Slim Randles' Home Country
Little boys yearn for the bigger world out there
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There were two little boys down at the Doughnut Hole Café
the other day, standing outside, just waiting. They didn't have long
to wait. The Greyhound bus pulls up just about 1 o'clock each
afternoon, give or take a little.
When the bus pulled up and parked and the brakes went whoosh, those
two little boys had eyes like saucers. They took in everything, from
the mud on the tires to the snow clinging to the mud flaps.
driver stepped down and helped her passengers out, proudly wearing
the Greyhound uniform. She had pride in her eyes, too, as we all
know how that mountain can get when it's snowing.
It's always been that way. There have always been little guys
watching and wondering as the people get off for their lunch stop.
Where are these people from? What was it like up on the mountain? I
wonder if I could drive the bus someday when I'm grown.
When we're small, our world and our view of it tends to be
smaller as well. The exotic places of the world -- to an 8-year-old
-- aren't Singapore or Nairobi or Calcutta. The exotic places tend
more toward Smithfield and Riverbank and Oakdale and Cottage Grove.
At 8 years old, the world's horizon is Thompson Ridge, rather than
the Pacific Ocean. But that doesn't make the world any less
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Those little boys knew that after lunch, those people would get
back on that bus (they even have a restroom on the bus, you know)
and they would go out of town in a diesel rush and cross the bridge
on Lewis Creek and then disappear. But they know the bus will be
going right past their grandparents' house in about two hours. They
asked and they know. The people on that bus might be able to look
out and see grandpa's dog, Sadie, as the bus goes by.
I wonder what Sadie's doing right now? If I were on that bus
right now, I could get off there and see. And someday I will.
Someday I'll get on and ride and I'll know what's out there. I'll
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