Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Curse of Curry

Coach Curry loans me his M1A to shoot the Springfield Armory M1A match with each year. Very least that's what I thought at first.
First year we were shooting in a pouring rain. Texans, like sensible sorts, go INSIDE when it starts raining and watch the corn grow. Nearly washed us away.
The next year Coach Curry sold me some 7.62 ammo to shoot at the match. Supposed to be M852 Match ammo. The case necks cracked off nearly every round when you fired it. Wiped out my rapid scores. This year, (you would think I would learn but third time is always the charm), it wouldn't chamber a round. Of course you don't FIND OUT that it won't chamber a round until you are through the prep and the targets up with the clock running.
Luckily, I had a curse breaker: Robert Vangene an 85-year old youngster from Minnesota was scoring me. After we had stomped around on Coach Curry's rifle for a bit I asked if I could borrow his M1A, switched slings and away we went.
Vangene is a boisterous raucous sort, like many Minnesotans. When I shot a nine he would sympathize: "Oh Gee." If I shot an eight he would say: "Oh my!" The girlfriend of some Marine was sunbathing on the ready line behind us in darkhaired bootilicious glory, a low cut top and some micro shorts and after we walked by Robert commented, " That's a nice tan."
He was a builder and remodler in Minnesota, (via Norway), where he and his wife Jean live, winters in Arizona and has won a couple of Senior Smallbore Championships. Last year he had a rough go with meningitus and had to go through physical therapy to learn to walk again. Still weak but is regaining some strength. He a former marathoner so he knows a lot about long runs. I was instantly glad to meet him on the firing point and get to spend a little time. One of his former careers was as a policeman in Oslo. I asked what sidearm they carried and he just laughed. They had rubber batons though the Swedish police carried swords with big cutout slots over the pommel so they could draw them.
Great Americans on every firing point here at Camp Perry. I shot a 459X 4 or so. 40th place in preliminary results. Get a medal. Rick Crawford was 12th with a 469. Wallace McDaniel was at 460. He informed me in the parking lot that my ass was beat! He's right. Just takes a point or an X.
Gunny Ermery was along shooting down the line but the most impressive sight I saw was Billy Atkins, (the Atkins trophy, look it up), walking up the road with his M14 and shooting stool slung over his shoulder.
NRA news was in the Petrarca Rangehouse during the late lunch they serve after the match. I inserted myself in the political debate and got interviewed about Camp Perry, shooting and politics. When we finished I told the young lady I hoped they had something they could use. She said they would use it all.


Paladin said...

Traveling isn't so much where you go, as it is the people you meet when you get there.

E. Lawrence said...

What relay and firing point were you on Robert? I was on 4 down at 115. It was a warm one and the my first experience with shifting winds.

Eagle 1 OH

Old NFO said...

I'm beginning to think you're snakebit with that M-1...