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 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 in 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.
From the new book, "Home Country," at www.slimrandles.com.
Read free samples of Slim's books at www.slimrandles.com.
Home Country is a weekly syndicated newspaper column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.
Contact Slim Randles at email@example.com.