Slim Randles' Home Country
A picnic to remember
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[June 10, 2017]
was the kind of picnic he’d remember for quite a while, he knew. It
didn’t take place at the village park, where folks would normally
go, but down along Lewis Creek. There weren’t any tables there, or
fire rings, or restrooms. It was just a grassy patch down along the
But when the Delgado family invited him to the picnic, he
accepted and bought some soda pop for the kids. Jaime Delgado spread
the blanket out and his wife, Maria, opened the basket.
The kids were called back from tossing rocks in the creek. It was
almost like having a family of his own. He hadn’t had one for years
now, and, at 35, he missed having someone in his life. But he just
didn’t know what to say to people.
He wanted to, but every time he tried to join the conversation, he
locked up. This made it very difficult to get to know people, of
course, but he kept trying. He went to counseling once. But only
once. She was a nice lady, but she kept asking personal questions,
and he decided he didn’t really want to answer them.
It had cost him $75, but at least he could cross that off his list.
It wasn’t for him. But what really was for him?
Ever since he was in high school, he had had nightmares about having
to stand up and talk to the class. And he never had. The teachers
didn’t understand and gave him low grades accordingly, but at least
at the home they didn’t bother him about it.
“Enjoying yourself?” Maria asked him. He smiled and nodded.
“Have another sandwich. There’s plenty.”
He looked at her and said “Thank you.”
[to top of second
Why was that so hard?
“New in town, right?” Jaime asked. He nodded.
“Well, you’ll make friends soon enough. It’s nice having you here.
What’s your name?”
He swallowed, then said, “Richard.”
“Here’s to Richard,” said Maria, raising her bottle of soda.
Yes. It was the kind of picnic he’d remember for a long time.
[Text from file received from
Ol' Jimmy Dollar
is Slim Randles' first children's book. The book is for kids
K-3rd grades and is even better when parents read it with children.
Ol' Jimmy Dollar makes for sweet dreams and if you have a dog
even better. Available now on Amazon.