The personal thoughts and comments of Gene, "The Aggie."

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'Gun-Free Zones' are only gun-free, until somebody brings a gun. - Unknown

Friday, June 13, 2008

The .22 at 150

H/T: Keep and Bear Arms

When did you get your first /22?

I got mine when I was about 12. We went up to Fort Worth (or at least we were in that area) for the funeral of Mom's Dad
. After the service we collected at Uncle Leonard's for the requisite pig-out (hey! I was 12!) and boring hours of unknown relatives and even more unknown stories of me when I was xx months old. hehe

I was still in my boyish suit and tie wondering which someone (me or Mom) had forgotten to bring me something more appropriate to change in to.

Sometime during this torture, I remember Uncle L catching my eye from across the room & giving me the "come hither" look. What does this guy want with me? My concern eased when I noticed Dad getting the same look. Leonard directed us to one of the bedrooms where everybody's coats were laid out across the bed for later retrieval.

The party was well underway with no one new coming, or going. Leonard closed the bedroom door after us and opened up a closet where he retrieved a 3' long black gun case. Hmmmm!!!

As he opened it and extracted a single shot .22 he explained how he had taught his wife & two grown daughters how to shoot with it. As the daughters had no interested in acquiring it, he though Dad might want me to have it. Hooooo Whaaaaa! Yes! My very own first REAL gun! Let the sun shine through! Heaven has broken onto to this world! ;>)

There was a catch, Dad pointed out. We needed to keep the grand news from you-know-who. Mom. At least until we were too far from Leonard's to turn around and return it! Dad snuck it out the back door and into the car trunk without her knowledge. So far, so good.

Fortunately for me, the evening was soon over and the long drive back to Laredo (this was pre-Interstate!) was soon underway. I don't remember if we had air conditioning in that car back then, or not. The weather may have been cool enough now that it was oh-dark-thirty.

I made it about half way back to Laredo before my excitement not only could not be contained but was obvious to the most dis-interested, distracted, observer - Mom.

As she became more and more suspicious of my behavior, Dad kept trying to communicate the uncommunicable - SHUT UP! Hey! Did I mention I was 12?

As we all know, the truth will come out.

We had no desire for air-conditioning for the remainder of the trip. In fact, a heater might have been a good idea!

Not too much time passed before Dad arranged for one of his friends to take us out on the friend's scrub brush for a bit of rifle instruction. At least one day before the adventure, Dad took me through the required safety lessons. He hunted dove, quail and deer whenever he could.

The great day arrived and we stalked the elusive tin can or two they brought along. Probably Jax or Lone Star. Emptiy since the day before.

I experienced a fair bit of frustration attempting to hit those pesky cans at any reasonable distance - such as beyond 20-25 feet. We just didn't know how near-sighted I was, yet. I did get very lucky and hit a nickel propped up in a cactus bush. I still run across it now, almost 50 years later. I treasure it. I've shot better since then, I've shot more powerful rifles since then. But I still treasure that nickel.

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