Better Safe Than Sorry

“No, Doc,” Windy said, “don’t hurt or nothin’ like that, but you know, with all the plagues goin’ on right now, figgered it’s better to be safe than … “ “Sorry?” “I ain’t never sorry I come to see ya, Doc. You know that. Fell to sleep t’other night when all them ad shows is…

Read More

More Than One Way To Have A Family

Every now and then, thought Doc, that opportunity comes back to haunt me. Like it is right now on this crisp morning walk. It came early in his medical life, an invitation to join with a famous big hospital Back East. He’d make more money, he knew, and there was the seductive challenge of being…

Read More

The Turkey Deserves Our Respect

Happy Thanksgiving, world! One of my favorite days, but I couldn’t tell you why … exactly. Oh, it’s time to get the clan together around the table and compliment Grandma on how yummy the world’s dumbest bird is this year, like always. The complete stupidity of the turkey is legendary. Of course, they have been…

Read More

Drinkin’ Your Fruit Juices

You get them flu shots ever’ fall? I try not to, but Doc has this year nurse that’s not only stouter’n a streetsweeper, but fleet of foot as well. This year’s Windy, a-course. So, yeah, I prit-nearly allus get one a-them shots each fall. But I been workin’ on a way to either speed me…

Read More

Two More Years

Have you been counting the minutes until election day when your neighbors can remove all those campaign signs from their lawns for another two years? Yes, these are mid-term elections, just as serious as the presidential election yet to come two years from now, but not as interesting. Why not? Because the great candidate Vermin…

Read More

The Locate Call

It’s the music of the Western mountains, and this is the only time we get to hear it. It has a hollow sound, as though a flute were a foot thick and 12-feet long, and it is the lonely call of the bull elk. It starts in early September and by October becomes more of…

Read More

And You Can Tell ‘Em I Said So

Hi there, Pard. Yep, it’s me, Alphonse Wilson, the one they call Windy. But this ain’t pertickler a good day for ol’ Windy. Fact-a-matter is, if I was to study how to do that depression stuff? This’d be a good day to start. Ya see, it’s what’s called an annual-versary of a sad time fer…

Read More

Most Of The Time

Packing people into the back country doesn’t sound really exciting, I know. And if it gets exciting, it’s undoubtedly because something went wrong. But we did have occasional chuckles during those eight summers. I stopped off at the backcountry ranger’s tent near Bullfrog Lake, in Kings Canyon National Park. He mostly checked fire permits and…

Read More

I Miss Guv Reeve

Looking around at all the yard signs and hearing politicians tell us on television what a lying crook their competition is, I have to admit I miss Guv Reeve. Guv had a real first name, but I sure don’t recall it now, because this was back in the 1960s and 1970s in the high desert…

Read More

Nobody Can Say I Don’t Love Them Little Mules

“You know it used to was even hotter than it is right now, don’t you?” Windy looked up from his lunch. Oh boy, professorial mood. We’re gonna get it. “I used ta pack mules, a-course. Well, I packed ‘em ‘til the accident, anyway.” “Accident, Windy?” Dang it, Dud, you’ve done it now. “Nobody can say…

Read More