I wrote the following post Tuesday early afternoon before hearing about the shooting at the school in Uvalde. My posts are often written the day before they go live, often to give myself a chance to edit or change entirely.
I’m not going to change this one. We do need a moment to focus on something other than the horror that happened in that small Texas town. I know I do, and I suspect I’m not alone. So I’ll let the post from Slim Randles stand. But before moving on, let me point out that I’ve written about gun violence 28 times on my blog in recent years. That’s how many times there has been a horrific shooting such as this most recent one.
I’m pleased to have humorist Slim Randles back as my guest on the blog today. He never fails to entertain us with the funny stories about the guys at the Mule-Barn truck stop, and Windy Wilson is one of the characters, Slim has written about many times. Mostly, the essays starring Windy have showcased the creative license Windy takes with the use of the English language, and those are always fun to read.
This one is fun, too, but also with a dash of sweetness. Enjoy…
“Before we begin our regular commencement tonight,” said combined elementary/high school principal Jim Albertson, “we have a special award to present. Will Windy Wilson please come up here on the stage with us?”
Windy looked up at the stage in the gymnasium and all he saw were black choir robes and smiles. He looked at his fellow spectators and all he saw were grins and people sitting down.
“Windy?” said Jim. Windy walked up to the stage and shook hands with the principal. “Put this on.”
Windy draped a black robe around himself and put the mortarboard on his head.
The principal pulled a piece of paper from his shirt pocket. “Alphonse Wilson, it is the judgment of your community and friends that no one has ever worked harder for an honorary doctor’s degree than you have. Am I right on that?”
The young graduates clapped and hooted, and so did the audience.
Windy looked at the floor and blushed right through his grey beard.
“We can’t give you an honorary doctorate here because we don’t have one. But your neighbors discovered that you only lacked one class to graduate from high school, and we can do something about that.”
More clapping and whooping.
“Alphonse Wilson … known to all as Windy … this school … these young graduates … and all your friends and neighbors are proud to bestow upon you an honorary high school diploma.”
Jim placed a ribbon with a medal hanging from it around Windy’s neck and handed him a rolled-up certificate.
Not too many aging cowboy camp cooks and philosophers receive standing ovations, but then, there’s nothing very ordinary about Windy Wilson and we all know that.
Brought to you by Saddle Up: A Cowboy’s Guide to Writing, by Slim Randles, now available at Amazon.com.
Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books and the host of two podcasts and a television program.