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Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

Slim Randles

The problem was Mrs. Doc, you see. Oh, don't misunderstand. She's a perfectly wonderful lady and we all think the world of her, and as far as we know she has yet to burn down a house or start a war or anything.

The problem is, we don't know her first name.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

There are times when we can tell what's going on without even seeing it or smelling it. Just take the other morning at the Mule Barn truck stop.

Most of the charter members of the world dilemma think tank were already gathered at the philosophy counter and had had two cups of coffee and solved most of the world's problems that occurred on page one of the Valley Weekly Miracle.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

Delbert McLain came by to have coffee with us the other day. He's our chamber of commerce, you know. Delbert's mission inn life seems to be to promote our little valley into becoming so important and prosperous that we won't want to live here anymore.

But he does try hard, and we admire that.

"Got an idea, guys," he said. He swept his necktie out of the way so he wouldn't accidentally butter it. "A contest."

"Like the knife-sharpening contest you thought up, Del?"

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

Slim Randles

If they ever give a Nobel Prize for reading about science, our guy Bert Underwood would be a shoo-in. His own career had been strictly non-scientific, but his retirement absolutely reeked of cutting-edge discoveries, which he read about and tried to pronounce.

It was like that the other night when the Mule Barn closed. We had taken our wives down to split either a chicken-fried steak the size of a saddle blanket, or a fish and chips large enough to feed a cavalry regiment.  We stepped out into the chill of the night and looked up at the many stars.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

"Tell you kids what," he said, sitting down and cutting off their escape route, "there's more to lifetimin' than jest gettin' married, makin' a buncha money and bein' a success. Yessir."

The kids had made the mistake of leaving the ice cream parlor by the side door instead of the front door, you see, and before they had a chance to yell "Incoming!" why ... there he was ... Windy Wilson. Some folks, you see, can't live without food and water. Windy can't live without an audience.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

By Slim Randles

Doc wasn't really sure just why he woke up so early this morning and went outside. It was cold, of course, as the first day of any new year is supposed to be. He and Mrs. Doc had watched some television of the parties taking place around the world, but then, about 11, he began thinking of the mystery he was reading, and how comforting and nice it is to lie in bed and read each night as part of a years-old routine.

So he went to bed and read. Mrs. Doc came in a few minutes later.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It began the way most miracles do: by accident or the hand of God, take your pick.

It might have been the weather, at least partly. For December, the day had been almost balmy and warm. You know, sweaters instead of heavy coats. No mittens in sight.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

by Slim Randles

"I can't stand winter," said Herb Collins, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn's philosophy counter for a quick cup. "There's nothing to do."

"Get out and enjoy it," suggested Doc. "Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you'll feel better."

"I don't think your advice will take," said Dud. "Herb seems to be intransigent on this one."

We all looked at Dud.

"You see, he said he couldn't stand winter," Dud continued, "which shows he has a proclivity for intransigence on that particular subject."

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

Slim Randles

There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year here at home. This is a time for summing up and looking ahead ... and a time for dreams.

And at night... ah, that's the time, isn't it? Outside it's dark, December dark, and we're inside and warm and cocooned up. The cold makes our world shrink, especially at night.

But we have our dreams.

Home Country

PROMO 660 x 440 People - Slim Randles

Slim Randles

My first wife came from a ranching family way back up in the hills of central California and had a cousin, Ted, who was a hounddog man. This made him akin to Evel Knievel with a pack of pooches. 

I talked my way into hunting with him, of course.

All went well until we were on the way home, when a badger ran across the road and dove into a large culvert pipe.

"Oh wow!" Ted yelled. "Let's get him!"

He released most of the hounds and they plugged the culvert pipe with bawling insults. In the dead center of the pipe was a snarling badger.