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Friday, February 27. 2009
Iâ€™m still getting a lot of pictures about our great, sporting outdoors and the following are some of the real good ones!
A cousin in Arkansas sent me this one heralding springtime (according to AlGore).
Randy Pfaff sent me this one of a south Texas rattlesnake.Â It is BIG even for Texas!Â The hunter doesnâ€™t even have on any snake-guards.Â Maybe he took them off for the pic?
Randy sent me another one of a huge white tail buck shot this past season near Junction, Texas.Â He had no information on the buck â€“ age, weight, etc, but Iâ€™ll bet it was from a high fence ranch, maybe even a â€œbroodâ€ buck?
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, February 25. 2009
We had moved from Phoenix to Atlanta in August of 1976 and by January of 1978 had really settled in. We didnâ€™t live in the city but in an unincorporated area of Fulton County, Sandy Springs, that was a â€˜bufferâ€™ between Atlanta and Roswell. We had selected a home in the Lost Forest Subdivision and it truly was a lost forest, very hilly, a lot of pine trees, 10 minutes from my work and outside of the Atlanta ISD.
Being â€˜flatlandersâ€™and since the winters of 1976 and 1977 had been mild for the area, we really didnâ€™t know what to expect when the TV weather alerted us for â€˜a severe winter storm and possible ice stormâ€™. Since this was a new, high corporate mobility area, most of our neighbors were at a loss too. Finally a local surfaced and told us, â€œFolks youâ€™d better prepare for the worst. We could be shut down anywhere up to a week!â€
Early the next morning the storm hit in full force, rain, sleet, snow, high wind and plummeting temperatures. By evening the temperature had dropped to +5 degrees and by early morning of the stormâ€™s second day, -5. The coldest weather Iâ€™d ever seen!
Sleeping soundly, I awoke to the loud crack of what I thought was a rifle shot, but in reality was the crack of a pine tree snapping. At the time, I didnâ€™t even know that could happen. Trying to turn on the lights, no power. Rats, we had an all electric home too! At least we had fireplaces on 2 floors of our 3, story house along with a cord of wood. The fireplaces and wood certainly came in handy over the long haul of the storm.
Long haul it was! We were iced in and our house was in the middle of a hill and we couldnâ€™t go up or down. We knew we would slide down and never tried to go up the hill, even in our 4WD, Dodge Power Wagon. Our freezer was in the garage and since we had below freezing temps for 2-1/2 days, we just about cleaned it out and even had ice cream.
The biggest fireplace was in the basement and our lives, for 3 days, centered around it. We were without power for almost 4 days and all cooking was done like the early settlers, over the fireplace fire. The family, 5 of us, and our pets, Rooster and Nick, the cat, all slept around the fire. We never lost water pressure and our bathwater was heated over the fire and they were only quick â€˜rinsesâ€™.
The fourth day of the storm the weather moderated some and we loaded up my 4WD, Dodge Power Wagon with a sleeper, camper on the back end, with 4 of my neighbors, we all worked for the same large company, and crept in slowly to our office. Nothing much could be accomplished since we only had a skeleton staff that could make it in, but by the next day, schools were opened, business began â€˜hummingâ€™ and power was restored to our part of Fulton County.
Tending to personal needs, keeping the fire roaring, heating water for baths, cooking all day long, venturing to the colder portions of the house for clothes and needed items, took care of most of our time. Our time outside the protection of our basement fire was spent visiting with neighbors and helping, and being helped, with the clearing and cutting up of the numerous pine trees splintered by the ice accumulation.
This was a real learning experience for me, but just stop and think all that our forefathers had to endure, that today, we take for granted. Think of the effort expended, cutting, trimming, splitting, hauling and stacking a cord, 4â€™X4â€™X8â€™, of wood; or raising enough food to feed the family and livestock for the winter; or digging a 10 to 20 foot well for water or hauling water every day for the familyâ€™s and animalâ€™s needs; or shearing, making the yarn, weaving and sewing clothes.
No power tools, no electricity, no running water, no cell or telephones, no â€˜modern medicineâ€™, only the strength and ingenuity of the individual. I think weâ€™ve gotten soft!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Weather at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, February 23. 2009
Last spring Randy Pfaff hunted at Warren Bleshâ€™s RRR Ranch and bagged a nice axis buck.Â When Randy shot him, the buck had been busy â€œfightingâ€ a tree and Randy picked up the loose tree scraps and took the cape and the tree scraps back to his home in Colorado.
