OFs feel that good health is better than money

Tuesday, Dec. 10, was a rare day in December. As some of the Old Men of the Mountain began arriving at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown around 6:30 a.m. in the morning, it was dark, warm, and foggy.

The air smelled and felt like spring. A few OFs stood outside of the diner’s door and chatted a bit — soaking it all in before going into the diner. Then stepping into the light and warmth of the diner, they were greeted by the staff and a few patrons, saying good morning, and all starting idle chatter, and the feeling continued. What a great way to start the day.

A spoiler alert: There was a goodly group at the breakfast this Tuesday, unlike last Tuesday when only the brave showed up during the snowstorm. A few of the OFs who were at this breakfast (but not the last one) had to admit they were wrong on their guess of the amount of snow that would fall last week.

These OFs guessed 10 inches would be about it. Wrong!

For many, it was more like 24 inches and a few more inches could even be added for some. These OFs were not plowed out until later in the day, and some were working on snowblowing or plowing their own property out.

Those who made it to Duanesburg came from areas that had a little less snow than those on the mountain, but still it was a great effort for those OMOTM who did their own plowing and the road crews who worked through the night and kept the main roads open.

One OF mentioned that we don’t give enough credit to the workmen and women who are first responders. This includes those who keep our highways open and safe in all kinds of weather; also the power-line crews who are out in all kinds of weather to keep the power flowing for those who are invalids, and trapped in their homes.

These laudable people do their best to keep residents supplied with power no matter what. Many of the OMOTM fall into these categories. A few still are keeping up with these hardy workers while others have performed their duty for years and now age, coupled with health problems, keep them from participating.

Yacht or kayak?

On Tuesday morning, health, again, was one of the topics and how the OFs feel good health is better than money. This scribe has to go along with that wholeheartedly.

This scribe interjected into the conversation that these OFs thinks it is better to be able to travel someplace, or participate in some event on a hundred bucks, than to be able to go around the world with a million bucks and be sick and in the care of nurses. What kind of fun is that? 

One OF commented it depends on how young and good-looking the nurses are. There were a few who agreed with that. These OFs thought they could have a lot of fun on a yacht in the ocean with a couple of nurses.

Once they have seen a tree, they have seen a tree. A tree in East Berne, New York is the same as a tree in Japan, China, Italy, or France. A road with a tractor on it in South Berne, is the same as a road with a tractor on it in England, but on a big yacht, on the ocean, with a couple of young nurses — that is different.

“This OF is missing the point here,” another OF said. “You are sick, you OG, you hurt, you are drugged out, you don’t know what’s going on. There could be 100 nurses, you don’t care, you are sick. You might just as well be on the porch of a nursing home; you are out of it.

“I would rather have a couple-hundred bucks in my pocket headed towards a little cabin in Wells, Maine, in a car that is paid for, with a simple kayak on the roof, than on any big yacht where I have to be pushed in a wheelchair to the bathroom, and then helped into the stall.”

Uh-oh. Most could see where this topic was headed so the subject was quickly changed.

Cost of phones

The OFs then progressed into quite a discussion of cell phones, or iPhones, or whatever they are correctly called. Some of the OFs consider them pocket-sized computers.

It was noticed that some people (and some of the OFs are really into these things and know the ins and outs more than the others) don’t give a hoot; they feel they got along without them before, and they can get along without them now.

That is not completely true in this day and age. Most all the pay phones that used to be at every corner, and banks of them at every Dunkin’ Donuts, are now gone. Now it is necessary to pay hundreds of bucks for a cell phone either for the phone, or for the service.

Back in the day, when using a pay phone, it was only necessary to pay for the call that was being made. At the end of the year, the OFs’ phone expenses for this kind of service might only have been 40 bucks. Now the phone companies have got you for hundreds.

The OFs have to admit that the super-duper phones do a lot more than make phone calls now and someone has to pay for all this technology, and the people who develop it. It is hard for the average OF to comprehend how so much information can be stored on something no bigger than a small spiral-bound notepad, and it will also take beautiful pictures.

Not only does the cell phone do all this but the operator can punch in a few numbers and then can speak almost anywhere in the world. Kids today don’t give it a second thought.

It was good to see all the Old Men of the Mountain make it to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown where this Tuesday we were entertained by a young lady playing the guitar and singing Christmas music. The OFs were also treated to a tray of cookies that was passed around to go along with the music.

The OMOTM who partook of all this, were: Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Wally Guest, Bill Lichliter, Roger Shafer, Rick LaGrange, Marty Herzog, Jake Herzog, Fred Crounse, Richard Frank, Chuck Aelesio, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Russ Pokorny, Warren Willsey, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Glenn Patterson, Herb Bahrmann, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Gerry Irwin, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.