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Old November 9, 2000, 08:28 AM   #1
Dave McC
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Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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Isn't it funny how a scent, aroma or fragrance can bring back memories?....

I had tired of watching everyone on TV wrangling about the Florida mess, and took myself down to what the family calls, "Daddy's Store", the walk in closet where I keep most things pertaining to my hobbies. Grabbing the cleaning supplies and a handful of rods, I broke out the bird and deer 870s for a lick and promise bbl cleaning. They both had been fired recently and needed but a bore scrub and lube.

And, as the rather large bottle of #9 was opened,the smell brought a long ago memory.

I was maybe 5 or 6,watching Pop run a cleaning rod through the bbls of his Savage O/U, a shotgun that had more time in a B-24 than some pilots. Pop sat at the dining room table,covered with a thick layer of newspaper, and cleaned his guns as my brother and I watched. Mom called from the kitchen to make sure he wasn't "making a mess" and then aksed Pop to clean her 22, as long as he had the stuff out. Pop told me to fetch it up, he wasn't long out of Walter Reed again and had new stitches, I think. I went to the hall closet and carefully brought the old bolt action to my father, pointing straight up and with my hands well away from the trigger guard. Mom had been runner up with that old Marlin in 1943 for the Md smallbore Championship.

And as Pop cleaned, brother and I watched, and got a lesson or two we didn't realize...

Guns are tools, and if we take care of our tools, they'll work when we need them to.

And this quiet time was a good part of life, not as exciting as crouching in the depths of a goose blind while Pop made that 12 ga need cleaning,and watching those Canadas fold and drop,but one had to follow the other.

Son came into the room to pick up a software disc,and eyed me as I cleaned those shotguns. He's not fond of shotguns, but likes 22s and handguns. He shot my GM for the first time when he was 9.

"Need any help, Dad"?

"No thanks, what are you doing?".

"Mom wants to install this on the upstairs computer".


As he left I considered the changes that have occurred since WWII about families and guns.

A scene like the one I remembered would revulse a lot of folks now. A scarred, possibly insane combat vet fondling his guns in front of his wife and children is how the media would put it, and maybe some of my neighbors.Social Services would get called, and maybe the cops. My elected officials( who I didn't vote for,mostly ) might call for an investigation,my neighborhood association might want to pass a "Covenant" limiting the number of guns and ammo one can have,like they do the colors we can paint our doors and trim. And so on.

So when did fine folks like Pop become an enemy to the common good,and the peace of the community?

It must have been around the time that politicians, with many armed bodyguards, decided that safety was their right, not ours. That a woman, raped and dead in an alley, was more acceptable than that same woman explaining how a would be rapist was full of bullets.

About the time criminals couldn't be made to register their tools of crime,but if law abiding citizens didn't, they were criminals.

About the time that increasing urbanization led to less people using firearms for hunting, and MORE people only seeing firearms in use on TV.

And I've my own honorable scars,not as bad as Pop's,earned in places and times I hope to God my kids never have to experience their like first hand.

Enough revery, the shotguns are clean, and I put the usual two drops of Break Free on the action bars and work it in by cycling the action a few times. As I put the 870s away, I was reminded of ancient words spoken by Leonidas the Spartan King,after an invading army of Persians told him that he and his 300 Spartans were free to go if they just laid down their arms.

Said Leonidas, "Molon Labe","Come and take them". Leonidas and most of the Spartans died shortly thereafter, but Greece remained Greek.

If that's what it takes....
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Old November 9, 2000, 09:20 AM   #2
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Bravo! Let them pry my tool from my cold, dead hand.
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Old November 9, 2000, 02:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Dave. Let's all resolve to take care of our tools so they'll be useful when needed. Keep your spare mags loaded.

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Old November 9, 2000, 02:32 PM   #4
Dave D
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Dave, thanks for the story and insights.

[This message has been edited by Dave D (edited November 09, 2000).]
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Old November 10, 2000, 07:14 AM   #5
Dave McC
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Thanks, folks, and Molon Labe...
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Old November 10, 2000, 03:46 PM   #6
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Had kind of a crummy day yesterday, what with the election hysteria in FL and what not. So after dinner I retired down to work bench, and cleaned 4 guns that I hadn't cleaned the last time I used them. A hour or so later, the guns were cleaned, the basement smelled of Hoppes, and all was right in my little world...

