Spent today with my dad.
My father made me the person that I am today. He took us from Nebraska to Alaska because he wanted us to grow up right and slightly wild.
He lost his leg last year to diabetes. I still took him road hunting for moose two times this last year.
Anyhow I mounted two different scopes on rifles that he had packed away. A Browning Left Hand A-bolt in 300WSM and a HR Handirifle in 22-250. We then started cleaning guns.
I cleaned more than 34 hand guns and 25 rifles. I would do all of the cleaning and then lube them and then wipe them for storage and the old guy would inspect my work. It was kind of like the days in school when I was his student and he was an absolute Grammar Nazi on my history papers and would make me write a completely new paper on a different subject if I made one grammatical error. He knew that he was going to be my key preparation for college and pushed me hard.
We are basically about half way done. We have two more safes of guns to go through-many rifles and shotguns. It is amazing that we have this sharing of guns-that he has three of my guns that he has forever and I have two guns of his that he knows that I will never return. However, just the memories of all the hunts and the times that he made sure that my brother and I got to shoot moose, bear and caribou made the day great. We found three or four guns that he had thought have been stolen and I found that he had purchased four or five guns that I didn't know about.
I know that this might seem self-serving but I think there are many times that we just don't sit down with our family, pop out the Hoppes Number Nine, fire up the coffee pot, line up the bore guides and cleaning rods and just go.
Every day we have on this earth is precious and I just wanted to pass it on.
Interesting to read this after spending the afternoon with my wife's Grandpa, asked him about his reloading days and before you know it he was showing me his whole setup including stuff like a hand reloading setup from WWII for 30-06. "It's kinda slow compared to what they have now days" he says. It wasn't easy to see him 89 yrs old now obviously wishing he could dive in and show me how to do it, yet can't hold his old target pistols up with one hand anymore after messing something up in his shoulder the other day.
hearing my son got his first .22 rifle for Christmas he sets him right down and gives him the basics of gun safety right there along with a heart stopping story of the time when he was a boy and learned what "knowing it's unloaded" means, "Nothing at all" when he almost playingly pointed a gun at his brother and snapped the trigger but thought, "naw, my dad would kill me if I tried that." So instead turned it into the woods and fired a loaded round, he choked up at just the telling of the story 80 yrs later and "Thanked God" for teaching him with Mercy.
He took both of us through his entire collection including a WWI Mauser and Japanese WWII rifles bartered for during his days staying in the Navy after the war ended as an occupying force in Japan.
An amazing day, my son and I were both impacted forever by this excellent man.
So he hands me a High Standard Supermatic Target pistol to "Try This Out for fun" as I leave.
We're heading to the range tomorrow with more respect than ever for "Great Grandpa Ross" an ole buck with a Big Rack.
Along the same lines, I had some good quality time with my youngest son (age 6) over New Year weekend. Friday, January 1, I wanted to watch numerous football games so I relinquished the 52" flat screen for the 21" picture tube down stairs for two reasons. One, so I would not tie up the "big tv" for almost 9 hours and two, so I could clean my guns and watch football--which I can't do upstairs due because we have light colored couches and carpet, both new.
My boy stayed downstairs with me all day, playing, watching football, helping clean the guns and asking questions. I especially enjoyed it as my son has recently taken an interest into bb guns, hunting and shooting. He's been learning gun safety and, by default, reloading by spending time with me in the garage. The time I spent with him that day (and all the times in the garage reloading) are irreplaceable.