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Frank Fusco
11-02-2006, 3:10 PM
I just need to tell someone this recollection.

I had a young man (33) over yesterday for a visit. While here he noticed my small collection of old single-shot .22 rifles.
He picked up the Stevens Crackshot and asked where I got it. I told him the story.
It is the first gun I ever owned and the first gun I ever purchased on my own. I was about seven years old at the time, that was more than 60 years ago.
My family had been out for a Sunday drive and stopped at a large flea market/antique shop. While in the shop I noticed the Stevens and wanted it. But, in those days a kid didn't get what he wanted just by whining and crying. I was told if I wanted it, I had to buy it myself. The price was a seemingly unachievable $3.00.
Many weeks later I had saved up the $3.00 and proceeded to hitchike some thirty miles back to the store. When I got there I was told I needed a note from my parents that it was OK to buy a gun.
I hitchiked back home, got the note from my mother and return hitchiked to the store and bought the rifle. Of course, now carrying a rifle I had to hitchike back home and did.
I just can (maybe can't) imagine what would happen today if a seven year old boy with a rifle was seen trying to hitchike on the highways. :eek:
It would bring out the police, SWAT and CNN and more, I'm sure.

Robert Mickley
11-02-2006, 3:14 PM
That or it would get you shot and robbed.

While we didn't have all the conviences back then. I think life was a happier time. Great story Frank ;)

Ken Fitzgerald
11-02-2006, 3:25 PM
Yup...........You're probably right!

I used to hitchhike and walk from a small farming town to a friend's house who lived 5 miles out in the country to go bird and rabbit hunting. Quite often I was carrying my first gun, a H&R 12 gauge full choke shotgun. Sometimes I got a ride sometimes I didn't. But......nobody called the cops and I didn't appear on any of the news media.

Though I'm 10 years your junior, Frank.....we grew up in a different time and maybe, a different world. My mother and I were talking on the phone last night. My mother often swatted our bottoms when we deserved it and after I reached the age of 12 or so, my father thought nothing about "decking" my beligerant teen-aged body. Today, they'd both be put in jail for child abuse. I come from a family of 6 kids and all of us "kids" are responsible adults. I've come to the conclusion that the only sure things in life are birth, death, taxes and constant change............

Joe Pelonio
11-02-2006, 3:44 PM
These days most places hitchhiking itself is illegal. I used to do it in the '60s, though not armed. Hippies in VW buses would always pick us up.

I bet that $3 gun is worth a lot more money now. I have a 1920s Winchester Model 52 bolt action .22 rifle at home that was my late father-in-law's when he was a kid. Last time I checked it was worth $400-5000
depending on condition and serial numbers. This one's well used, I'm afraid,
but I don't plan to sell it anyway.

Art Mulder
11-02-2006, 5:06 PM
Everyone's talking about the gun. Forget the rifle.

Imagine what you would do if you saw a seven-year-old out hitchhiking on the back woods highways today.

At the least I'd expect the kid to be picked up and the Mum and Dad to get a visit from Family/Social Services (or equivalent)

My seven year old isn't even allowed to ride his bike around the block (large block, I admit, 2km circumference) alone.

Scott Loven
11-02-2006, 5:41 PM
Had a kid near me that was hit by a car last week while riding his bike along a country road. Did not make it. Was out collecting cans for the deposit money.
Scott

Frank Fusco
11-02-2006, 5:50 PM
Everyone's talking about the gun. Forget the rifle.

Imagine what you would do if you saw a seven-year-old out hitchhiking on the back woods highways today.

At the least I'd expect the kid to be picked up and the Mum and Dad to get a visit from Family/Social Services (or equivalent)

My seven year old isn't even allowed to ride his bike around the block (large block, I admit, 2km circumference) alone.

You're right. Today I would pull over near the kid and keep an eye on him while calling 911 on the cel phone. Unless he was in danger I wouldn't approach him for fear of being accused of being a preevert.

Joe Pelonio
11-02-2006, 6:18 PM
I have to admit I'm glad my youngest is 19 and talking about moving out. This has to be a much harder time to raise kids. Good luck to all of you with young ones.

