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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G-day folks, I am curious to find out how people initially became interested in guns so I decided to start a new pole.

I hope I have covered all the categories to give us some sort of reasonable answer?

As for me I was first introduced to guns in western movies For example by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. I had "cap" guns as a young boy. My mother became a leather work teacher when I was a teen and at a leather crafters exhibition I saw my first colt 1911 in a holster and I have been well and truly hooked ever since. I had my first exposure to rifles when we moved to a farming community in the country. What fascinated me the most was how a bullet could move from point A to point B in such a short space of time and how such a small object can have so much energy. I guess I'm a bit of a Tim the toolman and like my POWER tools. hehhe


I'm sure the reasons are as many as they are varied, but time will tell.

Cheers Bang bang.
 

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Howdy Mr. Bangbang,

Interesting question sir, so thank you. Like you I will find the responses informative.

I voted for friend/relative, but could also add movies as well. I have seen pictures of myself when even younger than I can remember. Even then I was wearing a double gunbelt for my cap pistols, lol. Maybe that is when I formed my habit of carrying at least two handguns, who knows. But I did have to grin and shake my head a bit when shown some of those old pictures.

I remember as a young child my oldest brother, buying and shooting firearms. I would sit and watch him reload ammo using an old (now) Lyman hand tool, to load .30-06 and .44 mag rounds. He would often let me load one or two rounds under his supervision, which always amazed me that I could make a live round at such a young age, lol. Of course I would ask a ton of guestions, with one of my most common being when will you let me shoot your handgun.

I guess he finally got tired of hearing it, because he took me out one day and finally let me shoot his Smith model 29, .44 mag revolver. I watched him shoot it, then asked if it kicked much. Of course he said nope, it does not kick much at all, you will be fine.

He handed me the gun and told me to hold it in both hands, and stood behind me. I did not know it at the time, but he had one hand positioned above me to catch his revolver and one positioned to catch me. I think I was 6 at the time, or something very close. He talked me through cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger. I did fire one round, and mountains crashed, the earth opened and tried to swallow me up, but he managed to catch both with each hand as planned. Of course I was hooked right then.

I ended up shooting it more that day after I got over the intitial shock, but on the other rounds he was kneeling behind me and helping me hold the gun. That seemed to work a bit better too, lol.

My mother's father was a big shooter, and when we reached the magic age of 12, all of the grandchildren received his special birthday gift - a single shot 22lr bolt action rifle. My grandparents lived in the country, so whenever we visited it was easy to walk out in the back yard, set up targets, and shoot safely.

My brother got me started with my love of firearms and eventually I was able to return the favor to him too. I had become a cop and a major gun nut, when he returned from Vietnam. I was back for a visit, when he laid all of his weapons out on his bed and told me to take whatever I wanted, as he would never shoot any firearm again. He said anything I did not take, he would give or throw away. I did not say anything at the time, I just took every weapon. When I got home, I quickly took each apart, cleaned them, and prepared them for proper storage in my safe.

I waited a few years and began bringing one of his guns with me along with several of mine, when I would go home for a visit. I managed to get him to go out with me to shoot, using the excuse he knew the best places to go locally now. Of course I finally handed him a few of mine to shoot during each session. Before we left from shooting I would pull out the one of his I had brought with me, let him shoot it with fresh ammo. I just grinned the first time he said, you know if you really don't want this one, why don't you leave it here. I have always enjoyed shooting this one, and would probably shoot it more.

Within a couple of years I had managed to give him back all of his firearms, while adding a few new ones to his collections - as birthday and Christmas presents from little brother (who happened to have an FFL at the time, lol).

He still loves his firearms now and will often call me to discuss one he saw in an ad or in a store to ask my opinion on it. We keep talking about him taking a couple of weeks of vacation and coming to visit. In southern AZ we have lots of desert shooting ranges that are a bit rustic, but free as well. So we would have a lot of time to shoot each day if we wanted. Plus with two Dillon presses we could clean our weapons, then crank out more fodder for the next day if necessary too.

