Ol' Windy Wilson

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A warm recollection of some of life's experiences, stories and characters.
First 10 Pages

Slim Randles

Ol’ Windy Wilson’s

Words of Wisdom

That baron of the bunkhouse, that titan of the tack room, that distributor of cow-processed soil emoluments is here … in print … with stuff you need to know.

Coagulated from Windy’s appearances on the national radio show “Home Country with Slim Randles”

To all the good times and laughs we’ve had with Larry and Susan Ahrens.

- Slim Randles


To Larry Ahrens, who constructivated me into what I am today … a self-made man.

- Windy Wilson


There’s something magical about staring at the south end of a northbound cow long enough … years long enough … that empowers the starer with sudden fits of wisdom. Now this may not be the best wisdom that a cowboy could come up with, but it’s dead-on for certain sure. Immutable proof, you see, that the vagaries of life can only be truly disseminated from the back of a horse.

And that’s why we celebrate the bunkhouse philosophies of our friend, Alphonse “Windy” Wilson. Someday, when Windy has finished off the last of his Dutch oven cobblers, they could put on his headstone “Often in error; never in doubt.”

That, you see, is the true test of a man having faith in his opinions.

When radio legend Larry Ahrens and I began the syndicated radio show “Home Country with Slim Randles,” we listened to it and we knew something was missing. Oh, we had a few funny stories and some true stuff thrown in just so we could say we had some. And, of course, the classic country music that producer Larry picked out was great. But there was still that missing como se llama, you know?

With all the conspiracy theories and ancient astronaut theories and acts of sabotage and Congress, who was going to separate the wheat from the fruit tree? Who was going to skim the pond scum of deception off the surface of cowboy truth?

Windy Wilson.

I’ve been fortunate to have known Windy for decades now. We’ve shared bunkhouses and early morning coffee and trail dust and the occasional cold beer and a frozen trail or two, and you get to know a guy really well in that time. So I knew he was the guy we needed.

So Windy got behind the microphone each week and got the world straightened out on things the world needed to have straightened. But Windy brought more to the show than simply his wisdom. He had studied hard at Cow Camp College, reading True West magazine, seed catalogs, Western Horseman, and the novels of Honore’ de Balzac and Max Evans. This vast education wasn’t half vast, no sir, and it enabled him to fertilize and grow his vocabulary almost to the tipping point. And that’s why it took so long to assemble this book of wisdom.

Larry and I both agreed that we owed the same color and flavor of Windy’s wisdom to readers that the listeners to the show received each week.

So we hijacked some scriveners and kept them in someone’s basement to transcribe Windy’s broadcasts. It was quite a sight during the long months it took.

It was reminiscent of monks hand-writing the Bible, except the scriveners didn’t have robes, and the monks didn’t have chains.

But hey, we were fair! I mean, we brought gruel twice a day, and once a week … carryout pizza! All they had to do was scriv. And to listen to the wailing and the gnashing of teeth, you’d think we weren’t treating them well.

I can close my eyes and hear them now, yelling in abject agony, “How do you spell dismutificational?”

But they finally finished and were released to go seek their fortunes, and left us these scrivelings which capture a whole bunch of Windy’s style.

So now, as we say each week on the air, here’s Windy ….

Slim Randles

Home Folks

Chapter One

Warmin’ It Up

The closed-season school board meeting was called to order half an hour late by its chairman, J. Buckdancer Alcott, because the board members saw Windy Wilson sitting in the audience.

Windy had no children, and he sure as sugar wasn’t a teacher, but he could talk. And he was patiently biding his time. Despite the board’s foot dragging through the agenda, Windy didn’t give up and go home.

Finally, Alcott said it was time for public feedback and asked if anyone wanted to speak. Windy raised his hand. Alcott looked desperately around, but Windy’s hand was the only one raised. He nodded in Windy’s direction.

“My name is Alphonse Wilson,” he said, standing, “and I live here.”

“We know who you are, Windy,” said Alcott.

“Thanks, Buck. I feel it’s my duty to bring to the board’s attention a strategic dearth of learnin’ with these young folks today. A paucity of eddyflication. In short, their vocabulary is seriously obfusticated. We have to ask ourselves, what are these young folks goin’ to do in polite society when a hostess passes around the horse doovers? Are they going to palaver proper, or just sit there on their sacrolibriums and nod? Are they going to be admitted to the barn association, write them writs of habeas porpoise, or just sue each other out of court? Are we really doing them a favor by not enrichelating their talking prior to a proper propulsion into adultery? I say no!”

At this point, two ladies in the audience quickly excused themselves and dashed into the hallway.

“Instead of being instructed in proper English, our students today spend all their time watching private defective shows on television. So I think teachers should work on getting ‘em more eloquenter than they are now.”

“Mr. Wilson,” asked one of the board members, “what is it about the way our students speak that you find objectionable?”

