What is it about trains? More specifically, guys and trains? There was Friend G and I sitting in a bar in Cobleskill, waiting for Friend F to appear so we could watch the Jets-Bills game.
The bar is Locomotions, and sure enough, as we were sitting there enjoying our first adult beverage, there was a rumbling, a deep rumbling that we could feel in our shoes and fingertips. A train. So off we go like a couple of 10-year-olds bounding outside to see a train motor its way behind the bar toward destination unknown. Luckily, at the same time, there appears Friend F in his car, so it doesn’t look too much like we actually ran outside to see a freight train go by.
I mean, c’mon. It was just a train. But there is that guy-thing genetic tug, that hint of adventure and danger that trains still evoke somehow. Seeing as we weren’t going to hop the train and see America from a rail car, we went back to the other guy-thing staple: watching sports.
That’s where Locomotions came in handy. A SUNY Cobleskill bar at night, and a comfortable place to watch the NFL on Sundays. We enjoyed our chicken wings, chili, and burger. There is a good selection of beverages and beer on tap, and the prerequisite pool table and assorted games. An added bonus was the appearance of two “Coors Light girls” who chatted with us briefly before giving away an Eli Manning-signed Giants jersey and moving on to another establishment up the road an hour in Johnstown.
I know it might all sound a bit Neanderthal, but hey, old friends are allowed now and again to regress to a more primitive form.
Friend F and I are Jets fans, and Friend G a Bills fan. We tried to be kind to Friend G as the Bills’ bubble was burst quite convincingly by the J-E-T-S. We all go way back, knowing each other from our time together at The Times Union newspaper in Albany where we would argue the merits of stories, profanely complain about poor reporting, write the occasional stellar headline, and drink way too many caffeinated beverages as we worked till 1 a.m.
Cobleskill was a good halfway point for us. I knew the village a little bit because my family had stopped one day to shop at what has to be the most historically significant furniture store you’ll ever see. It is Scholet Furniture, and it is housed in the former Hotel Augustan, built in 1874. According to information I found on a Mohawk Valley Library webpage, Teddy Roosevelt had stopped at the hotel back in 1912, promoting his campaign for the presidency against Taft and Wilson.
Learn something new every day.
Friend G and I had arrived early at Cobleskill and drove about 20 minutes south to Mallet Pond State Forest. We hiked along a creek that presumably feeds one of the ponds, though we never did quite get to the pond. A beautiful morning for a country stroll as the sun pushed the temperatures into the low 60s and the light in the forest provided its own color display, as the leaves were mostly gone.
After the hike and the game, I stopped on the way home to admire the Lawyersville Reformed Church, founded in 1788. A solid looking place of worship if there ever was one. I did not stop in and give thanks for the Jets’ victory. I figured I would save any football-related conversations for when, not if, they get to the Super Bowl.