Rushville Republican

Columns

March 1, 2013

Randles: Home Country 030113

RUSHVILLE — The bonafide members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s philosophy counter and world dilemma think tank adjourned early Saturday to reconvene at the top of Geezer Hill. That wasn’t its real name, of course. It didn’t have a real name. It wasn’t much of a hill, either. More like a twenty-foot elevation. The youngsters called it Geezer Hill because several members of the think tank, being in possession of gray hair and semi-wisdom, had smoothed out a sled run that featured style rather than speed.

Each winter since, when the moon was right, nothing good was on television, and the joints didn’t ache more than usual, the aforementioned geezers slid down the hill.

Herb and Doc and Marvin stood at the top and got the toboggan ready, while Steve just watched. He was younger, quite a bit younger, than the other three, but this cold weather got his hurt parts riled up and he was sitting this one out.

“I keep looking around for someone young enough to make the first run and kinda top it off for us,” Doc said, “and we don’t have anyone.”

“I’d go first,” Herb said, “if I hadn’t promised my wife I wouldn’t.”

“Can’t be that hard to do, I mean, just to go first,” Marvin said. “Where’s your pioneering spirit?”

“So you’re going first, Marvin?”

“Not today. Today is … something … can’t remember what. But if it was tomorrow, I’d go first.”

“Tomorrow that run will be all smooth and packed down and old ladies could go down it,” Herb said. “Tomorrow, we’ll have been over it dozens of times.”

“Got any old ladies around?” Doc asked.

Steve did a couple of squats, and swung his arms around. He took the toboggan rope from Doc’s hand, sat down, put both boots over the front curl of it, and pushed off.

“Yeehaw!” he yelled as the toboggan slid in slow-motion along its gentle path to the bottom. Both he and the toboggan arrived at the bottom together, and the three oldsters applauded as Steve walked back up.

Doc grabbed the toboggan’s rope. “I’ll go next.”

And as he sat down in it, he grinned up at the tall cowboy with the walrus moustache. “Steve, I believe that’s the first time I ever saw anyone spur a sled to the bottom of a hill.”

“Doc,” he said, “I can ride anything with hair. Or … wood.”

Brought to you by Sweetgrass Mornings, memoirs of an outdoor life. Read a sample at www.slimrandles.com.

 

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