Dan McGuire
11-02-2006, 6:22 PM
It wasn't that long ago that the world changed... I had the good fortune of growing up living not too far from my grandparents farm. I used to spend my summers with them, which included that standard work around the farm and all the hunting of squirrles, target shooting and plinking old pop cans with my rifles and shotguns that I could stand. Great fun for a young fella. I would walk the mile between "new" farm where my grandparents lived and the "old" farm where I did my hunting, obviously carrying my rifle. Well that was fine, until one of the old farmers sold out and a development was started on his land. It didn't take long until the people moving out from the city started calling the sheriff about a kid carrying a gun walking down the road. About the 3rd time a deputy stopped me, my grandfather decided that I should no longer walk over, but I would have to wait to get a ride. I was no older than 11 or 12 at the time. It wasn't long before it became very unsafe to even walk along the road as development continued to eat up the land down that way.

Frank Fusco
11-02-2006, 6:46 PM
It wasn't that long ago that the world changed... I had the good fortune of growing up living not too far from my grandparents farm. I used to spend my summers with them, which included that standard work around the farm and all the hunting of squirrles, target shooting and plinking old pop cans with my rifles and shotguns that I could stand. Great fun for a young fella. I would walk the mile between "new" farm where my grandparents lived and the "old" farm where I did my hunting, obviously carrying my rifle. Well that was fine, until one of the old farmers sold out and a development was started on his land. It didn't take long until the people moving out from the city started calling the sheriff about a kid carrying a gun walking down the road. About the 3rd time a deputy stopped me, my grandfather decided that I should no longer walk over, but I would have to wait to get a ride. I was no older than 11 or 12 at the time. It wasn't long before it became very unsafe to even walk along the road as development continued to eat up the land down that way.

Dan
I know you live in Chicago area. At the time of my story, I actually lived in Chicago on the west side. Austin neighborhood.
When I was 12 we moved to the suburbs and I saw the farms go as houses came in.

Chris Barton
11-02-2006, 7:02 PM
Maybe I still travel ares trapped in time but, it's not uncommon to see young (>8 yo) kids out in rural areas walking with shot guns or rifles along the side of the road coming or goin to hunt during season. I guess that's TN for ya, behind the times.

Dan McGuire
11-02-2006, 7:03 PM
Actually, I grew up outside of St. Louis and my grandparents farm was about 45 miles south/southwest of the city. I have only been in Chicago for about the last four years. Though, I still consider myself a Missouri farm boy.

Joe Mioux
11-02-2006, 7:55 PM
This reminds me of a story my dad told me.

When he was in grade school, late 20's early 30's, he and his friends would bring their .22 rifles to school. At lunch they would take their rifles and walk to the edge of town for some target practice. When recess was over, they went back to school, put their guns away (presumbably in their lockers) and went to their classroom.

Scott Donley
11-02-2006, 8:18 PM
Prince Albert cans were the best, made a great target ;)

Curt Fuller
11-02-2006, 8:28 PM
That's a great story Frank. I've been in an argument/discussion about buying my 9 year old grandson a BB gun for Christmas. Everybody's having a cow like I some kind of gun crazed maniac. I just want to go out in the back yard and plink cans with him. Times have most definitely changed.

Charles McKinley
11-02-2006, 11:49 PM
Curt,

Really git them reved up and get a Chipmunk .22. it is a great little youth model single shot made here in PA. For the grandaughter in your life they have a very cute pink laminated stock version.

Frank Fusco
11-03-2006, 10:45 AM
That's a great story Frank. I've been in an argument/discussion about buying my 9 year old grandson a BB gun for Christmas. Everybody's having a cow like I some kind of gun crazed maniac. I just want to go out in the back yard and plink cans with him. Times have most definitely changed.

Buy it. Start him right. I would suggest a medium price range pellet gun instead of a BB gun. Lousy accuracy can discourage a kid. The pellet guns are accurate and more fun.

