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(as an unintended follow up to my previous post)
I’ve recounted from time-to-time in these pages about having slowly developed a small collection of firearms, only to have the 800 pound safe and her contents of the same removed in my absence.
Fifty-one guns? An ‘arsenal’ to some.
Then Life events significantly decreased my income, making it impossible for me to rebuilt my collection. Sad to be sure.
Thursday last, Thanksgiving, was coincidental with my birthday. And, with the exception of one greeting card (from my insurance agent) no other cards or gifts were received. Even though three folks did gift me with musical versions of one birthday song or another – which were nice gestures.
It would have been nice to receive a gift of some kind, though…(I’m NOT asking!)
Moving into Friday, my lovely sister took me to lunch at my favorite pizza place, and gifted me with a card and CASH! Not enough for new (or used) ordinance, but very surprising and special nevertheless.
Upon returning home, my roommate was sitting on the couch, watching TV, and playing with her firearms. She has a small collection, including a couple I gifted her with when we were dating.
She hands me her Sig Sauer P245 (one of the aforementioned gifts – after clearing it, of course) and states, “Happy Birthday! And Merry Christmas!”
After wrestling a few moments with the moral implications of her giving me my gift back as a gift, I said, “Thank you!”
I now have my trusted 1911 (the Bob Hall Signature Model), the S&W 442 electroless nickel, a single-shot pellet pistol sent me by an Internet friend a couple years ago, and the Sig Sauer P245.
My collection is being rebuilt – slowly!
Good things come to those who wait – sometimes even if they are impatient and brooding.
Going to the recent memorial for Bob reminded me of others who have gone before.
Like my work-pal Clive!
One of most unforgettable characters when I worked @ TMCCC was CLIVE.
At least that’s the name from which we all knew him: Clive.
Could he have BEEN any more British?
Clive was another of the credit card fraud investigators with whom I worked. He had the accent, was married to his American wife (his 3rd, I think) and had lived in the United States (legally) 40 years.
I once asked him why he didn’t go for citizenship. He said a piece of paper wouldn’t change where he was born!
He was a classical liberal and loathed Margaret Thatcher. We had many a thrilling political discussion.
He found out via the company grapevine I was a firearms enthusiast, and was quite anxious to know if I had a Lee Enfield .303 rifle. He apparently was familiar with them through the British military. I did not, but he still wanted to go shooting with me. We made a desert run (with his pal, a retired Flagstaff PD guy ‘Harry’, also an investigator) and had a blast (no pun intended).
I suggested he could obtain his own SMLE, but he didn’t understand that particular abbreviation. And, anyway, he explained his American wife (whom he lovingly referred to as SWMBO*) wouldn’t stand for it. She didn’t like guns. I knew a high-end range in North Scottsdale offered lockers for storage. And he was carefully considering it.
I took a vacation week, and upon my return found out that Clive had also. He told his wife he was not feeling well and stretched out on their couch.
He never awakened. (this was some years ago)
I never knew much more about him, until I saw his obituary. Turned out his first name was Richard, and he had been a respected scientist in the U.K.
From his obituary, in part…
For many years Clive was a Research Scientist for Weyerhaeuser and has three patents. He was a founder of Home Builders International, which developed low cost housing in Third World countries using mostly straw and mud for construction. He and his wife, Dawn, spent six months in Mexico City where Clive helped establish a factory to manufacture the straw and mud into a material suitable for home construction. He was the founder of the Phoenix Institute of Technology. It was a national group of scientists who developed a report on methods to generate power in Third World countries using only local resources. The report was presented to the world at an international environmental conference in New Mexico in 1995. It was written initially for the Vatican and the Mennonite Church who are the largest missionary groups in the world. This research was done and sent with no monetary exchange. (…)
Clive served 3 years in 341 Squadron of the Air Training Corps, connected to the Royal Air Force. (…)
I miss our spirited exchanges, my friend.
*She Who Must Be Obeyed
♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫
Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
(apologies to Paul McCartney)
My dear friend Bob Hall passed away February last. He had suffered complications from diabetes (first losing a big toe, then the lower half of a leg), then ultimately acid reflux lead to GERD, and then esophageal cancer. The last few months of his life, he was eating through a feeding tube. Lost half his weight, and was fighting pneumonia which finally took him.
