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Old May 28, 2007, 12:43 PM   #208
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Join Date: August 20, 2005
Posts: 552
St. Patrick's Day

My great-grandfather was a lumberjack in northern Michigan, where I live now. Not just a lumberjack, but an Axeman, begad! It's interesting to think he might have cleared the original forest right in my own back yard.

He was proud that he'd been an Axeman. He considered himself elite, and dressed as a lumberjack whenever he could for as long as he lived. I've thought of using that as part of a CAS persona, if I ever create one.

He was also proud that he was an Orangeman, a Protestant Irishman. Grandpa said his dad had to leave Canada and come to Michigan in the first place because the Green Irish were always trying to kill him.

But then Grandpa also said his father had to leave the lumber camps because he'd killed a man there. Great-Grandpa always had some mawkish poem on the wall of his bedroom, some poorly-written thing about an accidental death in lumbering. Grandpa thought that was Great-Grandpa's penance for an act of manslaughter. It could just have been that Great-Grandpa was Victorian. Those people were morbid.

In any case, Great-Grandpa ended up in Nebraska, where he was involved in one frontier gunfight, right out on the main street (so-called). I wrote about that in another post in this thread, long ago.

One year Great-Grandpa happened to be in Greely, Nebraska, on St. Patrick's Day. Now, to me, one of Great-Grandpa's most endearing qualities was a complete lack of sense about a number of matters. One would think that an Orangeman who had issues with the Green Irish from way back would not go into an Irish bar on St. Patrick's Day. But that's what Great-Grandpa did. Had a few belts of good whiskey, too.

The place was crowded with Green Irish toasting their patron saint. Great Grandpa, suitably lubricated, stood up in the middle of all that and shouted "To Hell with Saint Patrick! I'm as good a man as he ever was."

This statement was not well received.

In the midst of the ensuing discussion, Great Grandpa grabbed a leg from the broken pool table and therewith smote the Catholic foemen hip and thigh. He always claimed he was holding his own until they started throwing the pool balls at him. After that, he was happy enough when a couple of his friends burst in and held the enraged Irishmen back long enough for Great-Grandpa to get away.

I have often said that CAS is not authentic because of the number of guns involved. But there's also the issue of the type. Rifles would have been fairly common. Cheap pocket revolvers would have been. The big single-actions we all love were expensive, and usually illegal to carry in town plus hard to conceal, so I doubt they would have been commonly seen there at all.

But every store, bar, or sod hut would have had a shotgun stashed behind a door somewhere.

Or, in this case, under the seat of Great-Grandpa's wagon. Which was fortunate, because as he left Greely two men jumped out from hiding and tried to grab the reins of his drafthorse. Great-Grandpa fetched the shotgun from beneath the seat. This action reminded his attackers that they had pressing business to attend to elsewhere.

I don't know if he actually fired his gun on this occasion, but it would not have been like him to deny himself that pleasure.
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