Home Country — The Olympic Games aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

July 29, 2015

NEW — 11:02 a.m. July 29, 2015

Whenever Delbert McLain — our chamber of commerce here — gets a new idea, he generally shows up at the Mule Barn for coffee. He likes to try the ideas out on bonafide members of the world dilemma think tank before springing them on the world.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“What I’m thinking, guys, is this,” he said, “We need to bring the Olympic Games here to the valley!”

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Home Country — You say weeds; I say treasures

July 23, 2015

Days like this, said Doc, a guy has to get out and get his yard work done early, before it gets too hot.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“So when does it get too hot, Doc?”

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Home Country — Sounds like a personal problem to me

July 16, 2015

“Bert looks good this morning, Doc,” Dud said, quietly. Three stools down the counter, Bert smiled and said, “Yes, I certainly do!”

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

We turned toward our old pal. “You heard that?”

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Home Country — Sometimes you have to hold fast to your opinion

July 9, 2015

Windy Wilson was on the prowl, this beautiful Independence Day morning, searching the neighborhood for something to do for others. He decided to let his weekly day helping others come on the Fourth this week, because he was feeling very American.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Let’s see … he thought … I can circumlocute over to Mrs. Hennessey’s and see if her flower garden needs weeding. She’s got very close veins and the sugar diabeets, and getting around ain’t easy.

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Home Country — What the flag means to each of us is personal

July 2, 2015

We all watched as the flag came by. It was the first thing in the parade, of course. Great big one, carried by two of the kids from the ROTC at the high school.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

The bands followed, along with the mounted patrol, the ski patrol in their summer-weight jackets, the float with the princesses on it, and the local kids leading dogs and cats — some rather reluctantly — on leashes.

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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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