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Decisions to be made when buddies stop shooting???

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by senior smoke, Jul 18, 2011.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Hello:
    Years ago I could not wait for our state shoot to come. I would meet my group of buddies early in the morning at the club and set up our area. We would bring food, grills, tables, coolers, and have a fantastic time, as we would wait until it was our turn to shoot. We would not go home until late in the evening.

    Over the past few years something happened to our group, we all got older, and some of us passed away. Some of us no longer shoot competitively, as some no longer even shoot.

    As I walked the state shoot grounds, I could count on one hand how many people I once knew from my days of ATA shooting. I can not believe that all my friends either passed away and or just stopped shooting entirely?

    I don't even see the vendors I once knew. I did something that I thought I would never do. I did not go out to the club on Friday, Saturday, or even Sunday. There use to be a time that I would start walking from the East end of the line, all the way down to the West end. It could take me hours after running into Vendors and friends that I knew.

    Most of the Vendors are gone, as now I see young shooters with their friends. I talked to a young man who said he never could have imagined how much fun the state shoot could be? All I could do was agree, and say to myself, you should have seen what it was like years ago.

    Maybe the atmosphere is different because I am not with my friends? Maybe it's different because participation is down? What ever the reason, I sure miss the state shoot the way I remember it to be?

    I guess the only people who really understand where I am coming from, are the shooters who shot years ago like myself. If you at one time shot only with the same shooters you understand where what I am talking about. If you have lost squad mates due to illness or old age you understand things just don't feel the same. To the new shooters of today, these are the good old days. I personally just wish I could push back the clock sometimes, as I never appreciated how good we had it.

    Steve Balistreri
     
  2. avodilko

    avodilko TS Member

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    Messages:
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    steve you covered all the bases,i've not been in trap shootng as long as you but in my short time, i to miss what it was ,for what it was it is not the same anymore,i caught the last few years at the grand in ohio,sorry i did not get started sooner. maybe it is us,i'm in my70's,i still like to go but it is getting to be not very high on my list any more.take care,andy
     
  3. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Find new shooters.....if there's a club wiht a junior program, glom onto them. Your experience can be passed down to the willing young-uns.

    Start a new group of shooters to do the grillin', chillin' and clay-killin' with.

    Keep shooting.
     
  4. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Camdenton, MO
    Steve, most of us older shooters have the same feeling, I know I do. I was lucky enough to squad most of my early career with the great C.E. "Barney" Barnhart. "The Living Legend" as his ATA HOF write-up states. In the day, if you saw Barney on the grounds, there was always a crowd around him. Wether it was the Grand, or a local shoot, he was a center of attention. In any shootoff he was in he drew a crowd. If he told a corney joke or a tall tale (he was definately THE story teller- and I'm sure they were all true) he had everyone's undivided attention. But as Gene Sears, Dan Orlich, Bueford Bailey and most of the old greats started to dissapear, Barney looked alone and that was a big change for him. The last grand he attended, I spent most days with him. It was as if no one knew him. He later shared with me and Larry McKinley that it felt like famous actors that aren't famous anymore. So I hope this story helps a bit because in life...nothing stays the same. They say old people like you and me don't like change. Wish I could go back too...just one more day at Vandalia with our old group. As I've said before, if I make Heaven, Lord I'll pass on that mansion. Give me a shack with Vandalia down the street to the north. Old West Chicago to the south, Elliotts Shooting Park/KC to the east, and the Bob Taylor's to the west.

    Best regards!

    milt
     
  5. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    The more things change, the more they are the same. In 50-60 years from now (everything else being equal) the next generation "Senior Smoke" will write the same thing.


    Eric
     
  6. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

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    I'm in my early 60s now and I've seen a gradual change over the years in just about anything that was "fraternal" in nature. Masons, Shriners, KC, Elks, Eagles, Moose, and on and on. In my father's time these places were packed. But it was a different time.... my mother stayed home and my dad went to lodge or wherever with the buddies. Now with economics demanding dual incomes to just make ends meet, wives aren't going to put in their 40 hour week and then take care of house and kids while the husband does his thing with his group. If we all look back to those "good old days" where would we see our wives and kids while we were having a ball with the guys? I think that world is sorely missed, but it's gone; just plain gone.
     
  7. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    I have read every response written so far. Everyone of you makes sense and seem to understand what I am talking about. Years ago, I considered Vic Reinders a friend. Walking down the midway at the Grand in Ohio with Vic and having shooters walk up to him asking for his autograph was something that I will never forget. To me, Vic was just old Vic. Sometimes when you see someone from your home club a lot you forget how much some of these old time greats really meant to our sport.

    Over the weekend I received a phone call from a member of my squad that I always shot with. We started talking about the good times that we had shooting. We discussed one of our friends that was a member of our squad that passed away. My friend said that he is certain that our friend Don has pulled a squad and is waiting for us to shoot with him. When our time comes, I hope he saves me position #2.
    Steve
     
  8. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    Steve, I always love reading your posts.

    This year I shot the whole MN state shoot program for the first time in years. I lived out of state for ten years, 4 in Milwaukee, and the last few have just been too busy.

    I took the time off this year and it was a pleasure. I reconnected with people I was friends with in the 80s like Mike Bright, and met new friends like the Schwabs from Kansas. Not a lot of vendors but it was good to see Ed Brophy of Shamrock Leathers doing well.

    What really impressed me was the nice, and good shooting, kids. Mariah McKailis, Colton Kant, Minnesota's Alex and Tylor Steffens, Dale and his buddy from Illinois. These are just a few that I've met and I can honestly say that shooting puts out quality kids like no other sport.

