A Very Ithaca Birthday

15 03 2012

March of 2012 may seem like any other month to you, but to our family it is a very special time.  Our daughter Shannon turns 30 on the 9th, our son-in-law Jeremy turns 30 on the 10th and our nephew -in-law Bryan turns 30 on the 24th.  It is not to often that 3 members of your family turn 30 during the same month.  Yeah, I know in 10 years we will have 3 turning 40 together, maybe I will write another post about that then.

Well we wanted to make this year’s birthday really special.  We ordered Ithaca model 1911 pistols for Shannon and Jeremy, with their serial numbers being the dates of their births ( 309 and 310).  Bryan’s wife Mary also ordered him a pistol from Ithaca.  We arranged a tour of the Ithaca Plant in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, which is owned by our good friend David Dlubak.  David personally conducted the tour.  With all 3 of them getting their pistols at the end of the tour.  Bryan Stoops even gave them a lesson in tearing the guns apart and cleaning them properly.  We followed that up with shooting the pistols out at the quarry.  It is amazing how accurate these guns are right out of the box.  Later that evening we had dinner for 25 at Shotzy’s restaurant.  Jeremy’s parents and his brother’s family joined our family and the Dlubak family.

We now have other members of our family counting down the years till they turn 30 and hopefully follow in their older relatives shoes.

Shannon with her 1911

Ithaca Gun Company    http://www.ithacagun.com/index.html

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Hunter Safety Course 1972

15 03 2012

Life is not fair!  Or at least that is how it seems to a twelve year old.  Add to that wanting to hunt and fish when neither of your parents enjoy either.  Add to that being a girl in 1972.

I wanted to hunt so badly, I would check out every magazine and book on hunting I could find at our local library.  Outdoor Life and Field and Stream became my educators.  I asked so many dumb questions of anyone who even vaguely knew anything about hunting.  I spent hours weekly riding the deer trails on our horses, observing the patterns of the deer.  I could ride right into a group of deer without them taking to much notice.

It seemed like divine intervention when my friend Cheryl talked her father into taking us for our Hunter Safety Certification.  We had about 30 participants in the course; 28 boys, myself and Cheryl.  We took a lot of ribbing from the boys, and even a few of the fathers.  They felt we had no place in a “boys” class.  We didn’t mind, or at least didn’t let on to anyone that it bothered us.  Cheryl’s dad, having 6 daughters, was very supportive of girls being able to hunt.  His support made a huge difference in the tender sensibilities of a teenage girl.  By the end of the course, only 2 students rated a 100% on the test; myself and Cheryl.  Instead of the boys being happy for us, they made sure we knew that hunting was a male sport.

To this day I feel the pressure to prove  myself capable, to prove my abilities, to compete with ghosts of my past.  I know I am up to the challenge!