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Old November 11, 2000, 09:04 AM   #7
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Couple of years ago I dropped a half empty glass bottle of #9 on the cement floor in my reloading room in the basement. Place still smells good

Geoff Ross
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Old November 11, 2000, 09:11 AM   #8
Dave McC
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Thanks, folks, so it's not just me(G)....
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Old July 5, 2002, 05:32 AM   #9
Dave McC
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Back up for the Holiday,a Festival of Freedom.
And after listening to LA's latest poor excuse for a mayor whine about too many guns on the news yesterday, I needed this for an antidote....
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Old July 5, 2002, 10:11 AM   #10
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Odors are the most active triggers for memories.

Works backwards too.
Reading Daves post....I could smell the Hoppe's
And ponder.....
My kids and grandkids have had the Hoppe's memory trigger installed. As have I.

By the criteria established by our politicians and other criminals, I am a menace to society.


Thanks Dave.

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Old July 6, 2002, 04:53 AM   #11
Dave McC
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You're very welcome, Sam.

Note that all these anti gunners are now crawling back out from under the rocks they've been under since 09/11/02. Time to agitate, time to proclaim, time to vote these miserable control/power junkies out of office and put folks with some sense in those offices.

A Catch 22 here, folks with sense rarely want to become elected officials.
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Old July 6, 2002, 05:03 PM   #12
Ron L
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I've introduced my kids to the Hoppes memories as well. They're young, but I have no doubt that they realize how important it is. For me, it's not just the cleaning of the tools (and admiring their craftsmanship or utility), it's the time to slow down after a day in the field. The sounds of shots still echo through your mind and regardless of how you actually shot, you had a good day. It's the memories and comaraderie, of finally relaxing after having put in a hard day's work at pushing game so your son can bag his first deer. It's sitting in deer camp after a cold day in the blind with the smell of fresh coffee intermingling with the scent of Hoppes. It's teaching your kids that after the fun, there's still responsibilities. Most importantly, it's the ideal that a family can have something so important to our rights and freedom to share.

Dave, thanks for the memories.

Detroit Area Chapter
Terre-Haute Torque & Recoil Society
"If it rolls, floats, or shoots, runs on gunpowder or gasoline, goes fast, shoots a big bullet, or makes lots of noise thus producing torque and recoil - it's cool."
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Old July 6, 2002, 07:43 PM   #13
Dave McC
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You're welcome, Ron, and I bet your kids will turn out OK. All the years I worked in Md's prisons, I met very few convicts that had an outdoors orientation and had both parents in the same house.

It doesn't take a village to raise a kid if both parents are there 24/7/365....
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Old July 8, 2002, 09:44 AM   #14
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Aah, Hoppes #9...

takes me back to the sunday evenings...

on sunday, the whole family, Mom, Dad, Sis and I would go to the Ogemaw Pistol and Rifle Clubs outdoor range(shotguns welcome too!) weather permitting.

then, after a day of shooting/picknicking/shooting with half a dozen other families (we're still all friends, it seems), we'd head home, and mom would pick up a pizza (or 2) from a local restaraunt, and Dad and I'd break out the Hoppes and clean the guns... Sis would wipe the outside of them down, after Dad and I got the internals done...

and this was when I was a wee lad of 6 or 7 years old...

that smell can STILL bring back those memories... and I hope it always does!

gun and car collector.
Rare cars, and rarer guns.
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Old July 9, 2002, 08:53 AM   #15
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Brad Eden has a very nice site and this subject was a recent one.Its funny how smell can trigger those long gone memories.Check his site out if you have not done so allready.
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Old July 9, 2002, 09:28 AM   #16
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Old #9 always brings back fond memories for me, too. However, as a cleaner, it is worthless considering what's on the market now. Shooters Choice has been my favorite fragrance since the early '80's.

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Old July 10, 2002, 04:34 AM   #17
Dave McC
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Thanks, guys.

DFM, Hoppe's is not the only kid on the block anymore, but it's far from worthless.
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Old July 10, 2002, 10:17 AM   #18
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Been using Hoppe's products since I was about 16 or so...and no, I won't tell you how long that is. Lesson learned, though....take care of your tools, and they will take care of you, especially in crunch time.
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