Your question had me smiling while typing my response, so thank you for that sir (tips my hat). You also made me realize I really need to start bugging him a bit more about that vacation he keeps telling me will happen one day, but never has.

twoguns
 

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Great subject! I put friends, but I also could have put movies/TV. I've seen pictures of my self about 4 years old in my Hoppalong Cassidy outfit with two cap guns in holsters. I guess that gives away my age a bit too. ;-)

When it all really started for me was my first trip to camp in the Boy Scouts and going to the range to learn gun safety and target shooting. After that trip was over I became a junior member of NRA and started going to the range whenever I could. I'm still with NRA, an endowment level now. They did so much for me as a kid getting started with all the right teaching that I just can never repay them.

The first rifle I owned was an old Remington single shot .22, soon replaced with a bolt action with tubular magazine. The first pistol was a Ruger .22, then a Browning High Power 9mm. Of course these days my wife says we are being pushed out of our home by all my guns. We won't talk about the number she also owns, though I guess not near what I have. ;-)

I will be very interested following this thread.
 

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My dad and my uncles had firearms. It was a part of life in my family. I had a rural upbringing. Guns provided entertainment, food, and protection from various and sundry varmints. Home defense was always another reason firearms were available.
 

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My grandfather was in the Army, my dad inherited his beautiful Browning 1910, in .32 ACP, Peruvian Army original (it has the army stampings), and every year in my birthday, I'm hoping to get it. Not yet!! Anyway, I guess besides that, I was also influenced by movies like Dirty Harry, and the Combat! series (w/Vick Morrow, remember?), so eventually I got my own guns.

Regards.
 

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G'day "Dig",
For me personally, none of the above.

The answer for me is that firearms are like cars, aeroplanes, and steam locos to me. They are functional pieces of machinery that are also works of art not unlike a Rembrandt or Monet in their beauty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hello all,
Some very interesting replies so far! :) I hope it jogs some pleasant memories of our childhood and family! (only trouble is it makes us remember how old we are!...... :-/ hehhe.

Twoguns story reminds me of the time I tried to teach my girlfriend how to shoot a 12gauge shot gun. After poping the first round she was so excited she turned and waved the thing in all directions and people where jumping and ducking for cover in all directions...

BB
 
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I hope it jogs some pleasant memories of our childhood and family!
It does. It really, really does.


(only trouble is it makes us remember how old we are!...... :-/ hehhe.
Yup, that too. But, hey, "it is what it is."

As far back as I can remember (easily 4 years old, and probably 3 --- I can remember sitting in a high-chair at the dinner table) I've been fascinated with guns. Probably the TV and movies were instrumental in this, although I can't remember being influenced by such at that age. It's probably genetic. Yup, there's pre-school pictures of me with a Western two-gun cap pistol outfit, like others have noted, and I had almost every toy gun on the market during those years. At 9-years old I got a Daisy BB gun, a Remington Model 514 single-shot .22 at 13, and a Stevens 20 gauge single-shot a couple of years after that. I grew up on a small farm which was mostly fallow, as were most of the surrounding farms, and they were rife with pheasants, quail, ground squirrels, rabbits and such. From 9-years old onwards I, literally, grew up with some kind of gun in my hands.

My Dad wasn't "into" guns at all, but in his youth had a couple of long guns and hunted some. He knew gun safety, gun handling and hunting and brought me up in the knowledge and skills of such, God rest his soul.

After that I was strictly a rifle guy and didn't get interested in handguns until around 30 years ago.

And, as they say, the rest is history . . . . . . :)


Thanks Bangbang. It was a good reminisce down "Memory Lane."
 

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Hi there all,

I grew up in Suburban Washington, DC where we didn't have access to firearm ranges or hunting. My father was definately not a "gun person", but he was a Patent Attorney who registered patents for folks all over the world. If he had a working model of something that had to do with weapons, i.e. prototype, he'd let us see it at the office and explain what it was for.

My earliest memory of even seeing a handgun in real life was a visit to Kindergarden Class by a Montgomery County Policeman who pulled his service revolver from his holster, unloaded it, and allowed the class to see it at the front of the class.

When I was a youngster, we used to take "field trips" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in downtown DC to go on a tour of the "History of the FBI". There were lots of archieved displays of famous FBI cases including the Lindberg Kidnapping, Bonnie and Clyde, Alvin Carpus, Al Capone and John Dillinger, of course! On display were the weapons and firearms of all of the "bad guys" and enemies of the FBI. Towards the end of the tour, we'd all be ushered into the FBI range for a demonstration of shooting with the S&W .38 and Thompson Sub Machine Gun. That left quite an impression.