I had known Bob, first as my investigation boss at Tom Ezell & Associates; later as my boss at Legendary Guns of the West (where I worked part-time), since 1981. More than being a boss, he was a dear friend. We saw each other through the stuff of life. I’ve a stepbrother – Bob and I are much closer.
He was always honest and true to me. His trademark was nothing is so serious that a joke cannot be made about it. Irreverent humor – Firesign Theatre and Monty Python quotes were often exchanged between us.
He was a crack shot and loved to go ‘to the desert’ to go shooting. Even in his final days, using a walker. And he passed his love of guns and The Second Amendment to his wife and daughters.
He didn’t want a somber funeral.
I heard from one of his daughters that this Saturday (yesterday) was to be his memorial celebration. A caravan of his friends and family went to the desert to one of his favorite shooting spots, did some eating, shooting, then spread his ashes.
Bob’s favorite things, family, shooting and grilling – combined!
I was honored to have been invited, and was honored to bring and shoot my 1911 – a National Match slide on a Vega frame, with lowered Bomar sights, a Micro bushing, and Swenson ambidextrous safety, hand-fitted by gunsmith Burke Hill. Which Bob sold to me in 1983.
I dubbed her The Bob Hall Signature Model. My roommate calls her Bobbie.
It’s been probably 20K rounds, and except for occasional cleaning, lube and replacing the recoil spring @ 3000 rounds, not much has changed. She remains a tack driver.
Essentially a race gun (c) 1977.
And she is my companion when the Phoenix weather permits.
Bob sold her to me for a pittance. He never profited from guns he sold to friends. And I had to make payments to him, I was so poor! (having been a new father at the time.)
It’s only fitting I take her to what Bob called Burro Town to shoot her one more time.
So, about eighteen of us gathered yesterday. Did some shooting – ate BBQ chicken with all the fixings. (including cherry cheesecake – Bob’s favorite!)
Then, we stood in a circle and shared memories of Bob. There was tears and laughter. Then Anita (Bob’s wife) asked those who wish to to take some of Bob’s ashes and place them about Burro Town*.
Then, we shot a simultaneous volley in his name. All of us using guns once owned by him!
This is the photo the family chose to place on the food table. Bob hated having his picture taken.
(*It was named Burro Town by Bob, due to the wild burros that wander the region. Usually, we see a few. Yesterday, they were absent.)
But we who loved him were there.
Helen Rawls is a childhood memory.
Jim (about who was written here previously) is my oldest continuous friend. I’ve known him since August 1960, when he was in First Grade and I in Third. She was his mother.
Helen passed on Halloween at 97.
from her Arizona Republic obituary (in part):
…She spent the remaining years of her childhood in Indianapolis, graduated from Short Ridge High School, became a stenographer, and joined the Army. She was one of the first women (other than nurses), to be a member of the armed forces.
… Helen was active in the Community Christian Church, as a member of the ASU Faculty Wives and the League of Women Voters. She was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, tutored at local schools, and worked with various other charities. She lived the last 29 years of her life at Friendship Village Tempe.
Services are at Friendship Village Health Care Center – 2525 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm. Contributions can be made to a charity of your choice , in Helen’s name.
Until I read the above, I’d not known she had been in the Army. She was my friend’s mom. And a fine woman. She was pre-deceased by her husband Bill, who had been a physics professor at A.S.U. in 1996.
Bill had served in the Navy. My thanks to you both for your service.
Helen and Bill were the most functional family on the block. (Obviously, an improvement over my dysfunctional family!) Raised quality kids, participated in church and civic affairs, recycled before it was cool. I knew Helen as just one of the housewives on the block.
I’m glad they are together now.
la-dee da, la dee da…
Actually, this is a VERY BIG DEAL!
Since I became ill (with the lymphoma* – the unnecessary extra the is necessary now that I’m getting older! :-P ) and went on disability, I’ve been shooting very little. Perhaps six or seven times in the past 7 years…
And, when I was working I was going two to three times a month!
