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Slim Randles
Slim Randles

Dewey reached up to straighten his tie and stuck a finger up a nostril by mistake. Here he was, on the most momentous evening of his life and he couldn’t do one little thing right. Tie a tie. Every 9-year-old boy getting ready for church could do it, but not Dewey.

He cussed his awkwardness and inability to do anything short of causing a disaster. How many guys are there who could actually put a black baldy cow in a treetop? Just him.  No … Dewey, our pharaoh of fertilizer because he could shovel it into a pickup without killing himself, was uniquely qualified in the clumsy department.

But he smiled as he thought of how he and Emily first shared a kiss because Dewey had tripped on a tree root and fell on her, and how they had been fastened together on the ground by a fishing fly Marvin had tied for him to aid in his pursuit of the lady with the lovely cheekbones. Stonefly nymph on a number six.

Dewey had taken two showers this evening to expunge any lingering “product” and had a corsage all ready. Tonight’s the night. Yes, tonight he was going to pop the question. Tonight. Over dinner at the Italian place, where they’d had their first date.

Emily was radiantly beautiful in her yellow dress, which set off her outstanding cheekbones better than a Hollywood camera. They took a small table off to one side and ordered a bottle of wine.

“Emily,” he said, “I have to ask you something.”

“Yes, Honey?”

“Will you …”

As he leaned forward, so did his glass of wine, and her glass of wine, and the table. He helped her up and saw the damage to her dress and she asked to go home and change.

What right would he have to ask her to stomach a lifetime of his little fatalities?

He’d have to think about that.


For great fly fishing in Kentucky, go to Indiana. See why in The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List, available at