Growing into my teens, I had a friend who was given his Dad's Colt 1911 pistol and when the opportunity arose, we'd go to his family's farm in Southern, VA. and shoot it. The first time I shot it, I was hooked on handguns. From then on, I studied firearms safety and marksmanship.

In my late teens, I became a summer camp Counselor at a Boy's Camp in Maine and taught riflery as an activity to the campers. To be honest, I taught them to shoot using the NRA guidelines as the course of safety and marksmanship training.

While I didn't buy my first handgun until after college in the late '70's (a S&W Model 58), we eventually moved to rural Virginia and both my younger brother and my interest took off because we finally had a place where we could shoot and hunt. We made up for a lot of lost time!

My curiousity, collecting, knowlege base, and skill has grown over the years and I am still probably one of the advid shooters that I know of in the family.

Thanks for the great thread bang,bang!

Chris
 

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I voted for Farmer/landowner wanting animal control, but it was probably a combination of things.
I grew up on a farm, and while no one else in my family was really interested in guns, there were some around to shoot whatever got into whatever. I know I used that as my excuse to get my first. After losing 75 of the garden's cabbage plants to groundhogs, I declared war!

Bit, there were friends and relatives who were hunters, and that interested me. Dad and another farmer often helped each other out, and this guy was sort an adventurer in years past- going to Canada moose hunting on his own, driving the Alaska Highway when it first opened just for the fun of it, etc. So exposure to that surely had influence.

And, like all impressionable youths, I'm sure TV and movies didn't hurt.
 

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I'd have to put TV Westerns first. My cap pistols were all cowboy guns (anybody else remember the Stallion .45 and the Fanner Fifty?---the Stallion was my first experience with reloading, lol.) My dad was from the Midwest, and a Navy vet, with a fair familiarity with guns, and respect for them. I went through the NRA .22 rifle program at summer camp when I was thirteen, and the next year my father bought me a Mossberg .22 carbine (which I still own). First handgun was a Frontier Scout (also still with me), which goes to show the cowboy influence again. Wider experience in the military, defensive sidearms, .30 caliber carbine, crew-served weapons, etc. I'd also vote for the simple mechanical fascination, as abninftr says. Like taking apart a watch or a carburetor, putting it back together and having the satisfaction of seeing it work again, guns have always fascinated me as machines, or tools, if you will. Cool thread, Bangbang.
 

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I voted that my grandfather owned guns, and while true, that's not entirely accurate.

Truth is, I simply don't know.

I've always been good at building things. I lived in Indianapolis from ages 3 to 10 years, and was always trying to find something to do. I've seen pictures of me and my sister sitting on an "airplane" that I built. Just two boards nailed like a cross and a smaller piece of wood nailed on for a propeller (it spun!) but I was always building things like that, never thought it was anything special other than I had to build what my parents wouldn't buy - leading to a lot of building.

I learned around that time that I liked to hunt "dangerous" game. I would find a bee and catch it in a jar. Successful "hunt." I got stung a lot as well, and after becoming tired of being stung, I began building rubberband guns. They were quite effective on bees and wasps. My favorite even had a trigger which pivoted on the side of a "handgun." You'd be surprised what you can make out of clothespins, electrical tape, nails, and a few spare pieces of wood. I had a few of these - always my pistol for myself, and a couple spare rifle types for friends.

I was always looking for power. I had never shot a real gun before, but I had an idea that the thing should "kick." After some experimentation, I found that I could use thick postal rubberbands to get a bit of recoil - no more than a .22 I now realize, but enough to satisfy a kid the age I was.

Fast foward a few years. We had moved to Wabash to get away from the big city, and I was reintroduced to country life, having lived in a country home from my birth until I was three. While I still had my rubberband guns and my little brother and I would play "war" with them (and rolled up socks for "grenades"), I immediately began to bug my dad for a real gun.

