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Miss the old boys club

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Bisi, Jul 11, 2011.

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  1. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,399
    I belong to several different clubs and have been an officer in a couple of them. I was cleaning out my desk the other day and came across the minutes and treasurer report from the early 90s to one club when I was secretary there. What a difference. We were taking in more money back then at $1.50 a round than we are now at $4 a round. Funny thing is we have 50% more members now than we did back then.

    What happened? I know, I know - lead is high, shells are sky high, everybody has cut back, is the standard retort. Really? I belong to another little club and we have the same or fewer members than we did 20 years ago, and shooting is still going strong there. What’s the reason for that?

    The first club stopped being fun and became too political correct/clean if you ask me. 20 years ago the first club was a dump (general consensus of public) in physical terms. The clubhouse was a pole barn with only half of it having a concrete floor, the other half dirt where we parked lawnmowers and stored targets. Potbelly coal/wood stove for heat, no ac, furniture was whatever anybody’s wife threw out of the house. Pool table in the corner, poker table aside of it, “Hooters” calendar on the wall, fridge full of beer. You get the picture. Not a place to take the wife and nobody did. Rough as a cob but damn we had the shooters. Some nights you were lucky to get to shoot more than a round or two. 6 and 7 member squads were more the norm than not.

    Well then we got civilized and decided to improve the place. It was a death/improvement of a thousand cuts. First we threw out the old recliner, and couches guys used to sleep in. Didn’t look good for visitors/prospective new members to see an old guy sleeping in the clubhouse. Then the “Hooters” calendar had to go. A year later the pool table got the heave ho. Then no more beer in the fridge, but you could bring your own. A few years later outlaw the pipes and cigars. We used to have Calcutta shoots in the winter, but you know that might be illegal, better stop those. That unofficial “party” a few days before Thanksgiving where we had 10 deep fryers going ….well somebody might burn the place down, so we better stop that. Now you can’t even bring your own beer in the clubhouse. All smoking now banned, not just pipes and cigars. No more standing on post 5, 27 yard line trap number 2 and shooting targets coming out of traphouse number 1. Anyway no more of that crap, or any crap for that matter.

    All the while we were outlawing things we were adding and improving our clubhouse and grounds. Everybody agrees it really looks good. We got more members now than ever, just not many shooters anymore. The turnover in the club is constant. People sign up for a year, then drop out but we find new members for a year. Nobody knows anybody up there anymore. Money is tight now just breaking even. All the old shooters say they miss the “old” club and most including me don’t shoot there much. Not just much fun anymore.

    The other club, we still smoke, drink, shoot craps, play cards. Sure membership is still the same as 20 years ago but we have no money problems. Shooting is still paying for everything at the club.

    I don't even know what my point is for this post. Let's just say - I hope they both can survive.
     
  2. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,778
    I remember those "good old days." Kind of like the USA. It was kind of ruff around the edges in the 1950's, with no OSHA, EPA, Teachers Union, or NAFTA. Most men had good jobs, and made just about everything that could be purchased. Most women stayed home with their children. And if a kid said or did something daddy didn't like he got the snot strapped out of him/her. I knew very few single mothers. Was it better than today in terms of society, employment, and gun clubs?????? You bet your ass.
     
  3. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Location:
    Camdenton, MO
    I've asked the good Lord that if I make Heaven, I'll pass on that mansion that I earned. Just re-open Elliotts Shooting Park/Raytown, MO somewhere up there. And have all the late "old boys" around for 10 meat races and a couple of porch races every night. Down the road to the east would be Vandalia, just to the west would be West Chicage Gun Club...from back in the day. A little north would be the old Maywood and 100 yards south would be 7-10/Lenexa. All in walking distance and in sight. Can't Wait!!!

    milt
     
  4. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,229
    Location:
    Mesquite, Nevada
    Political correctness on everything under the sun has changed our sport drastically, including the rule books.

    PC reared it's head in the late 70s and continues to fatten the rule procedures with everything imaginable. I liked the old timers clubs most! They may have been gamblers to a degree but first and foremost, they were stewards of the game AND instilled safe gun handling mixed with good sportsmanship with an iron hand and will! Today we leave everything up to club management to enforce?

    I'd love to see a safety report on trapshooting from the beginning to the late 70s and one from the 80s on till today?

    We've forgotten how much fun can be had while shooting trap, yet doing it safely? I graduated from the old school too.

    Thanks Bisi for the run down memory lane!

    Hap
     
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