Monday, December 24, 2012

Guns and the Beakerkin

I do not own a gun or plan to in the future I want to spend this Christmas Eve venturing into my past to a simpler time in the 70's. Elvis had a recent hit Suspicious Minds, Paul Harvey was on the radio and Casey Kasem was a newbie.

My family was in the Catskills and it was a magical place. I played with cousins in the woods. We picked pots of blueberries. I fished in the lake and caught a sunfish. my first fish. I learned to hit a baseball about the same time. We made go carts like the kids in the Little Rascals.

My grandfather was visiting and he was a favorite of the kids. He was a strong man who was gentle and rarely angry. He would say his wife's name and any argument stopped. He was a former cavalryman who fought in the 1920 war for Poland. He hated war and oddly horses and had more respect for the loving dog.

Rusty was mostly Sheppard and he was the best dog a kid ever could play with. We didn't realize it but the loving dog was herding us as we walked. He never needed a leash and would follow us through the woods.
He was a decent sized dog who just loved kids as opposed to the smaller dogs that didn't.  Rusty would protect us if a stray or a drug impaired hippie wandered by. His gentle demeanor would change and the hippies would stay far and he would transform back to Rusty.

My grandfather taught a young kid to shoot. It was a supervised activity and the message was very clear even for a young child. The gun is a serious tool only to be used to protect the family and your country. It was never to be picked up when angry or drunk. Practice was like craftsmanship and only paper targets, cans and bottles were acceptable targets. Even hunting for food was discouraged because a tasty chicken was cheap and easy. He would admire the grace of a passing deer and send a warning shot at a pack of stray dogs that were close. He would always send the shot just short.

Today this is what sickos like Michael Moore call gun culture. Shooters and crime don't have anything to do
with families teaching their kids to use a gun. It was part of growing up not too much different from learning
to swing and ax or use a circular saw.

I wish I could return to that era if only for an hour. People sat outside and played scrabble and made campfires. The food was fresh and handmade and the music was beautiful. Willie Mays was at the end and Booby Murcer was my hero. The tube radios pulled in baseball games as far away as Cleveland on some nights. There were a few radio shows still around and Cropsey stories. Grossingers was up the road and the Concord was going strong.


-FJ said...

Happy Holidays, beakerkin.

beakerkin said...