The first Christmas I was there, I got a BB gun, a Daisy Woodstock. (Curiously, and as an aside, we found a way to mount a 'scope on the thing. While accurate, I, to this day, do not like glass. I just wore out on it early on.) It was kept in Dad's closet and I could only go out shooting with his supervision. Dad was not a shooter, but he grew up shooting and could hit anything when he would (rarely) ask to shoot it. I'm still amazed that the man never practices but can usually out plink me when I ask him if he'd like to shoot my .22.

Following the Daisy, I ended up with a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster and Dad ended up with a boat. I had been admonished not to shoot birds or any other animals and had kept that promise with only one exception - an exception that ended with a dead bird and a confiscated Daisy BB gun. I got it back after about a month, if I recall correctly.

At any rate, Dad saw the destruction the barn birds were wreaking on the fishing boat. I dutifully cleaned it out on a regular basis as I love fishing as well, but I couldn't wet-vac it every day. So, one day, Dad came home with a plastic box of wadcutter .177 caliber pellets and told me to exterminate those birds, as well as any rats I saw. I was not to shoot racoon or barn cats, and I was to use pellets exclusively for hunting, with at least 5 pumps in the Pumpmaster. I was under no circumstances to use the Daisy, so I got rid of it later. I don't remember who I traded it to or what I got out of it.

I soon came to find out that whenever my 760 spoke, one bird would drop and the rest would fly. I simply couldn't load and charge quickly enough.

Someplace along the line I got interested in slingshots. I bought one and my dad and I made a $50 bet that I couldn't take a squirrel with the slingshot. Well, there was this CO2 revolver I had my eye on... I made the bet and Dad got me my first hunting license. On August 15, a friend and I drove the John Deere garden tractor to a distant neighbor's woodlot (with permission from the neighbor) with only the slingshot. I hit the squirrel twice - once in the ribs, breaking them, and once in the head, which brought it down. Dad showed me how to dress it and I had squirrel for the first time that night.

And, I got the $50 and used it to buy the CO2 revolver.

After MUCH practice and about $20 worth of pellets, I taught myself to keep good groups with that CO2 revolver, as long as I fired it SA. My friend used the 760 from then on out when he'd come with me, until he got his own. I started bringing down multiple birds with my handgun.

I still liked squirrel hunting though, but discovered that both the 760 and the CO2 revolver were only marginal, at best, for squirrel. I had to shoot them squarely in the heart or head which wasn't always possible. I moved quickly up the ladder of BB guns, making money working for local farmers, but I found that even the pump up single-shot pistol and the 1100fps rifle I bought didn't always anchor them.

Soooo... I had my eye on a .22. I believe the exact one was a Marlin 880 with a detachable magazine.

Then came the disappointment - I had to earn it in a different way. I was 14, and though I had the money to pay for it, Dad wouldn't buy it for me. You see, I was a classic underachiever when it came to schoolwork, much prefering the outdoors and working with my hands to sitting in a cramped room doing homework. I therefore brought home C's and D's when I should have been bringing home A's - with a little effort.

Soooo.... Dad told me that in order to earn a .22, I'd have to make all A's and B's on my report card.

I don't think I'd ever worked so hard to catch up my grades in my entire life. I ended the semester with several A's and a couple B's which I had brought up from F's, and as well (and more importantly in my mind, both now and then), a Marlin 880 detachable magazine fed bolt action rifle in .22lr. You see, while I believe school and book learnin' is important, I also believe that it should be so overwhelming as to take time away from the things one learns outside of school.

I shortly learned that the .22 ammo was EXPENSIVE! After putting half of what I made working for the farmers into the bank, I didn't have much left to put downrange. The farmers did pay me for popping groundhog and such - 25 cents apiece - and I did OK there, especially after I glassed the thing. I could hit to around 100yds with a good 'scope. That did slow me down on my shots though as I could no longer use the lefty's trick of reaching over the reciever to operate the bolt action.

A bit later I got my driver's license, and with it, a job at McDonald's. I was still doing some work for the farmers as well, and since I was now (legally) motorized with a Jeep Cherokee, I wanted a few firearms to carry into the field. I saved up and got a couple new guns - a Winchester 9422 in .22 magnum and a Ruger Super Single Six convertable. Dang, that magnum ammo was expensive!

