Home Country — Getting the right gift for someone is important

December 16, 2014

When it comes to romance, it’s hard to beat ol’ Dud. He and Anita have been married now for several years, but we’ve never really understood why she puts up with him.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“Dud Campbell,” Anita said the other night, “what are you getting me for Christmas?”

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Home Country — Believe in the power of good deeds

December 9, 2014

For years now, Herb Collins has been helping Santa by donning the red and the beard and the tassels and waving to passing cars on Christmas Eve out at the Old Fort Road crossing.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

He takes a bag of candy along, in case anyone cares to stop, and he also takes his daughter Cindy along, because she has always been his head elf. Cindy’s grown now and has helpers of her own, but this has been a daddy/daughter event for a long time and neither sees any reason to quit.

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Home Country — Now is the season for hope and dreams

December 3, 2014

There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year here at home. This is a time for summing up and looking ahead … and a time for dreams.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

And at night… ah, that’s the time, isn’t it? Outside it’s dark, December dark, and we’re inside and warm and cocooned up. The cold makes our world shrink, especially at night.

But we have our dreams.

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Home Country — Blaze your own trail and don’t always do things that are expected of you

November 25, 2014

“Hey Doc,” said Herb, reading the latest copy of the Valley Weekly Miracle, “did you see all these specials they’re having in the city? Just for the Friday after Thanksgiving, too. You know, a guy could get a lot of Christmas shopping done then and save some money.”

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“I guess so,” Doc said, putting his cup down so Loretta could top it off.

“You’re not going to go shopping?”

“Not on Black Friday.”

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Home Country — Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without turkey and pumpkin pie

November 18, 2014

Windy looked out the window. A great day for helping. Windy Wilson sets one day aside each week for helping others, you see, and this was helping day.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Mrs. Morris, he thought, checking on the calendar. Yes, Mrs. Morris’ poor ol’ shed that’s leaning dangerously to one side.

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Home Country — Doing it right is the right thing to do

November 11, 2014

Windy looked out the window. A great day for helping. Windy Wilson sets one day aside each week for helping others, you see, and this was helping day.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Mrs. Morris, he thought, checking on the calendar. Yes, Mrs. Morris’ poor ol’ shed that’s leaning dangerously to one side.

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Home Country — Everyone wants to watch something grow

November 4, 2014

Dewey Decker, that accident-prone neighbor of ours, is the undisputed Pharaoh of Fertilizer, the Monarch of Manure. He has turned a shovel-ready business into a going concern, with the help of the woman of his dreams, Emily. But in the quiet times, when it’s only Dewey thinking to himself, he really wants to raise things.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

From the time he was a kid, he wanted to raise cattle, but Dewey’s proclivities toward disaster left that particular item off the agenda. In helping out other cattlemen, you see, he accidentally let 17 steers escape from the feedlot onto the interstate, and of course there was the now-legendary time he herded a cow off a bluff into the top of a tree.

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Home Country — Have fun on Halloween

October 28, 2014

To look at Herb Collins, you wouldn’t think he was like that.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

A nicer, kinder guy you never met. But for one evening each year … one little slice of time … he’s downright diabolical.

Every small town has one, of course. There is always that one person who takes Halloween to its extremes of horror and fantasy. We have Herb.

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Home Country — Some salesmen are successful

October 21, 2014

It was a bright morning, and we had finished off the coffee and conversation at the Mule Barn truck stop, and we couldn’t think of anything much to do because we were still full from breakfast and it was too early for lunch, and the political problems and Hollywood gossip tanks had been thoroughly topped off.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

So, we went over to Doc’s house to look at his mare in the back yard. She had, he said, a quarter-crack in a front hoof.

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Home Country — You never know when an idea will succeed

October 14, 2014

It was a contemplative kind of morning, each member of the vaunted World Dilemma Think Tank seemed to be content to think silently for a change, just sipping on the coffee refills and waiting for Loretta to bring more.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Steve, the professional cowboy of the bunch, was reading the house copy of the Valley Weekly Miracle. Somebody else had already done the crossword, the sports page was old news and if he wanted to keep up on church news, he’d probably attend every now and then. So, Steve was belly deep in the personal ads in the classifieds.

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