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2011-05-19 digital edition

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2011-05-19 / General Stories

Home Country

by Slim Randles

Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Without the little things, we might sail through life boringly and vanish in a vanilla haze.

Just take Saturday morning at the Mule Barn truck stop. There we were making certain no sudden wind would blow our chairs away from the philosophy counter, when Bert walked in wearing that shirt. It was a Western shirt, which is certainly not out of place in this rural area, but we all knew the only thing Bert knew about horses was how many he had under the hood of his sedan.

“Look at this!” said Dud.

“Pretty fancy shirt,” Doc said.

“Got pants to go with it, too,” Bert said. “Striped ones. You know, gambler pants. And boots. I don’t wear them here though. Just to go dancing.”

“Dancing, eh?”

“Maizie’s idea. She said we weren’t getting any younger and needed exercise and we should scoot our boots and all that. They give lessons Tuesday at the high school.”

“Country dancing?”

“You bet. Boot scootin’ and everything. I know how to do the Texas two step.”

We looked at Bert, with 40 years’ worth of eating regular meals hanging over his belt.

“Hey, I can dance, and I can prove it!”

“OK, Hon!” yelled our waitress, Loretta, dropping a quarter in the jukebox. “Let’s you and me dance and we’ll show ‘em.”

So he grabbed Loretta and the two of them did a pretty good little two-step right there during the breakfast rush. There was great cheering as they did their little whirl in, whirl out and clomp, clomp, clomp. Many of the people in there were clapping to the music. So was that salesman from the capital until Bert decided to give Loretta a quick spin and she sat in his scrambled eggs.

So what otherwise would’ve been just a routine truck stop dance got etched deeply in our local lore because of the scrambled eggs. He’d already eaten the hash browns and bacon. They made it right with him, of course.

Sometimes it’s the little stuff that sticks with us.

Brought to you by Slim’s new book “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Learn more at http://www.nmsantos.com/ Slim/Slim.html.

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