That combination - 'scoped .22 bolt action for longer shots, and .22 magnums for up close work - served me very well in rural America. Someplace along the line I also aquired a couple shotguns for deer hunting, but I was never a big deer hunter - after squirrel I thought it was too easy as I hunted on private land which was otherwise undisturbed by hunters.

When I was 18 I aquired my first 9mm and practiced with it for a year or so. I then bought the Taurus 92 at age 19, and began carrying it at age 20 (we could carry at 18 in Indiana, but due to the combat nature of concealed carry, I felt it better to wait for a couple years and get some major practice in).

Over the years all those original firearms disappeared - sold for money, or traded for something I thought I wanted, and in some cases, I just don't remember getting rid of them. I did intentionally sell all but the Taurus before I left for college - I didn't want them collecting dust and I didn't know anyone who would clean them for me. So, I'm now collecting them again, though I'm more into pistols now than long guns, and more combat-oriented. I still love to squirrel hunt with my new (to me) .22lr though.

So, that's the story of my learning to shoot. I can't really say I grew up with guns, but neither can I say that they've not always been part of my life in one form or another. Whatever the ammo, be it rubberbands or 12 gauge slugs, they've always served a serious purpose, whether it be to erradicate stinging insects, make a bit of money, hunt with, or serve as personal protection, they've always been here. Now, if only I could get back every gun I've ever traded or sold... I'd have a very nice collection indeed.

This is longer than I intended, so I hope you enjoyed the story :)

Josh <><
 
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My cap pistols were all cowboy guns (anybody else remember the Stallion .45 and the Fanner Fifty?---the Stallion was my first experience with reloading, lol.)
Did the Stallion come with facsimile revolver cartridges with a brass case and a, probably pot-metal, bullet with a hole down the center that you could easily disassemble and put a round cap in the bottom of the case? If so, I had one. And I've still got my Fanner-Fifty! The lockwork is broken but it's in the gun room with the real stuff. Sometime after I left for college my Dad dug out the holster for it and modified it to fit an Iver Johnson pocket revolver to carry on his belt when fly fishing.
 

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I don't know where my interest in guns came from. Dad was raised hunting and shooting, but he gave it up when my sister was born, and it never got passed on to me. I don't think it was from movies or TV, because I don't remember taking any interest in guns I may have seen on screen (except for Gun, from "Sledge Hammer!"). When I was around 8 or 9, Dad gave me his old BB gun, but I was only allowed to shoot it with him, and I never shot it much until I got older. About a year later, my grandmother died and I inherited her .22, but I never shot it until I was 15.

My first recollection of taking a real interest in any gun came when I was in the 4th or 5th grade, and I checked a book out of the school library about British Tommies in WWI. It talked about their equipment, etc., and I remember reading about the Lee-Enfield rifle and being amazed. The book described how the soldiers were trained to shoot so fast that German troops thought they were coming under machine gun fire, and I thought that was so cool.

My interest really picked up several years ago. The only gun I had ever shot was my inherited .22, that I had shot on two occasions. I wanted to shoot something bigger. That was it for a couple of years, until Thanksgiving, 2002. The local Dunham's had their after-Thanksgiving sale, and in the ad I saw an M44 for $50. That was an opportunity I couldn't pass up, so after I got out of work that Friday (Black Friday, and I work at a mall...), I walked down to Dunham's (in that same mall; it was nice to be able to get out of work, walk down, and buy a gun), and they were out. But they said they'd have more that Monday, and they'd give me the sale price. So Monday I went back and got one for $45. Anybody that knows milsurps knows how addicting they are; within a month I had my first Mauser, and not long after that my (at the time) Holy Grail, a Lee-Enfield.

At first, my interest was only in surplus rifles, but it gradually opened up to include historical designs, or guns that were used by my favorite characters in books or movies. Now, I've given up trying to find any logic behind it. I just go with what strikes my fancy. It leads to some odd choices for someone who doesn't hunt or shoot competitively. (Why do I need a shotgun?)
 

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Hy Bangbang

I voted friend or relative. I went with friends to a range, and I could not step out.


Some years ago, when there was political instability in my country, I could have voted to protect my family and myself. In those times I thought many times on purchasing a gun, but I remained without one.

