MAYBE TOMORROW – Home Country

Old Jasper Blankenship bought a deer license again this year, just as he’s done every year since Eisenhower was President. He sticks nickels and dimes in a jar all year long and smiles each time he contributes. By Fall, he’s saved up enough for a deer tag.

Jasper lives full-time out at the diggin’s

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GOING PLUMB NUTS ON HALLOWEEN – Home Country

To look at Herb Collins, you wouldn’t think he was like that. A nicer, kinder guy you never met. But for one evening each year … one little slice of time … he’s downright diabolical.

Every small town has one, of course. There is always that one person who takes Halloween to its extremes of

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ALL WET – Home Country

When Florencio Ortiz sent off for that new slicker, everyone in town and out at the ranch knew about it. He described in detail how waterproof it was and how a cowboy just couldn’t possibly get wet with this slicker on.

Then it came, and Florencio tied it behind the cantle of his saddle each day.

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CAMPING OUT WITH A SINGLE TARP – Home Country

This is going to be good, Dud thought, bringing his new tarp out to the car. There it was on that computer site. How to camp out with just a single tarp. I’ve been looking for something like that for a long time now.

Amazing what you can find on the internet.

He couldn’t get Anita to go with him,

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JUST WAIT… SEPTEMBER’S COMING – Home Country

Billy had to get his chores done early. It was the heat, of course. Now that it’s summer, he no longer has to escort the kids across the street while Martin holds the sign. No kids at the crosswalk for a couple of weeks now.

So Billy, being the official town dog, was still kind of feeling his way

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LOTS OF LOVE – Home Country

Bert and Maizie were down at the swimming hole on Lewis Creek the other day. Saturday it was. The sun was bright hot and these two lovers had found a nice patch of shade near the tire swing tree where they could sip iced tea and watch the youngsters.

The little kids were in the shallow wading area,

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DISCUSSIONS OF TRIVIA IN THE CHECKOUT LANE – Home Country

It happened in the checkout lane down at the Soup ‘R’ Market last week. We discussed it thoroughly, of course, and no one knows yet what to make of it.

As sometimes happens, when we are glancing at the tabloids to see who fathered Bigfoot’s new baby, we get into discussions of trivia. Annette

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COWBOY CAMP DAVID – Home Country

Steve waited until all the horses went through the sale Saturday morning (I mean, you never can tell when the world’s perfect horse will be sold for a buck and a half, which was about what he was carrying). Then, when they started on the cull cows, he looked at his companions questioningly, and

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WHAT’S WINDY UP TO NOW? – Home Country

Windy Wilson looked through the notions aisle at the store and finally picked out the package of needles he wanted. Big ones. The big ones are easier to thread and it’s harder to drop them and stick yourself.
Mrs. Andrews walked past him with her shopping cart.

“Going to do some sewing, Windy?”

“Oh

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NOT MANY PERKS WHEN YOU’RE A CHICKEN – Home Country

Irma has it figured out. She’s a bona fide, egg-laying member of the “Production Red” hen sorority and she knows her rights.

This is really remarkable when you consider the braincase of your average barnyard chicken is wedged between some feathers and those big expressionless eyes and has about

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FISHING: FOR THE SAKE OF SCIENCE – Home Country

Marvin Pincus is not the kind of guy to let spring slip through his fingers. Oh, when he was a young man, sure. But now, with the coming of spring to the world and autumn to his life, he’ll take every chance that comes along to grab life by both hands and spur it into a run.

That’s why Marvin was

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A 24/7 FARMER – Home Country

When Harley Jacobsen came into Doc’s office the other day for his physical it was a treat for Doc. Harley is one of Doc’s favorite people. Harley is a farmer. A 24/7 farmer. Ol’ Harley can make hair grow on a bald head and wheat grow on rocks.

When he’d been thumped and bumped and listened

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TURNS SLEEPY VALLEY INTO WALL STREET – Home Country

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.

That’s

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OH WHAT’S HER NAME… – Home Country

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.

If you just come out and flat ask her,

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WE CREATED A MONSTER: A TECHNOGEEZER – Home Country

When old Jasper Blankenship came to town from the diggings recently, we asked him over for a few days. He saw us working the home computer and asked about it, but he really seemed to be immune to its wonders.

But then my wife showed him how he could call up a certain program, tell it where he wanted

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MUSHERS 2017: THE IDITAROD DOGSLED RACE – Home Country

Saturday, March 4 was 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

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MAKING THE ROUNDS AND GETTING YOUR SNIFF ON – Home Country

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

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KEEPING THE FIRST “R” IN FEBRUARY – Home Country

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

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WHAT’S HER NAME? – Home Country

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.

If you just come out and flat ask her,

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PARTY ON! – Home Country

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.

Then there were Christmas lights on the stores, and

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STAY WARM & HAVE A GOOD WINTER – Home Country

Dewey Decker, that accident-prone neighbor of ours, is the undisputed Pharoah of Fertilizer, the Monarch of Manure. He has turned a shovel-ready business into a going concern, with the help of the woman of his dreams, Emily. But in the quiet times, when it’s only Dewey thinking to himself, he really

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DEWEY HAS NEW TITLE… VERMICULTURIST – Home Country

Dewey Decker showed his new business cards to the other guys at the Mule Barn Truck Stop’s philosophy counter, and each member of the world dilemma think tank got to keep one.

Steve, our owlish-appearing cowboy, scratched his head as he studied the card.

“Okay, Dewey, I’ll bite … what’s

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CHORES IN EXCHANGE FOR FOOD – Home Country

Mrs. Forrest has always been a compulsive feeder. Before she retired, she was cooking for the Mule Barn truck stop’s customers, and is singularly responsible for about three flabby tons of avoirdupois on this nation’s truck drivers, and may have been marginally responsible, third-hand, for a cardiac

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COW-A-DUNGA! – Home Country

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

“What did you get?” asked Doc.

“D-24.”

“Just one?”

“Yeah. The boys caught me when I was kinda short, so I only got the one this year.”

“They hit me for ten,” Doc said. “In E section.”

Dud looked at us. “I think E section’s

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WATCHING THE DAY MAKE BEAUTIFUL SKIES – Home Country

The evening was one of those that come back to you time after time, year after long year. It comes back and whispers of how good life can be when you’re well fed, enjoying life and a good friend shares the front porch with you on a summer’s evening.

It was that way with Doc and Steve the other

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