No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.
(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)
Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…
SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.
It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.
There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either. It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.
But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.
Today is the 21st anniversary of the passing of our daughter Molly.
We had been in an automobile accident the previous day, and I spent weeks in intensive care, the hospital and rehabilitation.
Molly spent one day. She was twelve.
I’m doing pretty well, considering. On disability – due to lymphoma. I’ve a roof over my head and a beater car and a supportive family and friends, some of whom I’ve met through these pages in the last five years.
Which brings me to the point I often make.
GO AND HUG THOSE YOU LOVE AND TELL THEM SO! Because you may not get another chance!
She was a terrific kid, and was going to be a terrific adult. But never got the chance.
She was becoming a shooter (who knew? :-)) and was definitely a Daddy’s girl.
She will always be Daddy’s Girl.
I Love You and Miss You!
There were a couple, or three.
The first I owned because of my Father’s disconnect.
He was raised on the East Coast, in a more poor part of town, by a railroad policeman/former Marine. An Irish neighborhood.
In my mind, his youth resembled a Dead-End Kids movie, except not in NYC.
And, laws aside, there were knives and guns around. And his Dad’s rules about them – were something akin to ‘touch anything without permission and you get a beating’!
Fast-forward to 1960s Arizona. A desert, agricultural college town. Lots of farm and ranch kids. About 3/4 or whom carried some kind of folder with them. Girls included.
We had a couple guns at home, which I was not allowed to touch (see above).
One day, while I was in grade school, my Dad came into the back yard where I was playing. And he handed me a folding knife. I was going to be leaving for camp in the Summer, and he thought I should have one of his (!)
AND, not unlike The Dead End Kids, he gave me a quick lesson in Mumbley-Peg with it! Not understanding knives didn’t stick well in the dry, desert dirt. See, disconnect.
None of my friends had ever seen such a game. And, anyway, they didn’t bring their knives out at school.
And, I took the knife to camp, a fellow camper borrowed it, cut himself, got taken to the ER(!), and I never saw it again! He was okay, though.
Fast forward to a year or so later. I’d made friends with a couple of kids a block over, including a little red headed girl (!) (Puberty had yet to hit, and, anyway, she was younger than me and a friend’s sister…I wonder where she is now? STOP THAT!)
My birthday came around, and surprise-surprise, the little red haired girl stopped by with a present! (Hell, most of my friends hadn’t given me anything!)
And what do you think it was…?
NO, not a folding knife.
A sheathed belt knife! How cool was THAT? Of course, my Dad immediately glommed onto it for his camping and fishing trips.
And it resided in the truck’s over-the-cab camper for years. Until my Dad passed and everything was given away or sold. 😦
Now, my maternal grandfather (aka ‘Gramp’) always carried a knife! When I was a kid, I thought this was a disconnect, as he was an East Coast banker-type. The only time we ever say it was when there were presents.
Used to open the boxes! A Christy gentleman’s knife!
And it, too, is lost to history. 😦
Although, if I really wanted one, Christy still makes them!
FTC – no companies gave me any of these knives for commercial endorsement – now go away!
(Well, Here We Are, March 5, 2011)
I’ve been posting something (sometimes
copied stolen from others, sometimes amended, sometimes original) EVERY DAY since March 5, 2011. Sometimes multiple somethings…
Along with a quote, funny, beauty and a You Tube clip.
What a long, strange, but mostly good trip it’s been…
I began blogging, as I’d been reading other’s blogs for about eighteen months (being on disability, and wasting time on the computer). It occurred to me “Hey, maybe I can find a woman who likes guns” this way?
I did. Unfortunately, the female gun bloggers I first found were in Idaho, Ohio and Indiana. If you didn’t guess, I’m in Arizona. So much for THAT idea! 😦
They became my Blogmothers™
Two remain today – Brigid and Tamara. The others stopped blogging. (I don’t think I had anything to do with it.)
This blog has seen me through good times and bad times. Loss and regain of benefits. Skin cancer (post recovery from lymphoma) and minor injuries. Loss of good friends like Mark Bell and Bob Hall.
But the BEST, and most surprising part, are the friendships I’ve developed through this medium. Who knew?
A huge thank you goes out to the generosity of people I only know through the Internet, who have offered me support, both moral and financial. And given me gifts! You know who you are…
I miss those who are no longer blogging, by choice or life circumstance – North, Matt, Maura, CoolChange, William the Coroner and many others. (If I’ve left you off the list and you are still around, please forgive me).
