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FRIENDS THAT I'VE MADE AND LOST IN THIS SPORT

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by senior smoke, Nov 2, 2007.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    hello:
    i went out to the waukesha gun club the other day while they were closed. sat in front of trap #6 and started thinking of all the great friends that i have made in this sport over the past 38 years. most of my friends are in the shooting sports. i started to think of all the shooters that have passed away during this time frame. i looked down the trap line and try to remember what they looked like, how they had their stance when shooting, the differnt ways they all called the word pull. it brings a smile to my face when i think of those moments in time that have faded away much to fast. i probably didn't appreciate at the time, how much i cherished shooting with them. if you have lost friends in this sport, you know what i mean. next time you go to the club, look around, and appreciate the people you shoot with. life is way to short.
    steve balistreri
     
  2. famill00

    famill00 TS Member

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    Steve,

    Being only 24, my girlfriend has often times asked me why I hang out at the trap range. Well, number 1 I figure that if I was going out to the bars and whatnot I would get into trouble for hanging around other girls too much. Number 2, at places like that you don't find true friends. You find people who want to hang out and drink beer on the weekends, but that is all they are there for. When your grandmother passes away and some people from the trap clubs send flowers, that is what it is all about. The friends you make at the trap ranges are the definition of what friends are...no matter how much BS goes on. I enjoyed your post.

    Forrest
     
  3. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Nice thread Steve........And yes, I know exactly what you are saying. Sadly, I've experienced the same thing! Time goes faster than we think.
     
  4. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    I've got a few that I'll miss shooting with for sure....it's fitting that the trapshooting community honors those that pass on both here on ts.com and in Trap & Field.
     
  5. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    I heard some unbelieveable WW2 stories from the older shooters at clubs I've shot at. A whole different generation of people, and fast-disappearing...not many of them left. As someone whose grandfathers both died young and unpleasantly (I never got to meet them), I'm glad I got the opportunity to meet and get to know these guys at the club. It's funny; I really used to look forward to shooting with them every Sunday. Now that they're all in nursing homes or departed, and their Model 12s are missing from the gun racks, their places have been taken by narcissistic, loud-mouth Baby Boomers talking constantly about their toys, expensive guns and money. Somehow, I just don't look forward to the cameraderie quite so much anymore.

    I knew one old guy who had shot the same Model 12 practically all his life, and he shot with guys like Homer Clark, Lee Davidson, Rudy Etchen, all the great Winchester factory shooters of that era. What a fascinating guy to talk to.

    Many of you who shot in Vandalia many years, may recall a gentleman by the name of Cleadis Zirkle. He rode around on a golf cart supervising the firing line & target setting for many years. I simply knew him as that intimidating old guy who barked at the young kids (people wanted to dive into the hole when they saw him coming). I talked with him a bit in an employment capacity, but never really knew what his accomplishments as a shooter were. In his trapshooting obituary in Trap & Field, they said this guy had a LIFETIME handicap average over 90% mostly from 25 to 27 yards, and that's shooting 3-dram loads through a Model 12 with no recoil reduction except BBs in the stock.

    Now, really - I wonder what percentage of modern-day shooters could have done that under those conditions? Hell, I wonder how many of them could do it with their Perazzi and 2-hole birds! LIFETIME handicap average above 90% from long yardage with a Model 12? Geezus, two rounds with mine & I'm ready to take it back to the trunk! I can't imagine these guys shooting those all those years, and doing so well with them.
     
  6. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    I'm one of those loud mouth Boomers and also a Marine Vietnam vet. If you think there was a differance between the islands of the South Pacific in WW II and the jungles of South Vietnam, you better think again. More Marines died in Vietnam than in WW II. And just as many if not more Vietnamee died as did Japaneese in WW II.
     
  7. oletymer

    oletymer Member

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    Shot410ga, too many died in Vietnam, but the numbers in WW2 are much higher.
     
  8. kolar12

    kolar12 Member

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    Hey Steve, I'd like to shoot again with you sometime! No gunsmithing allowed! Gary
     
  9. k4wma

    k4wma TS Member

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    Thanks for this post SS.

    Every time I walk up on a trap field I think of my grandfather, a most sufficient trapshooter both in my mind and in the record books of ATA and the Oklahoma Trapshooting Assn. He had finished his shooting career by the time I came along, but could still bust a bird helping me get started.

    Interesting that I would read your memories today, as I was thinking about the first Virginia trapshooter I ever met. While at Ft. Lee this afternoon I learned of Dewey Hancock's passing a couple of years back. What a gentleman he was, and as fine a trapshooter as I ever got to watch. His name is liberally entered in ATA and VTA records as proof of my sentiment.

    Now Dewey and Grandad get to shoot EVERY day, and I'll bet they never miss!

