November 17, 2015
NEW — 4:21 p.m. Nov. 17, 2015
In our part of the country, fall means deer hunting. Many of us will dress up like a pile of leaves, go out into very cold weather and sit still until we freeze to death.
Why? Because we want to have some venison this winter for the family. We’ll figure out how much the venison costs us … but only at gunpoint, since this is not the most fiscally sane thing we do each year. Read more
November 10, 2015
NEW — 3:21 p.m. Nov. 10, 2015
I was invited recently to join Bob Milford, manager of the prestigious Diamond W Ranch, on a drive-around tour of the place. It’s a huge, private ranch, with tiny ex-logging roads winding around through 13,000 acres of pine trees and rocks. A real paradise.
But I was horrified to see wooden street signs nailed to trees wherever two of these old logging trails came together. Read more
November 3, 2015
NEW — 4:17 p.m. Nov. 3, 2015
Windy found his audience out the side door of the sale barn, admiring a pen of cattle they had no intention of buying.
“Hey there, Doc, Dud, Steve.”
“Hey Windy, how’s it going?”
“Well, sir, I’m tickled you asked …”
Doc groaned. Read more
October 26, 2015
NEW — 8:49 p.m. Oct. 26, 2015
Squash. One of the English language’s most painful words, along with maim and trauma and rend and okra and Liberace. Why would anyone want to eat something that sounds as though someone sat on it?
The bottom-line truth is, cooks all over the place love a challenge, and they have tried valiantly to turn squash into an edible dish. To do this, they take one tenth of a portion of squash, boil as much of the squashiness as they can out of it, then immerse it in nine-tenths something that tastes good and hope no one will notice. You know, stuff like chile, mutton, edible vegetables, nuclear waste, cottonwood bark and even chocolate. Then, when you can’t taste the squash in it, and most of the slime has settled to the bottom, they smile and say,
“How do you like my ‘Squash Canneloni ala Hershey con Brio?” Read more
October 15, 2015
NEW — 5:25 p.m. Oct. 15, 2015
When Dewey Decker bought that acre on the edge of town from Gil Masterson, it astonished some people, but others, like Doc, just smiled and nodded.
It’s a natural progression. Gil raises vegetables on a large scale, and the rumor is that it was at least partially paid for in “product,” because Dewey is the undisputed Pharaoh of Phertilizer in these parts.
October 14, 2015
NEW — 1:59 p.m. Oct. 14, 2015
Dud walked out in his back yard thinking about his book. It’s so frustrating, and he can’t even talk to Anita about it. There’s a strange thing about writing a book, he learned. If you tell someone about it before it’s written … well, you’ve told the story already, haven’t you? So then, why write it?
This makes writing a book one of the loneliest jobs in the world. A guy in a Forest Service lookout tower would seem like a cruise ship recreation director compared to a book writer. At least that’s what Dud was thinking as he wandered around … wandered … wandered lonely as a cloud … something to do with daffodils. He remembered reading it in high school.
Say … maybe if I threw some literature into the book, it would give it a bit of flavor. Yes! Well, I’m already in Europe … well, the truck driver is. He’s there on special assignment … not sure what that is, but I’m working on it. And the duchess is European, after all. And you know how they talk like literature over there. Read more
October 7, 2015
NEW — 5:07 p.m. Oct. 7, 2015
“Mornin’ Perry,” said Dud, taking his seat next to the tray full of fang-fixing stuff.
“May the blessings of the mornin’ be upon ya, Dud,” said Dr. O’Dontal, our former actor turned dentist. “You appear blessed by life and radiant in your demeanor today.”
Yes. He talks like that.
Perry O’Dontal worked his way through dental school “treading the boards,” and especially enjoyed his stint doing Shakespeare’s plays. Getting one’s teeth cleaned can turn out to be quite entertaining. One of the problems, however, is that we can’t really ask him questions about this fascinating part of his life because he always has things in our mouths when we’re with him. But Perry does seem to be able to understand more than we give him credit for. Read more
September 30, 2015
NEW — 4:27 p.m. Sept. 30, 2015
There’s a word, thought Dud, silently. A word to describe this … this pristine fall morning sitting here in a blind with a bow and arrows and anticipation of finding the same buck we saw last year. Maybe this year we’ll have a safe shot at him.
This world, this tiny world around me. Right now. There’s a word. Look at that deer track just to my right, for example. See the edges of it begin to crumble? That tells me it is maybe an hour old, because it takes that long for the mud walls of the track to dry enough to flake off.
When did I learn that? Which old timer told me about that? My granddad? He was a hunter all right, and I learned a lot from him, but there’s this feeling in the back of my brain that it came from someone else. Bert? Hey, maybe Bert. Bert was a guide in his younger years and he showed me all kinds of things out here. Read more
September 22, 2015
You have to hand it to Windy. When Alphonse “Windy” Wilson chooses to speak, it is a bombastic sampling of creativity. Windy has yet to find a word he can’t make better through his own unique methods.
Well, what got him fired up the other day was a meeting of the ladies of the garden club down at the nursery. Windy’s been helping Dewey with his manure business on the one day a week he spends helping others. Today wasn’t a helper day, but he couldn’t pass up the audience.
September 16, 2015
NEW — 5:35 p.m. Sept. 16, 2015
It takes us over slowly, this thing called autumn. It slides in quietly and lovingly.
One day, we notice we aren’t sweating as much as we did a week ago. Just this morning, we thought wearing a sweater might be a good idea before the sun gets warm enough for us.
There is a secret in the soft breeze that follows us around the yard in the afternoon. A secret. The same autumn secret some of us have heard whispered for years and others of us are just learning to add to our vocabulary of life. Read more