    I've had a lot of good shooting buddies over the years. Bill Payne, Roger Ball and I had fun like i probably never will again The roster kind of changes with the times. Hang in there and if you go to some shoots and strike up a conversation with some guys I bet you'll make some new friends. I know I would host you in MN any time.

    John Houle
     
  9. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoy shooting with the old guys on the sporting clays range. It's more relaxed than the trap field and we can converse while the shooting is going on. Several of them don't shoot trap much anymore but like sporting clays because they've made new friends and can socialize.
     
  10. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    John:
    I am glad you are still shooting and have met some new shooters. I believe that the real reason so many old timers no longer shoot is due to the high cost of ammunition. Majority of people once they try the shooting sports love it. Hope to meet you someday.
    Steve

    Brian:
    I have always enjoyed either your threads or responses. You usually make a lot of good sense.
    Steve
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Steve,

    You have hit on another reason shooters leave the game - their friends stop shooting and they feel "alone". The fun goes out of it.

    I am going to the Grand this year in large measure because my friends are going. I am not a "contender" so that is not enough reason. The $300k added prize money is only a minimal draw for me.

    We have a Three Stooges Lewis that three of us play at events. Our own little money game for bragging rights. Just another element to justify the teasing that comes from camaraderie.

    The cost of shells should be a small price to pay to have a good time. So, I hope it is the excuse people use and not the real reason they stop having fun with their buddies.

    Don Verna
     
  12. DONNE

    DONNE Member

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    "Look for it only in books for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization Gone with the Wind ......" "True , True "
    You can never go back , only forward . Sad , We don't even have enough people to play cards anymore. Everyones either died , lost their jobs or quit shooting. Some have done both ......
     
  13. indycamster

    indycamster Member

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    Great post all..Just Sunday, I went to Kingen's Gun Club, where Sharon Kingen held a Memorial Shoot for her Mother, Midge, who passed last October. I was really surprised at the turn out for just a regular shoot. But this was no regular shoot. In the club house, she arranged several old photographs of shoots from the past. In particular was the 1965 Indiana State Shoot her father hosted at Kingens and there in one of the faded photos, was my father, hardly recognizable but to those of us who knew him, it could be no doubt. "Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph, preserve your memories, there all that's left you."
    Clarence Mason, in honor of Marshall C. Mason, My Dad. He taught me Trap, and left it as a gift to pass on to others.
     
  14. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    Well Carl, for me and I'd bet many of us oldies...that's the best post ever on Ts.com. Thanks for sharing. Gave me lots to think about. Wish you would not have discarded the list. I'd love to have seen it.

    Peace to you!

    milt
     
  15. NMULTRARUNNER55

    NMULTRARUNNER55 Member

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    My shooting Buddy of almost 25 years, Jim Nesbit, passed away last year. I stopped shooting for a while too. I went to last year's State Shoot and it just didn't seem the same at all without Jim being there too. I didn't even go this year.

    I thought about this for a long time. Everyone else who has posted above has made some great points. What I figured out is that it wasn't trap shooting or the State Shoot that had changed. It was me.

    Now I'm shooting more and enjoying myself. Of course it would still be even more fun with Jim, but that's not possible. Such is the nature of life I suppose.

    Thanks.

    Steve Nunley
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
     
  16. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Carl:
    Very nice response. Back in the 70's when I was shooting with all my friends, and the shoots were well attended, if someone would have asked me like in the movie "field of dreams", "is this heaven"? I would have said, no it's the "Waukesha gun club".

    With every passing day our shooting fraternity loses friends and squad mates of ours. If there is a heaven, and I believe there is, there should be some mighty big shoots and some intense shoot offs when we arrive. The lines will be long, maybe that's why our friends are up there now, pulling squads and just waiting until we arrive. It will be tough to win with all the greats that we will see back in their prime.
    Steve
     
  17. skydiver41

    skydiver41 Member

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    Another sport another perspective on trapshooting: As my name implies I come from a skydiving background. In July of 2006 our jumpship (twin otter) went down killing several of my friends. Depression and anxiety set in that would not leave. In 2009 I started shooting skeet, then trap at the local range. Feeling withdrawn and socially inept, skeet and trapshooting help me climb out of my "anti-social" slump. I attended my first State Shoot this year (Missouri) and chose to squad with strangers. I enjoyed some success but the thing that struck me most was how friendly and approachable everyone was. I met some really nice people who were genuine and supportive. I have made some good friends this year by squadding with total strangers. This trapshooting stuff is great! Hope we don't lose you Steve.

    Mike
     
  18. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Mike:
    My condolences on the loss of your friends. I can only imagine how difficult that was for you. With that being said, you will find that shooters in general are some of the nicest most generous people in all of sport. Let's just say no matter where you go in this country, no matter what gun club, all you have to say is that your a shooter and your among friends.
    Nice to have you in the shooting sports,
    Steve
     
  19. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    Steve,

    I'm one of those who droppped out. I lover the Grand and would probably still be shooting if I knew that I would be going to Vandalia in August. Sparta is a different thing. This is NOT about not liking Sparta. It is about a change which I was not up for. Now I read the results and look for old friends and acquaintances on the leader board. I will probably put my Kolar up for sale soon and give up Trap all together.

    As we get older, things change and we must accept those changes and change as well.

    Tony C
     
  20. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Tony:
    I miss the Grand in Ohio too. I admit that I have not been to Sparta as of yet, so I really can not judge. I believe that once Sparta matures and has some history behind it, future shooters will someday also think fondly of it too.

    My mother use to always tell me to appreciate things as in life you never know when things will be taken from you.
    Steve
     
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