I recall a time, seemingly in a past life, when one of the kids needed medicine and the bank account was dry. It was a non-choice.... and off I went to the pawn shop with a treasured rifle. On the way home, the pharmacy and the medicine.
No, I never recovered that Marlin 1895. I did make it back, no more than a day after the pawn ended, but the shop owner smiled as he made it clear the rifle was now in his personal cabinet, and not likely to leave there soon.
That scene was repeated numerous times over the years, with firearms being sold off in times of need. Almost all regretted, but necessary at the time.
Fast forward to nowadays, where I am making ends meet and don't have to sell my toys just to buy food. *I* don't...... but sometimes others do.
Others....... like my friend and neighbor.
I knew it was tight for him, and that became clearer when he offered to sell me one of his rifles. I said yes right away, especially as he was offering at his cost and I knew the deal he had gotten. I was there when he bought it, and helped him sight it in and get it hunt-ready.
An evenings thought by the fire pit, with a glass of decent Bourbon and cigar as company, had me mentally replaying all those times in my life when I had to sell off guns I would have rather kept. It lead me to a decision, and to make my buddy an offer...
"Here's the deal my friend. If you need money, I will buy what guns you wish to sell me. It will be at a fair price, for cash, and I will get a decent bargain. There is a catch. If I ever need to sell one, you will get first crack.... at the same price I paid you. If you are ever flush and want them back, you may buy them back any time at that same price. I'm giving you the deal I wish I'd had so many times over the years."
We shook hands on it.