“They say like all the time. Instead of making a simple declarational sentencing, they say, ‘Oh, I was like this and he was like that, and she like ate dinner.’

Windy doesn’t even charge for these lessons. They’re always, like, free.


Now you know it ain’t nice to be disillusionarily rude to a guest, don’t ya? Wal, shore you do, and boys, that’s why I couldn’t figger out them women-type ladies at lunch today. Nossir. Know’d ‘em all for years, too.

Oh, Alphonse Wilson here, a-course, bringing you enrichelating ‘speriences ever’ time we meet. Wellsir, you know I was actual invited to speak to them triple L ladies, right? Yep, the Ladies Literary League and Garden Society theirselves.

They invited me to speak to ‘em after I spent about a month or two dropping little hints on ‘em circulationin’ around my havin’ new thoughts on our future. I thought it would make a good speechify for ‘em, and you know me, I’m always out to lighten other folks’ loads, right? So they finally invited me to come to the lunch and deliver my pregnastications for ‘em. So I did. Today. They even bought my lunch, bless ‘em.

But boy howdy was I in for a existictual surprise, I can tell ya. I mean to say, I had it all spread out for ‘em. You know. How we was conscriptin’ along toward the certain abolishment of oblivity and such, you know? Hey, I was a verimental Nasty Door Mouse on them idears. Yes I was. But you know what? Them ladies … all of ‘em … why even Mrs. Doc! … wouldn’t look me in the eye?

Well, you boys know I finagulated that speechify book out of the library last week in preparatory for this speech, and it said you had to make eye contact with the audience. No … it really did. So there I was, eye-contactin’ ‘em proper, but they wouldn’t eye-contact me back. Not a one. To say this was a disconcertin’ elevation would be an undertow statement of the delineals, I can tell ya!

I thought them ladies was nicer’n that. And after we was done with lunch, they didn’t even look me in the eye when they thanked me for coming. Thassa fact.

What’s that, Doc? Did I come straight here … you mean from the speechifyin’?

Well, shore I did.

I don’t know why you guys are laughin’ … I don’t never think bein’ rude is funny. What? My … fly’s open?

Well … still ain’t nice to be rude.

And you can tell ‘em I said so.

Far Eastern Young Folks

I timed ‘er just right t’other day. Strolled on into the Mule Barn when I knew Doc and the guys would be there. Oh we unfiltered the world events for a while, then … to take advantage of medical science when it’s sippin’ coffee, I rolls up my sleeve and shows Doc my elbow.

Then I said, “Doc, what do you reckermend for a elbow with a carbolic uncle on it like this here?”

And ol’ Doc, he looks right at me, takes a sip o’joe, and says, “Youth in Asia.”

Youth in Asia? Hey, you know me, Alphonse Wilson. You know I ain’t got a thing against them Chinese kids. I sure like to watch ‘em in the Olympics. You see them Chinese girls diving? Boy howdy! And them Korean guys shooting their bows? Flamtastic!

And I’m sure they’re all really nice folks ‘n all, but what do the kids know about elbows?

So I went to the library and asked Mrs. Cutter if she had anythin’ on fixin’ elbows in China or Japan or Korea or Cambloodia, or any a them Asian countries. She looked at me kinda funny there for a minute, I guess she wasn’t ‘spectin’ me to be lookin’ up medicine thingies. But then she brought me back a book on Asian medicine and I checked ‘er out.

Wellsir, you ain’t gonna believe this, but I even saw pitchers. You know what them guys do when they got a misery in a certain place? They stick pins in it!

See, told you you wouldn’t believe me. But they do. They call it accurate puncture.

And if stickin’ a pin ain’t getting’ the job done, why they ups ‘n puts a marshmeller on the top of the pin and sets fire to it!

Hey, if I’m lyin’ may my dog get coated in WD40 and come down with the lubricrated scours!


Well, I thought this was about the dumbest thing I ever read, but I know ol’ Doc wouldn’t steer me wrong … so I did ‘er.

It hurt a little, but it was about like gettin’ a blackleg shot at branding, ‘cept on purpose a-course. But I sat there lookin’ at my elbow through all of Gunsmoke and that there carbolic uncle didn’t go away.

So I got me a marshmeller … yes, I did. Had some left over from Halloween, you know, last year. And I put one on that pin and ignitified it. Singed all the hair around my elbow, too.

Did it work? Well, no. Not really. Maybe you have to have a Asian elbow to get all the benerfits of it.

But that there marshmeller shore tasted good.

And you can tell ‘em I said so.


Let’s talk legendarius stuff for a few minutes, neighbors. Yessir … I mean the legendarial histerical figgers that keep us goin’ aw! Yep, them guys. Oh, Alphonse Wilson, a-course, here for you guys all the time and after lunch, too.

I look around town here and what do I see? Well, these here young folks who are plannin’ out their futures, yes they are. And what are they plannin’? Gettin’ some schoolin’, gettin’ married up, makin’ a swarm a-money, and bein’ successified.

