Thursday, September 23, 2010
Look here at what I found. These two certificates have been hiding among some of my papers so well that I had no clue I had them. I got them from my mom several years ago when she was going through some of her older
junk collectibles. I am happy she kept them and then gave them to me instead of throwing them out as I know she did with similar mementos she had of my childhood. I found them a couple of weeks ago in my office of all places.
These are probably the first set of Marksmanship Awards I ever received. I got them both in the summer of 1966, which was the second year I spent out of 5 years at summer camp. I may have received similar certificates in 1965 but I think they did not let us shoot until we hit 10 years old. I have vague memories of wanting to shoot ever so badly the first year I was at camp and them telling me I had to wait until the next year. I was 9 going on 10 during the summer of 65 and 10 going on 11 in the summer of 66. Man am I old but, after 44 years of it, I still love shooting. I also have two certificates for archery, one from 1965 and one from 1966 - and while I own a bow - I have not shot it in years. I guess I was never meant to be a bowman as much as I was destined to become a shootist.
If you looked at them closely, you probably noticed that the distance at which I shot to attain these awards was only 15 feet and was on an indoor range. I think, and am pretty sure, that these were attained while shooting BB Guns (rifles) but it could have been 22 shorts and I may have shot the BB guns in 1965 instead. Whichever - after we achieved the Marksman award, we were allowed to move up to rifles in .22LR caliber. I had a jacket, somewhere recently, with a few patches on the arm. All the patches were from the NRA for shooting at 50 feet and the shooting for them was done with a .22 rifle in .22 Long Rifle caliber. I have had the jacket around the house, probably since my mom gave me these certificates, but as of late have been unable to find it. My bet is it got thrown in the trash by my wife while I was out in Phoenix this past spring for my job. She won't fess up - so I'll keep looking. Who knows - maybe it is still here.
For now though, I'll just have to think about getting these two certificates professionally mounted and framed. I think are worthy of being passed down to my son, then down to his son and so on, in order to pass on a firearms legacy that none of my descendants should ever forsake.
All the best,