Saturday, April 26, 2008

Shooting as a family tradition...

I've been searching out shooting photos from the family. It seems that our families aren't/weren't too much into documenting their firearms prowess. Some weren't too big on photography of any kind!

I have found a photo of my Great-Grandfather Orrin L. Brodie at what appears to be ROTC camp (as can be seen in another photo). When, I've not quite figured out. Whether he was attending or instructing I don't know. However, I know that he served in WWI and he did retire from the National Guard as a Captain in 1943 and I have copies of both of his draft cards. He also was a road engineer in Mussel Shoals, AL, worked for NYC's board of water supply and co-wrote a book on Masonry Dam construction. A very interesting fellow!

Not all our experiences with firearms were good. Several of family members served in the military and during wartime (as did Grandpa Orrin). One died at Centerville, VA in 1862 of typhoid, another at Andersonville and two of my great-grandfathers were maimed for life. Unfortunately, even the civilians weren't exempt from bad experiences with firearms with one brother of a 4X great-grandfather being killed by the "accidental discharge" of a musket. Perhaps somebody should have been made familiar with the 4 Rules back in 1815!

More recent is this 1957-58 (?) photo of yours truly with his first pair of matching sixguns. Ok, so that might have been my last pair, too! Maybe I'll just wish to duplicate these in the future. That I got these is probably my dad's doing. I don't know that I would bug my parents for anything. I might have said that I liked something but I'm one of those who pretty much went with the flow. Mom, due to her upbringing, would not likely have gotten these for me.

I don't know why, but Mom's family, particularly the maternal side (even including Grandpa Orrin), seems to have been very anti-gun. While her dad owned guns, as I've previously mentioned, it appears that on her Mom's side NOBODY (including Grandpa Orrin) owned guns, hunted or could understand why anyone would. Oh, they had the cabin, Pine Lodge, just south of Sabbath Day Point on Lake George but they were water people, not woods people. When I last saw her, my Great-Aunt Lovie had to give me the spiel on why guns were bad. Now this is from people who were pretty vehemently supportive of the death penalty and the military. Not a one was a vegetarian either, on the contrary, they loved their red meat! It was a dichotomy of thought that always puzzled me.

I have another photo showing Dad with a shotgun which I need to scan before I can post it here. He's riding a float in the Elkins, WV Forest Festival parade in 1960 (I think). I remember this parade as I sat with a "neighbor lady" on the curb near the Episcopal Church. She was so nice, she bought me a box of Cracker Jacks. I hated peanuts (and still do) but I dug the prize right out! I think I politely held onto the box until custody of me was transferred back to my parents. Life sure was good back then!

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