... is when this photo was developed. I figure it was either taken in April or May that year - 59 years ago this month! Damn, how time flies and wherever it all has flown off to is beyond my grasp now. The others in the pic are my older brother, my mom (next to me) and the distant family relative (or maybe just a family friend) we called Aunt Mary. I was right around 5 1/2 years old and even then it seemed I was well on my way to getting into guns. We were standing along the side, of one of three, of my great-grandfather's and great-grandmother's apartment buildings.
In all likelihood the rifle I am holding was an actual firing percussion rifle of sorts and was bought for me at Freedomland U.S.A. in the Bronx, NY; the time frame is perfect. I well remember begging for it and finally being the happiest kid in the world when my mom & dad got it for me. I also got a coonskin cap with a real racoon tail (don't recall if the rest of it was real fur but maybe cause that was still back in a different era). I had to beg them not only for the rifle but to go back to Freedomland a second time and that's when they got it for me; I saw it on our first trip there.
Much like a real percussion rifle where you put the cap onto the nipple, you placed a cap on a platform where the hammer would hit it and just like on a percussion rifle there was a small hole leading to the inside of the barrel into which, from the muzzle end, I would have loaded one of several very light weight cork balls that came with it and then seated it with its ramrod (not in the photo for some reason). Amazingly, when I think of it now, it worked every time as I recall. No way you were going to shoot out anyone's eye with that though even though I got that speech despite it not being a BB gun. No clue whatever became of it, wish I still had it. It would have been an excellent first rifle for my daughter & son. As it was they were started on 22s.
All the best,