HillTop late morning chat

I attended the late morning "Meeting of the Minds" up at the HillTop on Thursday after President Obama spoke the night before at the memorial service in Tucson for the victims of the Jared Lee Loughner's rampage, which included an assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford.

For this "Meeting of the Minds," Gentlemen gather from the four corners of Skaneateles for coffee and/or breakfast, and to discuss topics of the day. On any given day four to 10 guys can show up. First of all, there is always political discourse with former Skaneateles high school principal and World War II vet John Geiss sometimes being the lone voice from the left. He said some might not like what he has to say, but they always listen.

Harold Bronson, the unofficial mayor of Mottville, said, "Obama is doing a halfway decent job."

Dick Marchand said he's not a fan of President Obama but that he made a point to tune into his speech.

"He gave a good a speech, (he) got away from the political," Marchand said, "He did a good job and I hate to admit it."

Marchand added that he felt Obama would do a better job if he had some better people working with him.

Jake Sheahan said, "It was a real tragedy, shame someone didn't identify the problem with Loughner."

He said we've all run into people that could be of interest to the law. And then he recounted a couple of close calls with the mentally unstable from his own life experience that were bone chilling.

Spafford's Ed Lukens, a former gym teacher and coach from Westhill, said as a coach you get close to kids and you find out their dads are knocking them around, so you stay close to the kid.

"Keep an eye on him," Lukens said.

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