I am SO GRATEFUL for (in no particular order) Bobbi, Doc in Yuma, Ron, Proud Hillbilly, Paul, Kevin Baker and the other Kevin, Southern Belle and KX59, Tom, Biff, Keads, Bluesun, Wirecutter, Jim, Greg, Kenny, Quizikle, Sean, Irish, Jeffery and Wilson.
And especially Murphy, Brigid, ASM826 and Borepatch! And Judy, my roomie!
And my dear friend Dave the genius (who prefers to be called Dave the mechanic) who sends me multiple funnies daily to possibly include in the blog! And who – when he is in town – takes me out for Red Devil pizza! And who has been a loyal friend since 1973.
And to all you loyal folks who don’t blog or even leave comments but bother to stop by – THANK YOU!
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do plan to continue posting some useless nonsense daily for a while longer.
It gives me something on which to focus – a routine and discipline.
FIVE YEARS! Here’s to five more!
(Now, if I could just find that WOMAN!)
FTC – Red Devil gives me nothing!
It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you the passing of Robert H. ‘Bob’ Hall.
Like some folks, Bob was one of my ‘newer’ friends. We met when he interviewed me for a private investigation position at Tom Ezell & Associates, in 1981.
I had applied because I had been working for other P.I. firms, and wanted to get the requisite three years under my belt to obtain my own license. I saw an ad in the paper and called. Jack Wheeler answered, and I thought I had the job!
Jack had been the salesman for Burns Security when I worked there as the assistant security supervisor (lieutenant), so we knew each other. But Jack said it would be inappropriate for him to hire me without the chief investigator interviewing me, so I was introduced to Bob. We became colleagues almost immediately, and fast friends.
You see, about five minutes into the interview, it was determined that Bob had attended high school with one Mary R. The same Mary R. I had married a year previously! They grew up in the same neighborhood. Bob also had a serious firearms fetish, as did I. He just had more firepower than me. Like legal full-auto stuff! (including an M60 and MAC-10, both of which he no longer owns.)
And thus began our friendship. He sold me my favorite 1911 ‘Bobbie’, aka The Bob Hall Signature Model, in 1983. She still works and I still own (and sometimes carry) her. We have been shooting together, on-and-off, ever since.
He married, fathered two terrific girls, and moved on to run his own P.I. agency. In the 90’s, he also became the general manager of Legendary Guns of The West, a store where I hung out, purchased many firearms, and even worked part time.
Bob was one of my closest friends. He taught me, as he taught his girls, not to take life too seriously. Oft times, my phone would ring, and there would be Bob on the line, not ID-ing himself, but quoting the Firesign Theatre or Monty Python out-of-context! “Shine-sheen. A little Egyptian! Chanting a stream of ancient Egyptian holograms – hieroglyphs, that’s it!” or “We dreamed of living in a hallway – we lived in a cardboard box!” Then he would get to the heart of the call – “let’s go shooting, or I’ve got a gun here I know you’d like…”
Bob’s health had been failing in the past couple of years (as recounted in these pages). First diabetes took the lower half of his left leg, then esophageal gastric erosion devolved into cancer, which after chemo and radiation treatments were performed, won.
I remember him for his unwavering support of two family members and one friend through their battles with addiction, his gifting his father with an M2 – just like the one he carried in The War, and his pride in his daughters. Both college graduates, one now on the cusp of getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern! Her focus is on veterans with PTSD! Both are responsible firearms owners.
I know it’s a truism that the older we get, the more ‘this’ appears to happen. Life isn’t fair! Dammit, Bob, I still have the two books from Brigid I promised you! (He refused visitors, not wanting them to see him in his emaciated state.)
Goodbye, and Godspeed, my brother.
I Love You!
Little Bobby (courtesy of Robyn Hall Galbraith)
Back-in-the-day (the 60’s), if news happened during the day, we had to wait until the 5:30 Huntley/Brinkley Report to hear about it.
Unless it was of a catastrophic nature, like the JFK assassination. Then, someone who had been listening to a transistor radio passed the news along word-of mouth. (The school janitor?) And people with TVs ran to them for the latest reports. Because, not everyone had a TV!
Otherwise, if the evening news had been missed, it was the next morning’s Arizona Republic that brought the news. Usually bad – because news of a good nature is rarely news.
Fast-forward (another antiquated term from VHS tape days) to this post-Internet era. I’ve a smartphone which I am rarely without. She lives in my right, front pocket (having a fused hip means my back pocket isn’t a good idea for access) with my keys, .38 speed strip and my Blur lockblade knife. (The .38 S&W snub is in my LEFT front pocket, in a pocket holster, me being sinestral, and all!)
