I've always liked a well worn hat. i had this one made a while back, paid a pretty penny for it too. since then it's been all over the place with me. it's been snowed on in wyoming, rained on in georgia, stepped on in colorado, slept on in utah and it got pretty dusty in arizona. many of the stories i've written were thought of under it. this hat and i have been through alot together, and with every sweat stain there's a story. it's one of my prized possessions that i hold dear to my heart. i don't believe in luck, but if i did this hat would be my "lucky one." in life we find it's the simple things that really mean the most. a good friend, family that loves you, a home to go to and a new place to see just over the horizon. i plan on visiting alot more places and having a whole lot more memories made...but before i go, i've got to go get my hat.
Folks i am a voracious reader and today i am excited to report that i have marked a book off my wanted list. i have just received my copy of elmer keith's autobiography. i've already read it, having to borrow a good friends copy but now i have my own and what's better....it is a signed copy. if y'all haven't read this, i can't recommend it enough. not just for his gun stuff, but for his authentic retelling of what life was like in those days. it is a glimpse into the last days of the american cowboy roaming free in the west. it's a wonderful book, and well worth anyone's time.
It was early october 1950, the boy had set his alarm clock for 6am. when the old westinghouse went to buzzing his eyes shot open, stretching and yawning he eased out of bed and into his clothes. a pair of levis cuffed over his buster browns just like the cowboys did, and his heavy wool pendleton coat his parents bought him this year for his 15th birthday. the red and black plaid jacket was synonymous with hunting. now his was just like his father's and grandfather's. he'd cleaned his winchester model 75 sporter the night before. my how he loved that rifle, he won it in the 1949 open road for boys shooting contest, it was the first prize award. he cleaned it every chance he got, even if someone looked at it, it got rubbed down with hoppes no. 9. he figured he'd spend the day tramping through the north georgia hills searching for his favorite game, the gray squirrel. first though he needed to get supplies, so he hopped on his bicycle and into town he went. harper's hardware store was only a couple of blocks from home, and they had just about everything a fellow could want. new scout hatchets, pocket knives, rifles, shotguns and pistols. the boy just loved to look, it was rare that he could ever buy anything. the few quarters and dimes he made from his paper route always went to the movies on saturday, but he always kept some money put back for bullets and such. he walked up to the counter and asked old man charlie for a box of peters hollow point .22 long rifle cartridges. today he was a big spender, the hollow points cost an extra 7 cents, that made the total 77 cents. mr. charlie asked.
"up aweful early for a weekend aren't you boy?" "sure am mr. charlie, you know what they say, 'early bird gets the worm.' in this case it'll be a mess of squirrels." mr. charlie laughed, the boy reminded him of himself all those years ago. when the boy got home his mother had breakfast fixed. big fluffy hotcakes with cane syrup and butter. bacon and eggs, a meal fit for a woodsman. after cleaning his plate and downing his milk and orange juice he grabbed his rifle, hat and backpack and out the door he went. his mother following behind him, standing in the door and yelling to him.
I collect old hunting magazines for multiple reasons. for nostalgia, study material, and for the simple fact that the writers of yesteryear were cut from a different cloth. my hands down favorite gun writer was skeeter skelton. as far as legendary writers go, he came a little later in the game. some of his first articles were published during the 1950's however he didn't become a house hold name until the 1970s. his articles were some of the finest reading anyone can ask for, but his hipshots column was absolute gold. i normally don't go for magazine issues published after 1960, but i do snag any copy of shooting times i can find if it has a skeeter article in it.
The single action army is a timeless pistol, its robust design and perfect ergonomics make it an absolute joy to shoot. it handles my .45 colt loads well, with relatively light recoil and suprising accuracy. if operated correctly the single action army is every bit as relevant today as it was in 1873, proving that good things don't have an expiration date. have a good weekend folks and don't forget to get out and shoot. i. starting a little early as always.
So i'm starting the classic outdoorsman reading challenge. take a photo of the book you're currently reading, tag me in it and pass the challenge on to a friend. if you're not currently working on a book, start reading! here's what i just started today...the jim corbett classic, man-eaters of kumaon. to start the ball rolling @thegungrouch@damascus_barrels_forever@amkins87 you're up.