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October 15, 2007

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One Thing in Common

Back in the early 1980s, I was invited to join a group of men who went out to dinner every Thursday evening. They were all customers at a small-town gunshop who had gotten friendly with the owner. An extremely unlike group of people, they included myself, two gunsmiths, a retired New York State trooper who was now a locksmith, a high-school English teacher who had a degree in comparative literature from Harvard, a Wall Street plutocrat, and a machinist.

We would go to a local restaurant, ogle the waitresses, argue, insult each other, and talk about guns and hunting and the military. The intellectual progress of mankind did not advance one iota, but we enjoyed ourselves and each other.

Of course it did not last. One of the gunsmiths moved away; the Wall street plutocrat retired and moved as well; the machinist and the English teacher died, and finally the gunshop itself closed. We were all very lucky to have had what we did, and we knew it even at the time. And I can't think of anything save an interest in guns that can bring together so disparate a group of people, again and again, in place after place.


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One only has to read some of Nash Buckingham's stories to understand the phrase "we are people who normally would not mix"; how a love of hunting, the outdoors, and guns can bring an unlikely group of people together.
I probably wouldn't be on Petzal's social level, but I would love to spend a few hours talking with and listening to him.


Glad I joined this group... up to my butt in working... and this post today... put a smile on my face and got me back on track... going to visit a little more today... and tell a couple of old lies... sure as hell can't tell a joke anymore :-)

Clay Cooper

Remember the good old times? Times have changed and I look back at quality of Friendship and the great outdoors, gone with the wind


What up Clay,

The good old times are always there. It's just the people within
them that changes.

Chev Jim

That, Dave P., was a scene forever locked in the past. The Wall Streeters of today wouldn't be caught dead in a deer stand or duck blind--they will be schmoozing with each other on the golf course. The gunsmiths probably won't have the time. The school teachers will probably be brainwashed into not hunting by the Nat'l Education Association. In any event, hunting is still on the decline. There are very few "free" places to hunt any more, and the loss of habitat is staggering. I think I can safely say that hunting is not the future of the shooting sports. By the way, organized school sports have about killed off hunting between sons and fathers. Yes, it's a whole new world out there now--and I truly miss the old one.


My heart is broken ,. my day is dashed.

Damn,.. Ralph here all along I thought Plutocrat was ,.
mabe like a cartoon dog in an Eddy Bauer Jeep ,.. YUK YUK

Controling class,.. please,..
Ist let me assure you ,.. there are not many rich tockbrokers,.. Planners etc. There are however a fair number who would have you believe that.
Second I came pretty much from nothing ( finatially speaking)
Second genration in this country Was one of 1st of tribe to get to college ,. after they determined I wasn't sub miliraty IQ standard which aint much,.. yet was for a time was the general cocensus,....showed them HUGH ,. now stand accused of being Plutocrat .

Only person I attempt to control is me,.. have had this disucsssion with a numbr of women Ralph,.. you a woman maybe ?
Yuk Yuk.

Here is logic,.. if I control only me I can serve better clients and friends by beiing objective,. and when necessarty sympetheic or even empathetic,..
But I never EVER attempt to control onther individules.
UNLESS ,... they are pulling that with me.
Stangely enouh ,..somehow that make others want to ,.. or try to control me,..(especually women) many times by creating drama ,.
Explanation from "that quarter" is me being distant ,. arogant condecending untouhable etc,.. When it's really me giving an individule ( female) the room and autonomy to be them selves.
But with women as we all know not easy ,. to mcuh attention is not good too littel is not good. So I just let me come or go ,.. which seems to be working quite well for me.

With men its confrontation,..so many guys need to be right ,.. what he hell hell guys lets just have healthy disagrement.

However Ralph I have learned not to empty my clip on first contact Which may be construed as sneaky ,.laying in the weeds etc
What it really is ,.. is being repectfull and observant,..

So Ralph,... respectfully,..
if your not a woman,.. likley Im not a Plutocrat,..


Oh and Ralph ,.. Thanks again for the $50,..


Such is true with the education system in these days. In the small town school that I went to in the 70's a hunters safety class was offered as an elective in jr high. My friends school also had a shooting range in the basement under the gym. What would all the Santa Barbara liberals do if they knew this was still in their school. It is just not used unfortunately.


Plutocrat: southern definition---some uppity SOB who thinks they're better and their stuff is better than everybody else. And, they love to tell people about it.


I have a "left of communist" friend....the only things we agree on is the 2nd amendment and that the ACLU ought to protect ALL rights. If it wasn't for those two things, I would leave him in the woods!!!