He found a local taxidermist, presented him with the cape and tree scraps and described how he would like the finished product to turn out.Â Randy recently picked up the trophy and then sent me the following picture.
The taxidermist did a great job in capturing the moment, just like Randy wanted!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, February 21. 2009
Knowing about this blog, a lot of folks send me some pretty neat wildlife pictures and I gather them up and post the most interesting.Â Some recent ones follow.
Clayton Gist, a Goldthwaite local, trapped two more Bobcats.Â That makes 4 he gotten this year.Â Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s a favorite of the goat and sheep ranchers!
My Daughter, Suzanne, sent me this picture of a huge 30+ point buck taken in Wisconsin, supposedly, by a 14 year old Amish boy armed with a homemade longbow!
Dave Lazor, a softball buddy, sent me this picture of a 260 pound, mountain lion, that was hit by a car, west of Aspermont, in the middle of the Texas panhandle.Â I donâ€™t know who the lucky â€˜hunterâ€™, or driver, is, but thatâ€™s some lion!
Randy Pfaff sent me this unusual picture of a big, white tail buck on ice in the middle of a river.Â Also this "shooter" snapped from his back porch.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Pictures at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, February 19. 2009
I was reading â€œThe Best Of Nash Buckinghamâ€, by George Bird Evans and came across Nash and his friends using 10 gauge, W & C Scott And Sons, shotguns on ducks and geese in Mississippi and Arkansas.Â Around the turn of the 20th century, when he was a boy, if the owner of one of these prized guns wasnâ€™t using it, Nash laid claim to it.Â The adult members of their exclusive shooting club, Beaver Dam Duck Club, preferred the large charges, 4 drams of powder and 1-Â¼ ounces of number 4 shot, that these big bore, 10â€™s propelled at their quarry.
Now for the rest of the story!
When I was a mere lad in high school, I traded a throwing knife to one of my friends for an old shotgun, a Damascus barrel, 10, gauge with a gold shield inlaid into theÂ comb of the stock.Â The gun was in good condition except that it had a severely broken stock right where the action joined. My friend said that he thought someone had been hit with it.Â Into the closet at my Momâ€™ and Dadâ€™s it went for 20 years until I moved to Arizona.
Having a real good job and some extra money, before I left I took the stock to a local gun shop that specialized in repairing antique fire arms. And, for safekeeping, I took the shotgun, sans stock, to my brother-in-law, Jim.Â Â With the owner mentioning what a pretty piece of wood it was, I left it with him and told him that I would call in about a month. Â
That month turned into 5 and when I went back to Houston, I stopped by the shop and was greeted by a vacant building.Â One call to another gun shop and I found out that the proprietor had died and creditors claimed the inventory. Â
For the next 35 years the old, shotgun slipped my mind, until Jim died and his wife asked me if I knew anything about the old shotgun without a stock?Â The memories of the original trade, leaving the gun, taking the stock to be fixed and the shop being vacated, flooded through my mind.Â â€œYes, I certainly remember my old gun!â€
Brad, who is an excellent gunsmith, picked up the gun for me and said he could get another stock for it and fix the trigger sear.Â Over the years the trigger sear had been broken, probably from the original wallop.Â Brad, really doing a great job, added a newÂ stock and he alsoÂ machined a new sear and then theÂ old gun went up on my ranch house, wall.
We knew the gun was a 10 gauge, W.& C. Scott And Sons, shotgun and the mention of one like it in the book, spurred me to get it down and take a closer look.
Sure enough, the underside of the barrel shows that the gun is a 10 gauge and can safely handle 4 drams of powder and throw out 1-1/4 ounces of shot, just like Nash mentioned.
The serial number is 6492 and the gun, a very low serial number one, since the numbers ran into the 60,000's, was a Premier Model, probably built around 1890 and it has over 50 percent of the â€œbrownâ€ still on it.Â Back then guns werenâ€™t blued.
Except for the barrels and stock, the gun is covered with beautiful engraving.Â The receiver frame, trigger guard, hammers, sight ramp and even the release mechanism on the fore end are covered with the etchings.Â This along with the â€œflowerlyâ€ shapes of the wrapped steel, better known as, Damascus, barrels give the old shotgun loads of appeal.