Dan McGuire
11-03-2006, 11:12 AM
there is no better way to learn sight alignment and sight picture than with an accurate pellet gun. I have found with kids learning to shoot, that even with a .22, they still anticipate the "report" or the sound of the round leaving the muzzle and they tend to flinch at the absolute wrong time. With a pellet gun in my humble opinion they can relax more with allows them to be more successful. My first was a Crossman 760, in fact I still have it. When I became profiecent in the handling and operation of that rifle, I then was allowed to step up to .22 rifle. I still consider myself a fairly good shot with the old iron sights. Hopefully, I haven't taken this off-topic to far.

Jason Roehl
11-03-2006, 1:14 PM
I have two pellet rifles, one long-lever-action/compressed air, and one multi-pump. Both are fairly loud, almost as loud as a .22 rifle.

I'm probably one of the worst parents in the world (to the PC crowd, anyway), as I took my oldest son plinking with a .22 when he turned 4. I still want to get a smaller .22 rifle for the boys, as the current one is just too long and heavy (looked small to me when I bought it at a--God forbid--gun show). I've even let my oldest boy (now almost 6) shoot my .45 pistol. He thought that was great. Maybe in a couple years he'll be ready for the 12-gauge with 3" magnum shells...well, maybe not. Those can be brutal. I once shot 5 3" mag slugs wearing only a tank top. My shoulder was a bit sore the next day...

That reminds me...I need to go apply for my lifetime carry permit that IN just allowed citizens to get this year.

Joe Mioux
11-03-2006, 11:03 PM
there is no better way to learn sight alignment and sight picture than with an accurate pellet gun. I have found with kids learning to shoot, that even with a .22, they still anticipate the "report" or the sound of the round leaving the muzzle and they tend to flinch at the absolute wrong time. With a pellet gun in my humble opinion they can relax more with allows them to be more successful. My first was a Crossman 760, in fact I still have it. When I became profiecent in the handling and operation of that rifle, I then was allowed to step up to .22 rifle. I still consider myself a fairly good shot with the old iron sights. Hopefully, I haven't taken this off-topic to far.

that crossman 760 is a wonderful pellet rifle.

Alan Trout
11-04-2006, 1:52 AM
Curt, I am so sorry to hear that it is a argument. I love to see young people get the right start with guns. I can't think of a better way than with their grandfather. These are skills and traditions that we need to be passing on to our young people. I cannot think of a single thing that teaches kids more responsability as proper gun safety, handeling, and shooting.

I am a competitive skeet shooter and some of the finest young people that I have met have been in the clay target sports. They are disciplined, curtious, responsible, Just great kids. In my state and city where I live are some of the strongest youth shooting programs in the country. Many of these young people are world class shooters as well.

My wife and I had our child late by many peoples standards he is our miracle baby and only 2 years old right now. I am counting the days till I can give him his first gun. I know the the memories that will be forged by the time that we spend in the outdoors will be priceless.

Frank, I am a quite a bit younger than you and when I was in high school we would bring our shotguns to school and keep them in our trucks. After school we would go dove hunting. This was like 25 years ago. It is sad that today you would get thrown in jail if you did the same thing. As long as we kept them in our vehicles it was just fine. In grade school I had a teacher that if you were a little boy and did not carry a pocket knife you got in trouble. She was a pretty old school lady. I don't think that this would happen today either. By the way I still carry a pocket knife with me every where I go except an airport of course.

Good Luck

Alan

Ken Fitzgerald
11-04-2006, 2:10 AM
Alan............I once provided a shot gun that was shot inside of a high school auditorium over 6 presentations of "Annie Get Your Gun!"......funny thing....I thought I was pretty smart. I removed the shot but didn't remove the wadding. The art class and art club had spent hours painting the back drops. Another student was up on the light rails above the stage. The girl playing Annie Oakley at one point was supposed to prove her marksmanship by firing a shot and the student on the light rails was to drop a rubber duck. Annie raised up her gun and fired .....the wadding hit the backdrop....knocked paint off a 3 ft diameter section of the backdrop:eek: :D ....and the duck was delayed being dropped:D ....but finally came down........got an unscheduled laugh..........The next night I removed the wadding and powder. Only caps from that first night on............:o Luckily nobody was injured!:)

Alan Trout
11-04-2006, 9:03 AM
Ken, thats pretty funny. You are kind of lucky about no one getting hurt a modern wad could realy hurt someone. And an old fiber wad from years back was about the same.

Alan