Slim Randles' Home Country
This Saturday, I'll be "Seven dog Slim"
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[March 04, 2017]
This Saturday is special to me, because for one day each
year, I get to let the years fly behind me and become someone else.
Back on this special Saturday in 1973, you see, I was Number 37.
I had the Number 37 bib pinned on my parka that early morning at
the baseball diamond in Anchorage, and I was just one of many dog
mushers starting the very first Iditarod Dogsled Race to Nome.
I also get to be someone else on Saturday, too. The guys called me
Seven-Dog Slim, because that was how many I had in front of that
sled, and I had to borrow a house pet and bail another out of the
pound to get seven of them. Seven dogs, you see, was the minimum
number you had to have to compete.
And, since the other guys had more dog food than I did, they had
more dogs, as well. Most of the teams were in the 10 to 14-dog
vicinity. This made me the equivalent of the driver of a VW Bug in
the Indy 500. Later, they upped the minimum to nine dogs, so I guess
Iíll always be the only idiot to start out on the Idiot Road with
But I was IN the Iditarod Ö the race Joe Redington, Sr. worked so
many years to establish. I was among a few of the homesteader types
who lived in the woods and actually used a dog team for
transportation. Our cabin was more than 12 miles from where we
parked the car, you see. So the dogs were not only part of our happy
little Alaska Bush family, but hauled in the groceries Ö and dog
[to top of second
So how did I do? Well, I crushed an ankle
several hundred miles into the 1,000-mile race and got airlifted
back to the hospital.
So Saturday Iíll wear the gold-colored parka I wore 44 years ago,
and once again I can be Seven-Dog Slim for a day.
Hereís to the mushers on trail. Packed trails and fast dogs, my
brothers and sisters. Itís a very long way to Nome.
[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.