I keep my smartphone on, because, why not? She bleeps and chirps with receipt of texts, emails and the latest headlines. (I do put her on vibrate or mute as appropriate!) And sometimes she even rings announcing a telephone call! :-) Or a specific ringtone advising me of particular callers, like my roomie or close friends. Roomie’s ringtone is Moonlight Sonata, and Biff’s is the Peanuts theme!
Which brings me to my point (finally!)
Biff has a smartphone, but he doesn’t keep it on. Doesn’t use it for spur-of-the-moment research, or shopping or to-do lists. He doesn’t use it for email or texts, either. Or receipt of the latest news!
He uses it as a telephone, when he chooses to have it turned-on.
And, I razz him mercilessly about this. The term Luddite has been bandied about.
Why have a smartphone, if one isn’t going to use it as such?
He says he doesn’t want to be that connected. And usually leaves it in his car, anyway!
We met for coffee the Saturday evening last, and were having our usual conversations, and I brought up the death earlier in the day of Justice Scalia.
And, he didn’t know about it – he hadn’t heard! And he’s a radio news guy!
(I’d received a notification minutes after it had been reported, from three news sources!)
To be fair, he hadn’t worked that day.
So, which is better? – to be voluntarily ignorant of the day’s events, to choose to call only when one makes that choice, or to be tethered to the electronic instantaneous (or nearly so) news cycle? And at the mercy of people who choose to call, whenever?
Being already a volunteer for the tethering, my opinion in the matter is skewed one direction. Much like having a P.C. at home with a router, I don’t think I could revert to dial-up.
Or no Internet access at all…
So, which is better?
(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)
There’s a popular meme regarding firearms possession and safety:
Do you have your gun; it’s a bad neighborhood!?
As though crime doesn’t occur in ‘good’ neighborhoods…
(from my dear friend Brigid)
True Blue Sam the blogger is someone perhaps just a few of you know as a long time friend and commenter here. He’s also something more special. He’s my father in law. He and my mother in law, both firearm owners and skilled and proficient shooters, had a home invasion on Thursday night. The person involved may have been high on drugs (I’m guessing meth) – he DID ransack one of the freezers in the garage, taking a ham hock, a tub of lard and some ocra. Just saying.
No one was hurt, but there are lessons to be learned. Not just the fact that the perp been detained earlier for a event, had a psyche eval (by Skype no less) and was released to continue his night of mayhem. But rapid response when this sort of thing happens. (Semi Auto is your friend).
We always worried that being in the city that something like this would happen here, and in addition to our stickers shouting alarm system! we added extra bolts, top to frame and bottom braced against a floor joist, for the walk out basement doors, in addition to cutting back shrubbery and adding extra lighting.
But this happened in a very quiet rural area, where the nearest “city” is houses, a barber shop and a church, just as they were heading to bed, and not thinking of defense.
Just some things to think about folks and we’re just thankful they are safe, though a vehicle was stolen and totaled (after getting some serious air time during a chase through the woods) and there was a lot of damage to the home as the perp used firewood outside to break out several windows in an attempt to get into the main house before hitting the garage.
First of all, thank God everyone is safe and well!
And ‘safe neighborhoods’? No such thing!
It’s not paranoia if a threat really exists!
Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!
Of course, I love her and miss her. Daily.
I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!
With a boy.
While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather. And, of course, that never happened.
And I’m a little jealous.
I’m certain Molly is happy for them.
We lost MARK BELL.
My co-worker, shooting student, sounding board, reminder of things good, bon vivant, and loyal friend.
We had just attended Kevin Baker’s blogshoot the previous Sunday, and had spoken on the telephone, yesterday (four years ago – I cannot believe it’s been four years!).
Then his beloved wife Cathy called me tomorrow (four years ago) to tell me he had dropped dead from a heart attack suddenly yesterday.
Having almost lost Walter recently, this may be a little maudlin.
I don’t care.
PLEASE, tell the ones you love that you love them, and hug them, if at all possible.
Because you never know.
When I was visiting my Sister on Christmas Eve (accompanying my ex-wife, who is close with my niece and grand-nieces. Yeah, it’s weird, sometimes!) my ex told me she had been visiting earlier that day with her (deceased) youngest brother’s children. One of whom had a child, who married someone already with a child.
So, they are a step-parent, and by extension, I found out I am a great, great uncle!
Now I’m not particularly close to these folks, and don’t know over half of them, so my social obligation is limited.
But the label! And the fact it’s 2016! That makes me….(carry the one)….(removes sock to count toes)….going to be sixty-four this November!
And my ex already took note that I am graying (Thanks, M!)…
But, I am grateful for all I do have, and the fact I am on this side of the dirt nap.
So there’s that.
Tempus Fugit, my friends.