S&W Model 624, Stainless .44 Special
A couple of them are shown twice here. Many are not shown at all. I just felt like illustrating to anyone who might care why I felt so sorry for myself when I lost my job and we moved to Boise and I sold all my guns to help keep us in groceries.
I think there was an old song called What I did for Love. I suppose we could all write our own versions of that one. But what I did for food actually hurt me and made me proud at the same time. I've been acquainted with some men who would not have done this. But how could they not? Nothing beats our obligation to do what we can to take care of our families. I suspect there are some who think I'm failing in that obligation right now. Shrug. They might be right. But on one occasion in my life, when it mattered, I did the right thing. It had taken me about thirty years to collect them all and I had sacrificed other things sometimes to get them. But I sold them off in ones and twos until they were all gone.
No, it's not that big a sacrifice. I didn't have to give up my freedom or get shot at or brave a cholera infested slum to get the food for us. Sheryl was doing more than her share, too. But these photos represent just a few of the things that I lost when I lost my job. I also lost a lot of self-respect and confidence. But you can't show those things in photographs.
Just so he knows I haven't sold his stuff, there are one or two of Joseph's things in these old photographs. They didn't go out with the rest. And Grandpa Hartsell's old 16 gauge side-by-side was never abandoned. But these pictures probably represent about one third of what I lost. Some will sympathize with that. Thank you. Others will say, "Why does a person need all those nasty old guns anyway?" I doubt I'll ever be able to communicate a satisfactory answer to that most unsatisfactory question. If the beauty, the grandeur, and the History represented by such things doesn't jump right out at you, there's probably little I could say to engender that kind of aesthetic sense in your heart.
But I haven't given up hope. I'll probably never have as many, but I have four good ones now. And I have hope that the number will grow at least a little by the time I leave them to younger folks to enjoy.
Interarms Mk X Mauser, .30-06. Marlin 60, .22 LR. Ruger 10-22 (Joseph's)
1895 Marlin in .45-70 Gov't. Ruger All Weather .22 Mag. Thompson/Center Contender Carbine in .223 Rem.
Cheap old 20 gauge that I refinished.
1896 Swedish Mauser, mfg. 1915.
Oberndorf Mauser .22 target rifle. (sniff)
Italian clone of Colt Single-Action Army, .44 Special.
Norinco (Chinese) clone of 1936 Olympics Walther .22 Pistol.