Moving through a world peopled with folks from the shooting community, one constantly feels blessed to be around such great human beings. Whether it be at the range, in the field, or just walking the county fair, the singular acts of kindness, fellowship, and decency stand out like beacons on a dark night.
I'd like to present a few of the folks I have enjoyed making connections with in the last few weeks....
After talking with the man for hours, I"m ashamed to say I didn't get his name. In my defense... we talked hard about guns, reloading, long distance shooting, trucks, engines, life, retirement... you name it.
I met this gentleman at a local park during a 'community days' fair (Read that as a lot of good people getting together and having fun). Amongst the display booths for the regional police and fire departments was one with some utterly beautiful long distance rifle on tables and stands.
The man shoots in 1000 yard competition.... and shoots very, very well. So well, it defies imagination..... we are talking four inch groups at 1000 yards. Beyond that, he is a great guy and always willing to talk with anyone about anything. Just walking the fair.... and up pops a fellow Gunny like this.... nice!
At the local club, attending a steel shoot, I had the honor of meeting Chuck Belz. Immediately standing out as a serious shooter, he went on to demonstrate a level of sportsmanship second to none.
Chuck was everywhere, seemingly at the same time. Helping keep score, coaching new shooters, running a stage, picking up brass.... all while keeping his head in gear and doing some fine, fine shooting. It was especially motivating to watch Chuck gravitate to new shooters, offering advice and easing the nervous tension caused by new surroundings and competition. Chuck's a pro, and he shows it.
In Email, every day brings new friends and opportunities to speak with real Gunny folk from around the world. Not long ago, a Gentleman name Robert Thomas took the time to share his story with me. He had the fortune to acquire a real piece of family history... a 1934 Beretta liberated by his Uncle during WWII.
Over the course of the conversation, Robert shared the story of how this historical treasure came to be in his keeping, and much of the information about his uncle as well. It's a simple story repeated thousands of times in the shooting community, and each has a core of human history to it worth treasuring. Robert's story deserves a post of it's own here in the near future.
Early this month, at a Gun-Bloggers seminar in Virginia, I had the honor of meeting more good people than I can include here. Kevin Paulson, Terry Naughton, Barbara Baird, Laura and Ashley Burgess, Chuck Buis, Todd Jarrett, Ken Blanchard, and a host of others..... each and every one a great credit to our shooting community.
Moving through life, both professionally and personally, there are people we are going to meet. Sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. Over all the years I have been blessed to enjoy, it's the folks in our shooting world who have consistently been the finest individuals one can hope to come across. That is said without reservation or qualification.
I lift my glass to you folks.... You are the best!