This is a very big deal, and a good thing!
(THANK YOU TO MY BENEFACTORS WHO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION AND FUNDING, AND THOSE WHO PROVIDED AMMUNITION. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.)
AND, I’m told there is a tentative shooting date in DECEMBER!
‘hats and horns all around!’
*I’ve been in remission since August 2009, thank-you-very-much! Six months of chemo did the trick. (knock-on-wood!)
I’ve not been a private investigator since 1986. I’ve not been a credit card fraud investigator since 2009. But I’ve been some-kind of investigator (private security, process server) most of my adult life.
It’s in my blood.
As such, I’ve tried to keep up with the latest regarding what records are available, what has been limited (due to privacy concerns) and the like.
And, of course, the overall erosion of privacy since Al Gore invented the Internet! And the government passed The Patriot Act, NDAA, et al.
My dear friend Biff (previously lauded in song and story in these pages – well story, anyway) recently met me for coffee, and, as he oft wants to do, presented me with a gift!
I like gifts! 🙂
As he peruses used bookstores (in search of first editions and signed editions) he sometimes finds books his friends might appreciate.
And he found THIS!
It was obviously used and in fair condition. He was curious what I thought of it and it’s value to today’s sleuth.
It took me a few days to read it. I had to keep reminding myself this was geared for the neophyte. Hence the clever title…
Overall it’s a pretty good book. The author claims to be a retired FBI agent who now has his own P.I. agency in Florida. (The Internet does confirm this.) It’s fairly well organized and has both current and historic information regarding how to find stuff and to keep out of jail in so doing. It even has material regarding sources on the Internet, and electronic surveillance.
My copy is the second edition. An Amazon search revealed there is now a third.
It now holds a place of honor on my bookshelf, adjacent to Where’s What (the CIA book regarding where to find records, circa 1974).
Yeah, I’m a snoop at heart…
(FTC – neither Amazon, nor this book’s author gave me anything! Biff did, but he’s my friend! BACK OFF!)
My good friend Kevin (of the couple written about in these pages – Tomi and Kevin) asked I post a link to a candidate’s website.
To sell bumper stickers. @ $10.00 a pop.
For charity, of course! Which charity? Joe’s choice.
The candidate is JOE MADDON. He is the manager of the ubiquitous Chicago Cubs baseball team!
(I know, a political candidate and sports?! Has Guffaw gone ’round the bend?)
Nope. I support charities and my friends. And considering the field of already declared candidates, while I suspect he too may lose, he’s probably a better choice than the front runners.
It was he or the big meteor set to collide with Earth…
Back when I was newly married (I’m now long divorced), my then wife was interested in finding ‘couples friends’. Basically, other couples we could hang with and share interests with. Socialize.
Instead of the more common I had my friends – she had hers.
Thankfully, this post is NOT about that!
I am most fortunate to have a small cadre of good friends. Some of whom happen to be couples. I am not currently part of a couple (my landlord being an ex gf is the closest I get) 😦
But recently, two of my ‘couples friends’ have come to my aid and comfort!
After my last scheduled medical procedure, wherein I was advised at the last minute I would owe a substantial co-pay up front, and I had to reschedule for lack of funds, one of the couples came through with the necessary amount! (Customer Service, Part Cinco)
I finally go in for that procedure this morning. Out-for-the-count @ 1130. Thank you, Dear Friends!
(Hopefully, I’ll be back in my blogging chair again tomorrow…)
Last week, yet another couples friend advised me they were going shooting at an air-conditioned indoor range. And asked me if I would like to accompany them!
Being of limited resources, I rarely get to go shooting, anymore. I jumped at the opportunity.
We got to go yesterday to C2! A very nice range, staffed by young, pretty people. And I was just required to bring my eyes & ears and whatever firearm. (I also found some ammo, although they kindly offered to share theirs!) Thank you, Dear Friends!
Often, I remind you to hold your family and friends close, and tell them you love them, because one never knows…
I’m taking my own advice, today, just in case something happens.
I Love You Guys!
Because I’m more a follower… (sigh)
Your English Vocabulary Size is:
★★★ Top 6.08%