Monday, August 10, 2009

Camp Perry Moments

Rumbold four-man team match today. We planned on shooting a four-man team with Randy Nash and John Rhynard and wipe the floor with the other club teams. The connection didn't get made and Rick Crawford and I were standing at the range tower, just us two, as the pits were ready to seal. I spotted two figures far across the Viale range rolling away with their equipment. An NRA range official loaned me his golf cart and I ran them down. Turned out I had A.J. Gully from Tennesee and Scott Franzke from North Dakota. They met at Camp Perry in 1994 and have hutted together ever since. I hauled them back, Rick headed to the pits and we got unlimbered to fire the match.

It's a treat to be with the incomperable Rick Crawford who can do it and teach it so these guys were in for a treat. I think they got their Panola County Gun Club dollar value, especially since they shot on our scorecard for free. I coached them as well as I could standing and in the rapids at 200 and 300 and then Rick came out and he and I shot across the course. I finished with a 477X13 or so. The team shot 1848 or something like that. At 600 Rick was watching the mirage, the flags, the spotter in the target and the treetops upwind. The scorer from the next team over was listening to him call for an X at nine oclock or a ten at three oclock and hearing me call the shot back after I made it. " "I could tell there was something to be learned" he said.

Dang straight there is.

I went to the pits and he worked with AJ and Scott.

Thank Gaia for the blue Bunny ice cream kid at the back corner of Viale after we rolled off the range this afternoon. I've been paying double, two bucks a bar instead of one. Worth it.

Katie and I have been walking an hour every evening for a couple of months. Good thing. I was wasted coming out of the pits and I was pouring water in all day. (I have a terrific girlfriend and fiance for which I am MOST thankful.)

Food bag getting eaten through. I have a few breadsticks and some olives left, gone tomorrow. Zero apricots.

The CMP folks are gone and the rhythm changes a bit. This crowd is older and the excitement of the state CMP teams is gone. Not so many soldiers either. Fewer folks by about a third. Some of Commercial Row is packing up and leaving.

My friend Robert Vangene, the 85 year old shooter who loaned me his rifle to shoot the M1A match with told a funny story: Robert is an old marathon runner (26.2 miles) so he hydrates and monitors himself closely. He was trying to squeeze in one more visit to the little rolling green houses when the kid came with the tractor, hitched it up and took off. He just had to hold on for dear life until they got to the next stop.

Another rumor. Can't be true. I've heard that Jenny Boyd who runs Rodriegez range won't be invited back next year. Jenny is the daughter of the beloved, respected and unfortunately late D.I Boyd, the famous rifle coach and last man to win the NRA Championship with a service rifle. Jenny's voice is THE voice of the range for many of us and her range is famous for finishing any match about a relay before anyone else. I never come to the matches without dropping by to say hello and get a hug. Let's hope this isn't true.

Texas team all home now. Clay Heffner, our first-timer left a .45 and two loaded clips here. We got 'em. Clay is a pure Texan who walked around Camp Perry in a big straw cowboy hat. You definately aren't missing any monkeys out of your barrel when you have Clay along, though we did take turns sitting on the barrel to contain his enthusiasm slighly. He liked Perry. To quote him: "If it had more cold beer and titties I'd never go home."

So there you go.

Back home I'll probably come out of the pits to find my shooting cart on fire or something....early in the week I put three pieces of brass in Justin Utleys trailmix inside his food bag. Never heard one word. Beware a silent enemy.

Time to do laundry. I don't just drink but pour water down my neck on the range. Needed it today. As Wallace McDaniel would say, "Better get to the laundry before dogs start coming by to waller on you."

4th in the Springfield 1903 Match. 40th in the M1A match with Robert Vangenes rifle. Missed shooting the Vintage. Somewhere in the gold medal scores with my Garand. (25th) I've killed deer with all my old rifles as well.

Mix of accents along the line. New Yorkers, Kansas, California. Some guy on the pits radio during a scoring challenge said "Ahh done plugged them holes and ahm headin down to check target 43 raht now."

With a banjo on his knee.


Robin said...

Damn, your stories make me miss being there.

Old NFO said...

Sigh... I'm glad you're having fun up there and getting to shoot! I'm getting to sit on airplanes and sit in meetings... dammit...

LouisLamoreaux said...

Good stuff here. However, D. I. Boyd was the last LEFT HANDED shooter to win the National High Power Championship with a service rifle (1981). SSG Greg Stom, US Army, won it in 1987.

Also, you did some good shooting up there. Congratulations on your win with the Texas 6 man team! I know all of y'all have worked hard to get there.