My Father's 3 Guns


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lefteyedom
November 30, 2008, 03:07 PM
Reading a 742 Woodmaster's thread this morning I was struck by how many folks have inherited this rifle from their fathers. My Dad died in 2005, being his only son I received his firearms (thanks to my sisters).

Most of my Dadís life he was a poor Mississippi school teacher with a wife and three children. Guns were luxury he hardly afford but over time he acquired the three gun battery. A shotgun, deer rifle, and the squirrel gun that rested in the gun rack he made.

His first love was a double barrel 12 gauge bought the year I was born (1964). He made a deal with Mom and a shotgun and washing machine where bought on credit at Sears. A 742 Remington 30.06 was bought the day before deer season 1974 at the local hardware store. He didn't tell Mom about it and there was hell to pay. Something do with rent? Somewhere along the way a Zebco 202 and tackle box was trade for a beat up Marlin model 60. Dad spent untold hours refinishing the stocks with mixes of Birchwood Casey's and Tung oil till the plain wood of the stocks glowed. He could not afford a Browning but he could make his stocks the envy of deer camp.

In my father eye's his 742 Remington was the greatest rifle since the M1 he carried in the Air Force. A 100 yard Bullet hole in Eisenhower dollar was proof enough for him. He took great pride in telling that his double-barrel never jammed like our rich doctor's Browning Auto 5 did. I beamed hearing my uncle tell of how mad the game warden got when he found out Dad was not shooting an unplugged pump but a lowly double barrel with two shell between his fingers! How many squirrels and rabbits fell before that open sight .22? I donít known but rabbit and dumplings is a fine meal and fried squirrel is better than Chicken.

I ponder sometimes how many of my rifles that cost more than the total of Dadís three gun battery. Yet none of them instill in me the level of pride my father took in any one of his. The true value of a gun like beauty is in the eye of the owner. Today my Fatherís three gun battery would sell for about $750 or less on Gunbroker but they are truly priceless to me.

I would gladly trade all of my rifles for a single shot 410 and the chance to go squirrel hunting in the Mississippi Delta one more time with my old man. :rolleyes:

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Husker1911
November 30, 2008, 03:26 PM
Lefteyedom, a worthy tribute. Your father would be honored and proud to hear your words.

paintballdude902
November 30, 2008, 03:26 PM
great story

my dad is still alive thankfully but the day he dies there are 3 things im going to make sure i get from him
1 the orvis fly rod he inherited from my great uncle norman who put him through college and whom i got my middle name from
2 the grandfather clock my granfather took as payment from a patient when she died (my grandfather went to her house every day for 5 years to take care of her and didnt take a penny except the clock when she died he didnt ask for it she left it to him for all he did)
and 3 the american flag we are going to drap over him at the funeral to symbolize his 27 years in the airforce as a colnel

SaxonPig
November 30, 2008, 05:31 PM
My father died when I small and we were dirt poor so mom sold his guns to buy food. I understand, but it would be nice to have just ONE of dad's guns.

Pictures in the family album show him shooting a 1st generation Colt SAA. Valuable now but not particularly so in 1949 when the photo was taken. Mom says he had a "45 automatic" he brought back from his service in WW II. Must have been a 1911. He was a hunter but I have no idea what kinds or makes of rifles and shotguns he had. They are all long gone.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 30, 2008, 06:47 PM
Lefteyedom, a worthy tribute. Your father would be honored and proud to hear your words.

+1, yup. What was the shotgun, a Stevens 311 SxS perhaps?

skoro
November 30, 2008, 07:00 PM
I would gladly trade all of my rifles for a single shot 410 and the chance to go squirrel hunting in the Mississippi Delta one more time with my old man.

A fine sentiment, lefty. I'm sure your dad would be proud of the way you related this story. Thanks for sharing.

wcwhitey
November 30, 2008, 07:20 PM
Thats what it is all about, nice story!

auberg
November 30, 2008, 09:01 PM
I understand completely. My dad passed this year. I have his one pistol, a Raven .25. Don't know why he bought it, and I never will fire it. I was talking to my uncle (My dad's brother) recently, and he gave me my grandfathers Iver Johnson Owl's head .32. Both of these pistols together aren't worth in money what any of my other guns are, but as you said, they are priceless to me.

Guyon
November 30, 2008, 09:21 PM
Nicely written tribute. I enjoyed reading it. Well done.

bang_bang
November 30, 2008, 09:38 PM
Family guns are a good way to remember where your gun interests grew from. I am lucky, my grandfather and dad are still alive and well. But I can tell you that I have learned so much from my grandfather about guns, deer hunting, and respecting nature.

My dad has bought guns, all but one have gone to me. The other my mom keeps in her nightstand while dad is away at work during the week. She's a mean shot with that Kel Tec 9mm...

When it's time for my grandfather to go, all I want is his Sears and Roebuck 30-30. The house, land, etc can go to everyone else. All I need is that 30-30 hanging on my wall, with his picture beside it to make me happy. He owns several guns, but I will always remember him smiling and holding that 30-30. I will never fire it, unless I have children of my own that want to experience deer hunting.

No amount of money can buy these guns. They are all cherished for who owned them, not what they are. A Sears and Roebuck 30-30 probably wouldn't fetch $150, but to me it's worth more than any gun ever made.

Retro
December 1, 2008, 12:46 AM
My vision blurred when reading your essay... Indeed... certain things carry more value than their apparent worth. I hope my posterity would one day share the same belief, rather than trading all my collection for a new iphone or some exotic wines...

hotlead
December 1, 2008, 12:53 AM
Nice story.;)

lefteyedom
December 1, 2008, 03:08 AM
Thanks for taking the time to read it folks. My Dad was Herbert Lee Roland 1937-2005.

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