The W & C Scott And Sons, 10 gauge, graces the wall in my ranch house eagerly awaiting a call to service that will never come, the twist steel barrels are just too risky to chance, but it is a great conversation piece â€“ Almost A Relic!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Shooting at 08:05 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, February 17. 2009
This past weekend, Layla and I visited our daughter, Suzanne, her husband, Paul and our grand kids, Wesley and Will, in Paris, Texas.Â During supper Friday night, Suzanne had mentioned that four or five years earlier, the previous owners of their property had stocked their quarter acre, stock tank with bass.Â Quickly filing that away, I thought to myself that I would just go and check it out Saturday afternoon.
Sure enough, by 5:00 Pm this past Saturday, we had finished â€œshoppingâ€ and had stopped by A Piece Of Cake Bakery and picked up some delicious pastries, tea cakes and lemon bars, then we saw some sights, yes there are â€œsome sightsâ€ in Paris, and we topped all of this off with a multi-course Chinese dinner.
We were sufficiently â€œfattedâ€ and after napping for a few minutes, I thought that Iâ€™d give Suzâ€™s stock tank a go!Â My choice of baits was a green and white, H & H, better known as a â€œPiggy Boatâ€.Â Â
Hereâ€™s the stock tank as I walked up to it.
Having fished in a lot of stock tanks, I know that if thereâ€™s a bass in it, he wonâ€™t be able to pass up a â€œPiggy Boatâ€.Â My second cast produced a hit and the little bass put on a show rolling at the surface, running and zipping the line through the cold water.
Lipping it, I passed it over to Wesley and took this picture.
My thirty, minute stay at the stock tank produced 10 small bass, no keepers, and probably 20 more strikes, all of this on a cold, February day.Â Â Â Here we are with another little one.
Before we left for Goldthwaite, I mentioned to Suzanne that they should catch as many of these little bass as they could because they were stunted.Â Besides adding a food fish for the bass, like minnows or sunfish, they need to thin them out.Â If they caught a bunch, filleted â€˜em and fried â€˜em up, they would not only have a nice fish fry, but would really help the overall fishing. Â
The â€œboysâ€ assured me they would take care of this chore!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Fishing at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, February 15. 2009
Thereâ€™s another famous relative in my family tree, a Great Uncle, Morgan G. Sanders (1878-1956).Â He was my Grandmother, Linnie Ross Sanders Wallaceâ€™s, brother and was a Democrat back when southern Dems were very conservative.Â But thatâ€™s getting ahead.Â Morgan was a teacher, newspaper owner, Assistant Clerk of the Texas Senate, lawyer, County Attorney, District Attorney and then, he really hit the â€˜big timeâ€™.
In 1920 he was elected to the United States Congress and served from March 4, 1921 until January 3, 1939.Â In 1921, he also was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court.Â When John Nance Garner was sworn in as Vice President in 1933, Morgan took his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.Â This is the committee that originates taxes, tariffs and funding of our Government.
Morgan was a staunch supporter of states rights and a balanced federal budget and broke with President Roosevelt over the packing of the Supreme Court and many other New Deal programs.Â He sure sounds like my kind of legislator!Â Breaking with FDR proved costly because he lost his reelection bid in 1938 and then returned to Texas. Â
Morgan died in 1956.Â â€œUncle Morgâ€ was one of Motherâ€™s favorites and she spoke about him often.Â I never met him but I did meet his Son, Dr. Gurley Sanders.Â Iâ€™m fortunate to have men like Morgan Sanders in my ancestry!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 09:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, February 13. 2009
This past Monday Brad and I had gone to meet with one of his Doctors at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and finishing early, stopped and met Randy at Rogelioâ€™s Mexican Restaurant for another fine lunch, Driving back home, Brad said, â€œDad, why donâ€™t we stop at Cabelaâ€™s.â€Â Enough said, even though we had stopped there 2 weeks ago!
Driving in, the parking lot was almost half full and this at 1:30 PM on a work day.Â Once inside we headed for the gun department and most of the crowd, truly a testament to diversity, was there.Â Signs were up to the effect that they couldnâ€™t keep adequate supplies of reloading supplies.Â I wonder why?Â We even had to take a number.
We bought some .22 bullets and Brad stepped up and bought a single action, .22/.22 mag. pistol.Â Since Brad has a â€œcarry permitâ€ this transaction went quickly. When you buy a gun there, you check out at a register in the gun department and, for the appearance of safety, the salesman walks you out of the store.Â As we were walking out, our salesman leaned over to me and said, â€œWeâ€™ve been Obamanized for over a month.â€Â I smiled and walked on to Bradâ€™s truck.
It looks like the folks in central Texas are stocking up for the long haul!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Politics at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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