Home Country — Thank you to those who dance through our lives

June 25, 2015

Mrs. Doc watched the dancers swirl around the cleared hardwood floor of the Legion hall, and smiled to see her husband Doc waltzing with Ardis Fisher. But Mrs. Doc was never one to sit out a waltz, so she looked around at the menu.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Over in the corner, smiling and tapping his foot, was Pop Walker. Pop and several other residents of the Rest of Your Life retirement home were there to enjoy the dance and celebrate the arrival of summer.  Pop has a hard time with his memory these days, but always forgets things with a smile.

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Home Country — One man’s noise is another man’s music

June 17, 2015

“You’re awfully quiet this morning, Steve,” Dud said to his buddy, the cowboy with the haystack mustache.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“No sleep,” Steve mumbled, his chin propped on his hands.

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Home Country — Immerse yourself in the world of junk

June 10, 2015

I’ve discovered the wonderful world of petty mail-order junk. I love it.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

A computer is a grand tool for opening the world of spending petty cash for a guy, but it’s not really essential. You can do without one if you just get on the catalog list. The simplest way to do that is to send away for a catalog, listing your address and name, of course, but beneath your name add the title “Purchasing Coordinator.”

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Home Country — Summer brings out the best in us

June 3, 2015

It is the heat that defines us this time of year. Defines our sweaty days with the brassy skies and afternoons that make us clamor for shade. The heat gives us an excuse to make June the biggest beer-drinking month of the year and returns certain words to our vocabularies: cooler pads, swampers, squirrel cages.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

The days themselves aren’t much fun, and we pity those who spend the days working outdoors, even as we envied them in the soft warmth of spring. The heat is an entity now, an oppressive, overbearing beast that weighs on our brains and taxes our body.

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Home Country — Kids know more than adults these days, or not

May 27, 2015

“Amazing,” Dud said out at the corrals the other day.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Bill and I looked at him a bit strangely, because there were just two horses in the corral and neither one of them had been amazing since Ronald Reagan moved to Washington.

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Home Country — No matter the game, cheaters never win

May 20, 2015

I was studying my card when the guys walked in for coffee.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“What did you get?” Doc asked.

“D-24.”

“Just one?”

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Home Country — Not everyone appreciates a sharp idea

May 12, 2015

Delbert’s at it again. You know Delbert McLain, our local chamber of commerce? He’s the guy who wants to bring lots of people here so the place isn’t quite as nice as it is now.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Well, ol’ Delbert zipped into the Mule Barn truck stop the other day, plopped down at the empty Round Table, and motioned for those of us at the philosophy counter to join him. We did.

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Home Country — Being a hands-on supervisor can be a good thing

May 5, 2015

Doc saw Dewey the other day, supervising as Windy Wilson unloaded a dump truck of manure into a huge bin on a vacant lot.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“I’ll go persecute some more, Dewey,” Windy said, and drove off toward the feedlot.

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Home Country — Fishing is important even if there isn’t water

April 28, 2015

It was just one of those things. It didn’t really mean Marvin Pincus had lost his mind.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Consider this yourself for a minute. Marvin had opened the mail that morning and in it was the Fenwick glass flyrod he’d ordered. Oh, it was used, of course. But there’s a feel to a Fenwick that only a man dedicated to a life of using dry flies can appreciate.

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Home Country — Teaching a horse to calm down is slow business

April 21, 2015

Steve, the tall cowboy of us philosophy types, was riding a young horse through town the other day to get him used to “boogers.”

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

To gentle a horse, he explained, you give them something to booger at, and then talk them out of it. You keep coming up with new boogers and calming the horse until screaming fire engines and jet exhaust are no problem at all.

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