The unexpected need to come back to Lafayette on business has had a number of costs. From loss of respect and trust to actual financial cost, it has been steep.
So, this weekend I found myself at one of those evil gun shows (/sarc) and confronted with an opportunity. I have to have armor for the embed(s), but people I know and trust who have been there and done that in uniform and out have all advised me to get a simple plate carrier. Seems that the full IBA can snag and make getting around lots and lots of fun. So, I’ve been looking.
While at the show, I talked with vendors. For many/most, sales were slow. The upside of that was that you could have a conversation. One of the three vendors I thought much of and I had a talk, and it fell to antique shotguns, of which he had a couple with him.
There was another dealer at the show, who is a veteran and former contractor now selling gear. Part of his wares include plate carriers. Turns out, we had crossed paths before (here) and we got to talking. I really wanted/needed a plate carrier, and he discussed the different types he had based one experience.
It was after walking away that I had a thought, and went to my storage unit across town. I pulled out something that I treasured — my father (and grandfather’s) shotgun. It was a double-barrel Remington 1900 shotgun, and it was a bit older than 1900.
The gun had a long and rough life. It was used for hunting by my grandfather, several of his sons, and finally landed with me. The poor thing had been thrown from an early Ford car by one uncle (no good reason that I’ve ever heard), and had been repaired. The stock was worn and dinged, the barrel no longer blue, but it was my father’s gun, and his father’s before him and something I treasured for that.
I brought the gun back to the show, to share with the dealer. He looked it over, looked it up, and fell in love with the rugged thing. He then made me an offer.
I have no children of which I know, and my niece does not like guns. When I leave this world, the gun had no clear home or future. The gun needed a home, and it found it. The dealer wanted to restore the gun, to make it as it was when new, or as close as possible. The money he offered was not much, for the shotgun was not a showpiece but a working gun. But, to have it restored, respected, even loved — that was more than I could have hoped for.
The money was taken, and the shotgun is off to be restored. The other vendor and I worked a deal, and the money was enough to get what I needed (of course, I want more, but…).
Fate works in interesting ways. I’ve been promised photos, and when (and if) I get them, I will share. My heart aches on one level, and is very content on another. The cost of the trip has been high; but, at least a small bit of good has come from it that I can see.