Monday, November 23, 2009

The Colonel Must Be Smiling

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My Dad was an avid sportsman and loved to hunt and fish. He was also a man of modest means. Like any sportsman he drooled at the latest in rods, reels, lures and firearms but supporting a family of a wife and four boys didn’t leave him much in the way of discretionary cash.

In 1956, he was a Major in the Army and stationed in Livorno, Italy. I have mentioned before that this was a great time to be in Europe. Not only were Americans worshiped but the dollar was strong. For my Dad it must have been like getting a 100% raise. We all lived pretty well for the three years he was stationed there, and my Dad was able to treat himself to a Franchi over and under shotgun with a hand tooled Italian leather case. It was one of his prized possessions.

Shortly before my parents moved from their home of 30 years in Upatoi, GA to a retirement center in Columbus, GA, my brother, #1, gathered up all Dad’s guns for safe-keeping. About a year ago I expressed an interest in the shotgun. I gave up hunting after being discharged from the Army but I always admired the beauty of the gun so #1 sent it to me. It was my intention to hang it on the wall in my basement next to my Dad’s cavalry horse bridle.

I had to work on the “beauty” a little as my Dad had, in a fit of security consciousness, engraved his Social Security number across the receiver (the metal portion of the gun just above the trigger housing). To fix this I had a gunsmith file off the number and put two brass plaques over the area with my Dad’s name and life dates. You can see one of the plaques in the picture above.

Enter my daughter, Cajenn. A little over a year ago she married a wonderful guy, Cajon, and he also is an avid sportsman and hunts and fishes at every opportunity. The more I looked at the shotgun in the basement, the more I thought that The Colonel would be pleased if someone would use and enjoy the gun as he did….

This past summer The Bride and I visited with Cajenn and Cajon in California and I brought the shotgun to him as a gift. This past weekend he used it hunting for the first time and Cajenn went with him….and trusty Lab, Shylo, on a hunt. The picture above and below show him in action with the shotgun. The pictures, sent by my daughter, brought a tear to my eye.

Good hunting Cajon, and God Bless.

The Colonel must be smiling!

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Thanks for visiting.

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