Now, at first blast, that don’t sound half bad, I know. But what about the legendarical stuff?

Now you jest take ol’ man Jenkins, for a sample. He lived up in the hills somewhere. Nobody’s found his cabin yet, matter a-fact. He passed away while he was shoppin’ in town, and nobody knows where it’s at. Fact.

But back when ol’ Jenkins was still alive, he became a histerical-type legend here ‘cuz he liked cats. Yessir, he did. Ever’ time he come to town, Jenkins would start playin’ with all the cats. One at a time. He’d catch one, give it a treat, and then teach it to jump. I’m serious now. He sorta scrooched them up again his shins and put his hands in front of ‘em and they had to jump his hands to get out. Then he’d tell ‘em how smart they was and give ‘em a cat treat.

Wellsir, he worked his way through ‘bout all our alley cats and moved on to the cats at the school, and first thing you know, he’d gradumated up to old ladies’ housecats. Shore nuf did. Got ‘em all jumpin.’ He kept gettin’ em jumpin’ higher and higher, and first thing you know, we was the town of world famous jumpin’ cats. Sometimes them cats would jest jump all by theirselves, ’cuz they missed ol’ Jenkins and his cat treats when he was off in the hills. Mebbe they jest realized how lucky they was to have somethin’ they could do more than jest eat and sleep.

But the point I’m tryin’ to pointificate here is that right here was a guy who didn’t have a wife, or a education, or a buncha money. You shore couldn’t say he sucessicated his lifetime in many ways.

But he got ever’ dang cat in this town, ‘cept one, to jumpin’ jest dandy. That one? … oh, that was Gilbert’s ol’ three-legged cat, Tripod. And bless ol’ Tri’s heart, he tried … kep’ fallin’ over though. But we cheered for him each time he gave ‘er a shot.

So roundin’ this all up and puttin’ a earmark on it, this jest shows ya that even if you don’t know nothin’ and nobody wants to be your wife, and you couldn’t rub two nickels together, you can still reach the very barnacle of leger-dee-main by lookin’ around and seein’ what needs to be done, and then doin’ ‘er. Like trainin’ cats to jump. It’s the American Way.

And you can tell ‘em I said so.

Ooly-ooly-vooly dreams

Corn dog whammies and silk pajamys you shoulda been there! Oh, it was a grand dream, lemme tell ya.

Oh, Alphonse Wilson here, all natchurl like, as always. Wellsir, I never used ta put much stock in them dreams ‘til I had this one. Didja know a guy can change whilst in his sleep? Me neither, but ol’ Windy would never steer ya wrong, ya know.

First off, guess where I was when I closed my eyes … give up? Paris W. France!

You know, that there city that has the big oil derrick smack in the middle of it which don’t pump oil? And ever’body over there calls you ‘miss you’ or if you’re a lady “my damn” True. Seen it on the teevee. Wellsir, there I was, your kinda less than sophistercated genuine American cowboy and camp cook, and I was plumb in the middle of all them folks. And then I met her! Oh, she was a good-lookin’ little heifer. She come up to me and said somethin’ like ooly-ooly-vooly, and me, wellsir, I didn’t know what so say on back to her so I jest tipped my hat and said “Ma’am?”

And then a stranger than true kinda thing happened. After another go-round of ooly-voolies from her, I felt … very swave and dee boner all of a sudden. I scrunched up my mouth like I seen ol’ Charlie Boyer used to do, and I said to her…

Pardone the heck outa me, dam-sell, but you are cuter’n a pocketfulla baby mouses. Why don’t we make up our own leetle United kinda Nations and pass-ee-arr to somewhere it’s quiet and we can be alone. I want to be where I can look into your eyes, darlin’. Up close and personable. Your lips are softer than my bedroll pillow.

Your chin is like that ski jump at the Olympicals. Your eyes … your eyes… kell enchantiin-moi my little rutabager. I like the whole nine yards of them eyes, the whites and the yolks.

And by the way, cutie pie, what’s your name? Bet it’s somethin’ like Musette or Champagne or Escargot or somethin’ real Frenchie like that.

Wellsir, then it happened, jest like in them movies. We was standin’ there lookin’ at the oil rig and lookin at them people who have to eat on the sidewalk ‘cause they can’t afford to go inside. And that sweet little rutabager of mine puckered up and reached over to me and …


Jest give me a case a-measles and only charge me fer the first spot! I opened up my eyes and there was ol’ Ramses, lickin’ my whiskers and askin’ to go out. You know, for a fact, he don’t look a thing like my little Frenchie rutabager. Not a-tall!

Oh well, I thought to myself, at least I was unavoidable dashing and swave there for a while. I think dreams kin be fun, you know? Wonder if ol’ Ruta will be in my dreams tonight, too.

And you kin tell ‘em I said so!