I purchased my pistols, an Argentinian HP35 and a Bul Cherokee for sports, and keep my testosterone happy. :)

But if my country becomes unstable again, the guns I own will not disturb me, and I will be trained.
 

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Hey, NevadaAlan---
Exactly. There was a Stallion .38 and a Stallion .45---the .45 was DA, but other than that a very close replica in both size and weight to the real thing, with a swing-out loading gate and shrouded ejector, and you loaded it chamber by chamber. Also, it fanned. Some of us with latent criminal tendencies realized you could saw off the front few inches of the 7 1/2" barrel and eliminate the barrel block; if you then put, say, three caps at the base of the brass, the bullet, which was vented all the way through, had a wider hole at the tip which was luckily or unluckily a perfect fit for a BB, and you had a crude zip gun. Non-lethal, allthough we probably could have put somebody's eye out, and woefully inaccurate, since it was .177 in a .45 tube: you might hit a parked car at ten feet. The Fanner Fifty was DA/SA, and I of course preferred SA; two-position hammer, half-cock for loading. A lot of the gun was plastic, the cylinder, for instance, and it fired plastic bullets from a spring-loaded case. You stuck the caps (self-adhesive) on the back of the cartridge. I later case-colored the frame by holding lit matches a few inches away so the carbon mottled the finish, and sealed it with matte varnish. I haven't thought about any of this in some forty years. I just now remembered I bought a Crosman pellet gun mail order (back when such a thing was legal), a SA that used a CO2 cartridge mounted under the barrel. The millwork was so rough the edges of the hammer rubbed the inside of your thumb raw after half an hour of practicing fast draw.
Best, David
 
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Yeah, it seems to me like there were 2 or 3 different models of the Stallion revolvers, all metal and they operated like the real thing. Seems to me they were manufactured by a company by the name of Nichols and the grip medallions had an "N" inlayed in them. I also had a lever-action Winchester-type rifle made by them that used similar but longer catridges, but it only functioned as a single-shot as I recall. The cartidges that "fired plastic bullets from a spring-loaded case" that the Mattel "Fanner-Fifty" used were called "Shoot'n Shells" and the adhesive round caps that you stuck on the base were "Greenie Stik'm Caps," all three names tradmarked by toy-maker Mattel at the time. I also had a little single-shot derringer and a much down-sized Remington Rolling-Block rifle that used these toy cartridges.

Kids in the 50's didn't want for some engenious toys guns; now they are considered "politically incorrect" by many, but I don't think that they created many criminals among us.
 
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I grew up in southern California, but my folks were from western Kansas. Every few years we would travel back to Kansas to visit. My first stop after entering the farm house was my Grandad's glass front gun case. I would just sit and stare through the glass for hours.

Several of those long guns are mine now. They are beauties, and reminders of the fine man that he was.

My dad has a nice .45 acp that he had nickel plated in the south pacific during the big one. Someday it will be mine, but I'm not looking forward to that day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its funny how reading some of your responses, and I thank you for them all, how memories come flooding back.

I just remembered my Dad gave us a tent for Christmas one year in our childhood on which he painted a cowboy and Indian picture. I don't remember much about weather we camped out in the back yard in it but I do remember many "shoot outs" that ended in my death on many occasions in and around that tent. hehe.

Behind us lived a family with chooks, we collected the feathers and got mum to sew them together to make an Indian head dress. I still have the leather holsters mum made for us too.

One thing I know for sure is how special memories and family can be. In the last few days I just found out my Dad has cancer, a big shock and an emotional time for us even though it looks like all will turn out fine. It has drawn us closer as a family and that is a good thing. Its funny how often I think to myself I should tell my Dad more often that I love him but I never do.........

So can I encourage everyone who has not seen or spoken to their "loved ones" for a while to go do just that while you still can! You never know the how much joy the memories and stories might bring back.

Cheers, BB
 

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Howdy Mr. Bangbang,

I am really sorry to hear about your dad sir. He and your family will be in my thoughts, and I hope things turn out very well. You make an excellent point too.

I remembered many of the "toy" weapons being discussed and owned everything that fired the "shooting shells" for sure. Having something that actually came out of the barrel was almost the real thing, lol.

Hopefully other member will continue to share their thougths too.

Good luck with your dad sir, and we will be thinking about ya'll.

twoguns
 
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