Monday, May 16, 2016

Now This Made Me A Little Sad In A Nostalgic Way

A little while ago, the name of the hospital in which I was born came up in my daily business. Not having thought of the place in awhile, I decided to do a search on the Internet to see if it was still open. I just could not remember if it had closed down or not. First, I found a photo of it, it's a fairly current image judging by the cars pictured in it. So, as it turns out, the hospital building is still standing although the sign over the entranceway says it is something else today than it was when I was born, some sort of residential facility. As I looked the photo over more closely though, there up near the top of the building was the name of the hospital in concrete: Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. I had always thought my sister was born in another nearby hospital but now that I see the photo, this may have been her birthplace too. I remember my old man bringing me to the hospital and my mom holding my sister up by the window for me to see (no pest-like little kids were allowed inside - heavens forbid) and that is pretty much the picture of the hospital that has been in my mind all these years. Of course, the other one was red brick too, so who knows. Too late to ask either my mother or father or older brother. I'll have to check with my sister.

Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, it wasn't big or fancy but it
is where I was born and where they sewed up my head after
I was run over by a bicycle playing on MacDonough Street.
I then did a search for it in Wikipedia. There is a page that shows a list of all (or many) New York City hospitals. The sad thing was that yes indeed the hospital closed its doors but what was sadder still was what the hospital has become. The hospital is currently listed like this:

"Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, 623 Chauncey Street, Brooklyn. Now a homeless shelter."

Man if that don't suck. My first home on the planet, even if only for a few days, has been turned into a homeless shelter. Saint's preserve us since they ain't preserving our hospitals! I have to wonder, since I was raised Catholic, why Evangelical Deaconess Hospital was chosen for my birthplace. My mom was catholic too. Maybe my father was protestant but I think not, I seem to remember him at church when I was very young. I am guessing it was so because the hospital was only about 6 1/2 blocks from our apartment on MacDonough Street and thus probably was the closest one to home. 
The hospital and our apartment were both just about equally close to another address, one of some fame, 328 Chauncey Street. A very funny cast of characters lived there, at least in one of the greatest television shows ever. Yes, that address was the home of: Ralph & Alice Kramden and Ed & Trixi Norton of the Honeymooners. In reality, Jackie Gleason used to live close to there in his youth and also played pool in a pool-hall only blocks from our place; anyway that's what my dad told me when I was a youngster and he still lived at home with us.

My great-grandparents owned our building on MacDonough Street, they owned at least one other maybe two. When I was in either first or second grade they sold the buildings on MacDonough Street because the neighborhood rapidly was becoming a vile and violent shithole (it was a pretty poor working class neighborhood but was becoming a slum) and bought three others in Glendale. My family moved into one of them and my great-grandparents lived down the block from us. That was a blessing for us even though they were rail road flats, to get to one room you walked through one or more of the others, thus had little  to no privacy but that was the best we could afford. We were piss poor and thankfully I did not know it if only because after my father left my mom struggled to hide it from us kids.

Getting back to the hospital, it was a beginning as was our home on Macdonough Street. Our new home in Glendale was a step in the right direction but not much better; although, I spent the remainder of my childhood and my early adult years there, so no matter what - it was home.  

I guess I could go on with lots of nostalgic memories and even give my life history so, I had best quit now before I bore you all to tears.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Nest For My Redhawk

Not only has a Redhawk come to roost at my house but now it is also nesting snuggly in a decent if inexpensive looking piece of leather. I decided to cut corners a bit in holster selection for my new Ruger Redhawk and get one of the less expensive holsters I could find for it. That is not something I would normally do when selecting a holster if buying one for a carry gun. The fact is this gun will be a carry gun for our Alaska trip and for hunting trips of the future (I definitely plan to go deer hunting with it later this year) but not an every day self-defense carry piece. I thought about getting a really expensive holster or at least much more expensive than the Guide Gear Holster I that got from The Sportsmansguide but decided not now because I am already stretching my finances to the limit and beyond with our upcoming trip.

As far as picking which holster to purchase, I wanted a leather one, with a thumb-snap and covered trigger/trigger guard. Other than that I was not to particular. It could have been a cross-draw, a shoulder rig, or a strong side hip holster. I opted for the Guide Gear holster mostly because of what I saw available and because of its price. The selection process certainly was not a lengthy one, truth is that there are very few leather holsters out there specifically made for a Ruger Redhawk with a 5.5" barrel and even fewer that would have been affordable for me right now.

After looking over the Guide Gear holster, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the leather. I have purchased much more expensive holsters with leather that was not as nice as is this holster's. I am not saying it is excellent quality but think it at least good if not very good. As for the stitching, it looks okay except maybe a little minimal where the belt loop is attached to the holster body. I am guessing it should hold up okay but if I had to pick a weak point I might target that;  I would have added a wider piece of leather at that point along with a double row of stitching. It does not look shoddy or anything like that, in fact it may well be more than enough to give sufficient strength to the bond between the loop and body, I am just saying what I think of it at first glance. Time and wear will tell. The thumb snap looks to be of decent quality, and I imagine if anything was to fail first on any holster with a thumb-break retention system, it would be the leather at the bend of that part getting fatigued. Again, time will tell but it looks okay to me. The back side of it has a metal band attached for rigidity and to help hold the back snap. That is a good thing.

One design feature of the holster that I truly do not like (but had to accept) is that the trigger is left exposed. I cannot think of the last holster I owned where the trigger and trigger was not at least partially covered to avoid accidental contact with the booger picker finger when drawing. Even more expensive holsters at which I looked were made the same as this holster in that regard. This one by Triple K, which by the way was over 3X more in price than the Guide Gear holster, also has an exposed trigger. Triple K also had this one with a partially covered trigger and trigger guard but the $199.99 price and the fact that it did not have a thumb-break ruled it out. 

The same uncovered trigger design is found in this holster at DeSantis and that one is almost 4 1/2 times as expensive as the one I bought. I do not doubt that DeSantis and Triple K probably are of much better quality but price and availability were considerations. Also, the one from DeSantis is only made to fit a Redhawk with 4" barrel; Ruger told me they would custom make one for me to fit the 5.5" barrel model but it would have added another $50 to their price (that alone is almost double the price I paid for mine).

So, I am stuck with what I could pay for and this one was within my already super-stretched budget at only $26.99 with free shipping - such a deal! I know I cannot expect much at that price; although I do expect it to last through this trip. If it also lasts for
several hunting trips and holds up well, I will be happy with it.  

With the money I saved on a holster, I was able to squeeze one more purchase, out of my dwindling funds, relative to the Redhawk. I ordered a pouch for the speed loaders I had bought when I got the revolver. It cost more than half of the Guide Gear holster at $17.99 but is a wise investment in my opinion (as were the speed loaders). It is an HKS double speed loader pouch made out of some sort of molded wonder plastic that HKS claims will outlast leather. I kind of doubt it would outlast leather of the same thickness in normal to heavy use but me thinks it would take many years longer than I probably have remaining on earth to find out. Regardless, it looks to be heavy duty and should last a good long time.

All the best,
Glenn B