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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Arizona Cowgirl

By Marcy Belson

I didn't learn to shoot from outings with my father. My teenage boyfriend took me out in the desert, handed me his 30.06 and showed me how to brace the butt of the gun against my shoulder and how to aim. I was aiming for a can of some sort, not a beer can; we weren't kids who drank more than soda pop.

I pulled the trigger and fell down. He laughed,he knew it was going to happen and hadn't warned me. My dignity was on the ground with my butt, however, I learned that day and on other days.

That first boyfriend made his own bullets. When he was ready to test them, he would stand at a corner of his home and aim around the corner figuring that if the gun exploded, he would only lose his hand and arm up to his elbow.

Fortunately, the worse never happened.

One of our outings was to go to the fields of cotton his father was growing and with him driving the old pickup truck and me sitting on the passenger side fender with a 22 rifle. We looked for rabbits to come running out of the field.

I don't think I ever saw a rabbit, much less shot one. But it was fun and no one ever thought to tell us that we were risking our lives going down bumpy dirt roads, sitting on the fenders of that old truck.

The 22 I used to target shoot was my father's gun but I was allowed to take it whenever I wished. I drove over to Marilyn's home to pick her up - we were going to go out in the desert and shoot at cans.

She jumped in the passenger seat and swung her 22 rifle around as she sat down. I quarreled at her, saying that what she had done was dangerous, the gun had been pointed at me and I knew gun etiquette said you never pointed a gun at anyone.

Marilyn told me that she knew the gun was not loaded and to prove her point, pulled the trigger. Of course, the gun went off.  Right through the floorboard of my mother's 1950 Cadillac sedan.

Marilyn and I were both so shocked and the noise was so loud in the car, it took a few seconds to comprehend that we now had another problem.

Fortunately, the shell hadn't ricocheted back into the car and killed one of us. But what it had done was blast a nickel sized hole in the floorboard on the passenger side.

I knew that if either of my parents found that bullet hole, I would never be allowed to use the 22 again and would probably be grounded from driving the car. So, our great plan was to smooth the carpet over the hole and hope that it wouldn't be discovered.

If either of my parents ever knew of this event, they didn't mention it and Marilyn and I went on down the road of life never discussing the accident again.

I was 15.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Great story.

A fun time, but tell me now how do you feel about all those gun toting people? How would you vote, for or against gun control?

I have mixed feelings. The men in my family were hunters. I am pro gun control. We need some rules in place, right now.

Reminds me of my brother-in-law. One day he came home from hunting and set the gun down. When his mother asked him if it was loaded, he replied,"Mother, I know better than to bring a loaded gun into the house. See!" Of course, when he pulled the trigger, it went off right into the ceiling, and fortunately didn't kill anyone upstairs! (Shaking my head here.) Great memories!

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