    I'm beginning to understand what keeps me bringing me back to gun clubs....
    Bill
     
  10. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    many thanks to "the unloader"....you brought back a fond memory of shooting doubles with Zip Eaton at the '92 Montana State shoot in Helena....I was fortunate enough to break a 96 and he comlimented me on my result....coming from him, that was a huge compliment...I will never forget him and that meticulously wired together Browning Supoerposed he shot....thanks....and then there was the time I had Britt on my squad for the '90 MT. State shoot in Great Falls...WOW!
     
  11. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    hello again:
    i never thought that this thread would produce so many nice stories and memories not only for myself, but for other shooters. when i first started shooting, if i didn't shoot well, ( which was, and still is often) i use to come home in a real bad mood. after i got cancer in 1979, i realized, that i am not a professional shooter, i shoot 100 or 200 targets a week when i have the money, which is not often. i always give 100%, but somedays, i stink at shooting. i could practice shoot 5,000 targets a week, and not really improve that much. but, i love all shooting, i love the smell of a federal papers, i love the smell of hoppes #9, and i feel that the shooting fraternity has some of the best men and women i have ever met. i am very proud to say i am in the shooting sports.
    take care,
    steve balistreri
     
  12. Nyttro

    Nyttro TS Member

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    Steve:
    You made some great friends as we all have. Some of us pass on to the next life, and we will, shotgun in hand, but I really don't think the Lord would appreciate that.

    Have fun with the people you admire and know as true friends, talk, sit, and get to know them on a personal basis. That's the love of this sport.
    Use all you have, don't hold anything back, like you said life is too short and it's gaining rapidly on us all. Live it the best you can possibly do daily!

    God Bless

    Nyttro
     
  13. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy shooting with my Dad and my daughter. Building family memories!
     
  14. FarmerD

    FarmerD TS Member

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    Gary, you forgot Arnold Riegger, Dan Bonillias (sp), and Darrel Whitehead. fd PS great post Steve, I to think you have a calling to be an author.
     
  15. Old Dog

    Old Dog TS Member

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    In one of the handicap events at the 1990 State Shoot in Great Falls, Kelly Rogers tied up with Jeff Verploegen (a local young man) both shooting 98 from the 27. Jeff knew what a good shooter Kelly was and was a bit intimidated heading out for the shootoff. I pulled that shootoff. Going into the last post Kelly was down, I believe 3 targets and Jeff was straight. They shot the first 3 targets and both broke them hard. Then Jeff looked back at me with a big sh*t eating grin because he knew he didn't have to break the last two birds to win the shootoff. Anyway, they both broke all five on the last post and Jeff won 25 to 22. Jeff was happy...Kelly was not.

    ljutic73,

    Zip and I shot together often in the old days here in Montana and talked on the phone about twice a month. We were trapshooting friends and I still miss him.

    Gene Harper (Old Dog)
     
  16. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the input, Gene....he was a great guy...

    Ron Burr

    Alberta
     
  17. primer

    primer TS Member

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    For more years then I like to remember, I sat under a tree at Vandalia and watched people walk by. I never knew some of there names but I would see them at the Ohio State shoot or the Grand. We would talk or kid. Some I know have passed. Some were good shooters, some like me were not, but we were shooters. I have been around this world but I never met better folks then these. I am now known as a old folk and I hope some day some one will remember me not as a good shooter (i'm not) but as a good man. Shoot well and be nice to each other.
     
  18. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    bullfrog- as i read your response, it became very apparent that someday you will probably be remembered as a good man who use to shoot. when i was a young man i admit, that my prioities were all messed up. as the years passed, i finally realized that God, family, and friends is what really matters in life. if i could go back and start over as a young man i would like to think that i would have done things different, but in all honesty, you are young only once, and we all have to make some mistakes in life, in order to learn. hopefully we are bright enough to learn by our errors. when i sit at the gun club, i listen to younger shooters talk. i sometimes smile, and in my mind, say they to will someday learn what is important in life. i think that is the beauty of being young. what is unique about our sport is that the young and old can compete together. hopefully, the younger shooters can learn from some of us seasoned veterans, as well, we just may be able to pick up a tip from the younger generation. i am confident think this country will someday be in good hands as we pass the baton on to them. just look at the young brave men and women that are fighting in Iraq. take care,
    steve balistreri
     
  19. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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  20. FN in MT

    FN in MT TS Member

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    As a Helena MT local I was blessed to know Zip Eaton. Even shot a few times with him at the Club in Helena. Back in 1990 or so I was in Reno at a Dinner attended by many Casino Owners and Operators. Who was next to me but Dan Orlich.

    I mentioned that he and I had a mutual friend; Zip. He smiled ear to ear and we talked shooting and trap stories the rest of the night. I not only shot a few local clubs with him, the enxt few days, but also got my first visit to one of the legal Brothells one afternoon for Lunch. (and ONLY lunch)
    Quite an experience.

    (IIRC.... anyone else correct me if I'm wrong) But Dan Orlich and Zip Eaton were on the same squad back in the late 60's, early 70's that broke the first 500x500 from 27 yds at the Grand. A photo still hangs in the Helena Club.

    FN in MT
     
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