Friday, January 29, 2010


I want to write something. Got nothing to write. Listening to Steve Earle. Copperhead Road. What a song. I love the old Highlander pipes in the beginning.........

McKee's Mills.

I remember my great-uncles on my mother's side in Canada. The ones who fought in WWI. Those guys were something. I remember three of them. There were five or six all together. I think I remember three of them. I know for sure that I met two of them. One of them in particular, A.J., I spent a summer with in 1971. He was an old man even back then. He lived in a cabin on the Little Bouctouche River. One of my grandmother's cousins lived upsteam on a farm. I called him Uncle Earl and he taught me how to shoot that summer. An old bolt action single shot .22 with a scope mounted on rings that held the scope an inch or so off the top of the rifle. I was an excited nine year old. I was going to shoot like the big guys, with a scope and everything. I sat on the bench behind that rifle that was nestled on some small home made sandbags on an old picnic table. Several targets were stapled to the old barn about twenty-five yards downrange. I could see the small bulls eye clear as day through that scope. Earl quietly put some tape over the scope and directed me to use the iron sights that were visibly accessible through the scope rings. The small bulls eye was an even smaller black circle off in the distance now.

"The top of that front sight blade on the bottom of that bulls eye circle. Keep it centered in the rear. Breath out slow, and squeeze."

Earl taught me the basic fundamentals of good marksmanship that summer. Earl also taught me how to handle a weapon safely. Earl took me fishing on the banks of that Little Bouctouche River. We also went fishing in the little flat bottomed boat out where the river gets wider, closer to where Uncle A.J. lived. Yeah, Uncle Earl was a steady, confident and patient teacher. Uncle A.J. on the other hand, Uncle A.J. was a little different.

Uncle A.J. had a shit eatin' grin as wide as that river just down the hill from his cabin. Uncle A.J. liked to show off his bearskin rug and tell you how he killed that bear with a Broom Handle Mauser that he took off a dead German in the trenches back around 19 something teen. That bear chased him up a tree and he dropped his rifle of course. Now he would be the first to tell you that climbing up a tree is not the thing to do when running from an angry bear, unless you want to lure that bear to an early demise with a couple of magazines at point blank range. Even then the bear didn't die right away. Uncle A.J. had to track that bastard almost two miles before he came upon it and finished it off with a rifle round to the the chest. And don't get me started about the Moose. The rack that hung over the door to that cabin seemed like it was ten feet across.

I had a real nice time in Canada that summer when I was nine years old.

Those guys were good guys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

10:48 PM  

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