Dave Petzal

To Michael. Re my social standing. In 1789, King Louis XVI of France divided society into three "estates," or classes. The first was the clergy; the second was the nobility; and the thrid was the peasantry. Some years later, the English writer Thomas Carlyle added that the fourth estate was the press. That is where I fit in.


Chev Jim, I disagree. I'm no stockbroker, but I am the managing real estate broker of the largest Century 21 franchise in a 3 state region. Sure, it's suit and tie 5 days a week, but I make it a point to get to the gun club at least once or twice a week. Sometimes I'll even take my 5 year old son, and you can bet I'll be in the duck blind every Saturday morning during season. I may be the exception, but the guys I shoot and hunt with are from all walks of life; and I've been responsible for getting the majority of them into shooting and the outdoors. To me it's all about one's priorities and continuing the heritage of the joys that friendship and shooting bring. We control our destiny, fellow shooting community.....

Clay Cooper

I remember back in High School, in the School parking lot sat my Ford Bronco and even the Principle knew my 30-06 and 100 rounds of ammo was behind the rear seat and it wasn’t a problem. Today a kid gets kicked out of school for drawing a ray gun.


Dave, your letter reminds me of Choir practice at the Schulk Hotel (Pronounced Shook)on Thursday nights. What that was is after shooting practice the coaches and some of the parents would gather at a small Bar/Restaurant. They would have a piano player and sing alongs complete with song books with the words printed in them. My fellow coaches and I would coach a Junior Small Bore Rifle (.22 Cal) Team for a winter league . And usually we would get together for a late dinner a beer and discussion everything under the sun. Saddly as in your case things came to a end. Bar closed, league folded, Range closed and children grew up and away. We still get together about once a year after we help put on the local Hunter Safety Class.


We had a good group of people, Parents, coaches and children involved in our shooting program. I myself started as a junior shooter shot until I was too old to shoot as a junior and then took a coaches class to become a certified instructor. What is funny is that this little old lady my 7th grade English teach would become my shooting coach and mentor in life.

L Clyde

We do that now in CC NV at NV Gun Exchange. Lunches usually. Sometimes Breakfast.

Hey Lyn,.
Last thing I am which means I anit (in southern Jargon) is some uppity ,. SOB.
What i also aint is stupid.

But durned if what Im herin from some of you southern boys ,. is not shoot first ask question later,..
Whch up Nort means open mouth incert foot deeply ,. prior to any rythmic synaptic fireing. YEEHaww Yaw?

enough already ,. have a good day.!!

Clay Cooper

I remember back in 85, when the Holloman AFB High Power Team and friends got together on for a deer hunt near Sunspot New Mexico. What a blast we had!

Clay Cooper

Yohan, you been out hunting yet?


I have always thought the class of people in a hunting/shooting clubs and gatherings is more egalitarian than most other social gatherings [maybe the Masonic’s are just as egalitarian]. Probably because a used $150 pump properly used is just as effective as a Perazzi. One well setup rifle will take as much game as a whole case of rifles.

I always liked the interaction of minds in these settings. It’s amazing what comes out of people’s mouths. This is one area people can't fake.


To Dave re: social standing
3rd is spelled "third", not thrid.
Do you need a copy editor at F&S?
retired English & Journalism


Dave, That sounds like alot of fun when like minded men get together.. and share stoies and ideas. I have a group that I hang with we are Masons.. they are good like minded men that have alot of fun..

Clay Cooper

Michael, I was at Office Depot the other day to but new computers to add to our business and I noticed a pen for $189.00. I asked if it had a spell checker in it. One more thing, have you ever looked at a map of Pennsylvania? All those towns that cannot be said like Aliquippa, Monongahela, Punxsutawney and Nesquehoning? I believe a couple of Librarians got together got drunk playing Scrabble to come up with those townships. What your take on it? O’by the way, Bill Gates was a “C” average student!

Clay Cooper

What I loved about the Military, is the cross section of people from all around the country. From the never been outdoors city dude to competition and the experienced hunter. It was like a bunch of old friends from childhood, we just haven’t met yet. We shared equipment, showed the other how to do things and just to be there for each other in time of crises. The rank stayed at home, we had Civilians, Airmen to Commanders in the group. At no time did one rise over the other because of rank or knowledge. We relied on each other that made it safe and enjoyable. Everyone was on a first name bases and we had a rule not to bring our work with us. O’sure we talked about, you wouldn’t believe what happened at work for a laugh or two, but we all had fun. We learned a lot from each other we did. That was the good old days.


hey I took my hunter safty test saterday and made a hundred their was an old fellow in their that made a 92 that made my day I got a higher score than an adult on something.btw I wish we did have hunting classes in school.

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