to this OF, he and his wife remained until 1 a.m. when the auction was finished. The OF said there were very few people left at that time, but in the morning until early evening the place was packed.   

The OF reported that tack was (for the most part) going quite cheap. It’s hard to tell how dried-out the leather is just by holding it up, unless, like the OF noted, the ones buying this tack were there during the viewing, but even then it is still iffy.

The OF also said there was one guy there (right up front) purchasing all the saddles no matter the condition. The OF thought that he might be taking them out West, or maybe he had a store, or for some other reason, because the OF said the guy even bought beat-up little pony saddles.

The report could go on but we will stop here with the last item he mentioned.

It seems this last item brought out was a big old draft horse, with one hind leg bigger than the other, and with only a handful of people left to bid on the poor animal, no one did. This scribe guesses they could save the horse for next month’s auction and bring it out first.

Actually, that may not be too good an idea because it might set the tone for the rest of the auction.


Vehicle evolution

The Old Men of the Mountain always thought they could take a lot and were tough guys. Not tough like “my dad can beat your dad” type tough, but could take cold weather, and work hard on hard jobs.

The OFs can remember when they were younger, driving old cars and trucks that were a little on the beat side.

Back in the good old days, money was scarce and it was necessary to purchase what the OF could afford and at the time it wasn’t much. Their vehicles might be wanting for condition, and a few holes in the floorboards were not uncommon. In the winter time, the snow and ice that made it past the muffler would blow through the holes right into the vehicle.

The OFs toughed it out — at least they had wheels.

Today you should hear them talk about their new trucks with the heated steering wheels, seats, and some with heated lumbar supports. These vehicles are even started from inside the house on a cold winter’s day. The discussion was on who had the most of the most.

One OF put it together quite nicely. The OF said, “I never thought I would be a wuss and now I am one.”

Another OF said he was in the same boat, and was out-wussing him, and he droned on about his new truck.

Now another OF piped up and threw out the ole monkey wrench, “What if something goes wrong and all the electronics go out, how are you guys going to stop or steer those fancy vehicles?”

This all may be covered some way but the OFs did not have a ready answer except that we are not just a group of shallow wusses. So there!

With all the electric this and electric that, everyone will be getting into their electric cars and suddenly find 20 cars with owners who will be shopping at Kohl’s and they all need to charge their batteries.

This OF understands that charging a battery is not like filling a gas tank, which takes just a few minutes.

One OF said, “Who goes first if there are only four or five charging stations, and there is a car at each one, and the owners are charging the vehicles while they are shopping in the store?”

Houston, we have a problem.  

Another OF offered, “By the time we get to this point, we will either all be dead or at least over 115 years old. I doubt if this group of OFs has to worry about it.”



The Old Men of the Mountain would like to offer our condolences to the family of Henry Witt Jr. who recently passed away at the age of 91.

In that vein, the service for Bill Bartholomew will be held at the Coltrain Funeral Home in Middleburgh on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10:30 a.m. until noon with interment at the family plot in Breakabeen.



The Old Men of the Mountain who made it to the Country Café in Schoharie were: Miner Stevens, Harold Guest, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Roger Shafer, Wally Guest, Rich LaGrange, Russ Pokorny, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Robie Osterman, Jake Herzog, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Jamie Darrah, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, John Dabrvalskes, and me.