The backbone of democracy


Slim Randles - Home Country



There was Doc, just cruising around slowly on a warm Saturday, alone with his thoughts, which kinda centered around “I sure am lucky to live here.”

Then he saw the carboard boxes with bricks on top to hold them down in the wind, and an arrow on the front.

Saling! Yard saling! It’s that season again. And of course he had to stop. Especially if you hadn’t been yard saling in months.

He wandered through mountains of magazines, crates of kitchen utensils, tons of tools and cartons of old clothes. Then he saw it. A red tie. He didn’t have a red tie. He didn’t wear a tie except to church and that was just because Mrs. Doc made him do it.

But he didn’t have a red tie, and that fact alone made him feel … well … incomplete?

I mean, what if one of the guys came over to the house and asked if he could borrow Doc’s red tie? Think about it. What would he say?

“Well, sorry, Herb. I have never owned a red tie.”

“You don’t mean it!”

And Doc would be forced to nod sadly and suffer the pitying glances of a fellow human being.

He bought the tie. Fifty cents.

Spending that half dollar did several things for Doc that Saturday. It gave him a feeling of completeness. Now if someone came by to borrow … oh yes, he’s ready. And buying that tie also made him feel more … American.

On warm weekends here in Home Country, we set out our cardboard boxes with the arrows on them and we haul all our detritus out onto the driveway and the lawn and we do our bit to make sure our fellow Americans are fulfilled in the red tie department. Of course, we watch, don’t we, as our friends and neighbors pick through things we’ve been storing since the Eisenhower Administration. And if any one of them should curl a lip in scorn at one of these treasures, we’ll consider scratching them off the birthday party list.

Respect, after all, is the very backbone of democracy.

Brought to you by Strange Tales of Alaska, by Slim Randles. Now an ebook on Amazon.com.

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Slim Randles

Home Country

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