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There is a time when the stars line up just right, when the grass is at its peak in nourishment for the livestock, when the shirts are all on sale down at the store. There is a time that men and women know and have known, since dirt was young, that things are going to happen.

It must have felt like that on December 6, 1941, and on July 3, 1776. It sure felt that way to Dewey Decker as he walked along down Lewis Creek. In his right hand was a splendid streamer fly, a bi-visible with jungle cock eyes, tied for him by that genius of piscatorial playthings and premeditated passion, Marvin Pincus.

Maybe it was just the time of year that made Dewey feel so ... ready. Ready for a girlfriend ... a real one. A steady one. Ready for a change in his life. Would the woman be Emily Stickles from the county? Emily Stickles, that safeguard of county officialdom, that defender of bureaucratic brilliance. Emily of the incredible cheekbones. Emily, who tried to get Marvin's Fly Tying Love Center killed.

Or was it just the change to Fall. Could be. You see down there along the creek? Yep. The kids are still swimming in the swimming hole, but now they aren't staying in as long as they used to. There's Doc and Bert, casting flies farther downstream, hoping to catch something besides another idyllic afternoon.

Dewey counted his blessings as he went. After all, he knew he was accident-prone and all thumbs. He could never be a mechanic or a surgeon or a waiter. But he had found his niche in the fertilizer business. His product is worth absolutely nothing if he should ruin it. There is a constant free source of it at the dairy and the feedlot. The only instrument approaching sharpness is his shovel, and his only employees at the moment are earthworms, turning manure into high-grade compost. They work for free.

He decided, right there as he walked along, to buy a new necktie for meeting Emily. Blue, I think. Life is good.

Brought to you by Slim's new book "A Cowboy's Guide to Growing Up Right." Learn more at http://www.nmsantos.com/Slim/Slim.html.

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The Waynedale News Staff
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