Change Can be Good

 Help me welcome Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. He is here to share another story about the guys at the Mule Barn Truck Stop. Today, Delbert is working at the chamber office. 

Please help yourself to a piece of this yummy chocolate pie to go with your beverage of choice. I actually like mine with a dollop of chocolate ice cream. You?


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 part of what was going on in his mind this late winter’s day as he sat in the rented office the local businesses chip in for each month. On a snowy day like this one, of course, you can never tell when the representative of a foreign auto manufacturer might skid on into town and look around for a good pasture on which to install an assembly plant. And what would happen if Delbert wasn’t there, wearing his tie, in the chamber office, when that occurred?

  The next valley over would experience phenomenal growth and we’d still be left without the “big box” stores.

   We would be everlastingly condemned to buying our food at the Soup ‘R Market, buying our reading material at the Read Me Now Bookstore, getting a new “do” at Curl Up ‘N Dye beauty salon, and sipping our coffee at the Mule Barn truck stop where the waitresses know everything there is to know about us, whether that’s okay with us or not.

  But it’s a snowy day, and no one has dropped by wanting to subdivide the old Johnson place or anything, so Delbert threw his tie over his shoulder to get it out of the way and took his fly-tying vise out of the desk drawer.

  He was in a streamer mood and smiled as he tied the colorful tails on the longer hooks, dreaming of the retrieves his friends would make in Miller pond for the bass there. Delbert doesn’t enjoy fishing, just tying the flies. He likes the streamers better than the bass plugs, even if they don’t catch as many fish. They just look classier.

  So Delbert went on, tying flies for one way of life, and planning how to bring us another way of life, and smiling. Because he had no idea he was doing it.


Brought to you by The Fly Fishermann’s Bucket List by Slim Randles. Coming this spring from

Home Country is now a radio program in 17 states. Have a listen at

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Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” that is featured in 380 newspapers across the country. He is also the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It features some of the best of his columns.

2 thoughts on “Change Can be Good”

  1. Seems there’s always a struggle between leaving places the way they are or modernizing. Our village went through that a while back. We probably wouldn’t have survived well without updating, yet I often miss the ways things were before.

    1. You are so right about that push-pull between what was and what could come. Here in Winnsboro the city and community leaders have done a good job of blending the two. We have a renovated downtown area that has some unique restaurants and a live music venue that has drawn some big-name performers. We are blessed.

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