18. June 2007 · Comments Off on CALLING ANNIE OAKLEY · Categories: General

On a happier note than my previous post, Red Haired Girl has finally hung up her dance shoes. The first one or two recitals were fun to attend, and we videotaped everything. Six years into it I was to the point where gouging my eye out with a dull spoon was preferred to sitting for 2 – 3 hours watching group after group with little or no talent. The last two years she and Real Wife have taken pity and allowed me to forego the experience. She has now decided to take lessons from a voice coach, and the results are nothing short of amazing. This kid can make people take to their feet and clap now. Last weekend she brought home a trophy from a local “Star Search” contest, performing Mr. Cellophane from the musical Chicago. It was an outdoor show performed on the courthouse square, with absolutely perfect weather and an audience of a couple hundred or so locals.

The next day, she was going through the typical thirteen year old angst of being bored because there was nothing to do. Her best friend called and asked her if she wanted to ride along with their family to an old fashioned tin can shoot at the local gun club. Real Wife was kind of down on the idea (there were never guns in her household while growing up, so she most associates them with the all-too-often sensational news stories seen these days). I pointed out that the kids would be well supervised, so she relented and off went RHG. She returned home about five hour later, and I’ll be damned if she wasn’t toting a rather large trophy for having won second place in the age 11 – 17 class. She’s never held a gun in her life, much less fired one. I think the sweetest part of the victory was the fact that, of the other twenty or so kids in her class, most were boys, and first place also went to a girl.

She now wants me to join the gun club so we can shoot on a regular basis, which I am inclined to do. I have a 1938 Walther PPK, a 1940 Walther P38, and a 1937 (I believe) Mauser Hsr, all semiautomatic pistols that I bought as collector items but have never fired. I did present to her (albeit with a lot of restrictions relating to its usage and availability) to my first rifle, an Ithaca model 49 lever action single shot .22 that my dad gave me for my twelfth birthday ($25 from Sears and Roebuck). I think that I’ll watch the local gun auctions for a single action .22 revolver to teach her pistol shooting – I’m very against the idea of handing a semi to a kid.

There may be readers out there who rail against teaching kids to shoot guns, but in these parts, and where I grew up in rural upstate New York, it is a perfectly natural thing to do (my 15 year old niece shot three turkeys and two deer last year). Our local high school is consolidating, and one of the benefits will be more diverse activities, which to her excitement will include trap shooting. It looks like I need to find a decent shotgun too. She’s a little worried about the kick, but we have a year to work on it.

I am now wondering what other hidden talents she has…

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