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Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

These days we don't think much about axes. They're kinda old fashioned and they are too closely associated with manual labor for them to be very popular. It's a shame, too, because there is lore to an ax. There are proper and improper ways to sharpen one, for instance.

There are proper and improper ways to fell a tree with one, to limb a fallen tree, to split firewood. Replacing the handle on an ax could make the subject of a very interesting small book, even.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

When the young woman walked into the Mule Barn truck stop alone, it caused a few heads to turn. Not only was she very pretty, but she was alone, and that seldom happens in the Barn. Young women usually either come in as part of a family, or they are escorted by a young man.

"Now she's a looker, boys," said Herb. "Maybe she's meeting someone here."

The guys nodded. Dud turned his head slightly so his grin was hidden.

"Don't remember seeing her around," Steve said, twitching his moustache.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

If there's one thing you can honestly say about Delbert McLain, he's as persistent as a winter cough. As our chamber of commerce here -- he's it, you see -- his fertile brain never ceases its search to turn a sleepy little valley into a cross between Wall Street and Pittsburgh.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

There's something so satisfying about getting out of bed when the world is still dark and quiet and resting. Making the coffee gives us time to scratch and think. Well, scratch, anyway. Most of that thinking will start after about the third cup of coffee.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

"Kids got the kites up this morning down at the schoolyard," Dud said, slipping into his chair and flipping his coffee mug to the upright and fillable position in one smooth move.

Doc nodded and spread jam on his toast. He likes grape.

"Any special shapes this year?"

"Didn't see any," Dud said. "Same old diamond shapes, mostly."

"Now back when I was a kid," Herb chimed in, "we had box kites, too. Sometimes..."

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

This Saturday is special to me, because for one day each year, I get to let the years fly behind me and become someone else. Back on this special Saturday in 1973, you see, I was Number 37. I had the Number 37 bib pinned on my parka that early morning at the baseball diamond in Anchorage, and I was just one of many dog mushers starting the very first Iditarod Dogsled Race to Nome.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

When Windy walked into the Mule Barn during that cold snap last week, we knew he was getting frantic for an audience. He has a hard time getting us to listen to his version of history, his notions of what was going on now, and his prognostications of the future of mankind.

But it was cold, and sitting out on the bench and ambushing listeners didn't work too well right now for Windy Wilson, so here he came. We gave each other the wink and dragged out a chair for him.

"What d'you know, Windy? Cold enough for ya?"

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

I don't mind Boots. He just curls up quietly against my belly and stays put. But sleeping with Desdemona can be a bit unnerving. She snores. Sometimes she gets little bad dreams and scratches me, too. But hey, I get to come in out of the cold and sleep with Aunt Ada's cats on her sofa, and a guy can tolerate a certain amount of cat snoring for that.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

In the week before Valentine's Day, Marvin Pincus had two new customers for his (free of charge, of course) love advice and fly-tying consultation services. He tied up a midge for one client, a salmon streamer wrapped in lead for another, and wished them well. This was his busy time, of course. He knew another would come in mid-May, in desperate anticipation of June weddings.

"Marge," he said, sipping coffee and looking out at the snow, "I think we need a vacation."