A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, September 30, 2007

108 Years

Click to enlarge
The Model 10. It's the ubiquitous, essential revolver. A basic, a primal, enduring and effective means of personal defense. The Model 10/Military & Police line of Smith & Wessons is my favorite gun collecting sector, rich with history and variants. Read more about it at A Tennessee Gun Nut's Blog.

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Blogger Reno Sepulveda said...

Back in the 60s, my Grandpa worked as a night watchman. He always carried three things as he made his rounds on an old Harley Servicar. A .38 revolver in a holster on his hip, a leather covered watchclock slung across his shoulder, and a thermos of milk under the seat.

My dad would take me out to visit him at night after my guitar lessons and after a while I could ride the Harley all by myself, log in with the clock and key at all the checkpoints and feed the momma cat and her never ending brood of kittens that lived in one of the warehouses while my Grandpa and Dad listened to the Giants and smoked Tareytons back in the office.

The gun stayed with "the men" where it held a powerful fascination for me. It was a beautiful 6" Smith and Wesson M&P with checkered walnut grips. I always asked Grandpa to let me hold the gun but my dad would say "I don't think that's a good idea tonight".

Twelve years of age must be some kind of milestone for boys. In California, you can get a hunting license at age twelve and that's how old I was when my dad finally nodded his approval when I pestered them about the revolver .

Pop made a big show of pulling the weapon out of it's holster, swinging the cylinder open and dumping the six shells out into his palm, then into a small jar in the drawer of the desk. He spun the cylinder, double checking there were absolutely no rounds in the gun, then snicked the cylinder shut and presented me the revolver on top of his huge open palm.

I grabbed the gun and pointed it out the window and drew a bead on the little Coppertone girl up on a billboard across the street, thumbed the hammer back and pulled the trigger. Click! I lowered my aim and...click, took out her little dog too. "That's enough deadeye" my dad said. I handed the gun back to Grandpa and watched him reload and slip it back into his holster. I asked him why he needed the gun, why would anybody try to steal the cotton bales stored in the warehouses?

"I'm not here to keep people from stealing, I'm here to keep the bums from moving in like Miss Kitty and her kittens."

"Did you ever have to use it?"

"Just once. "

"What happened?"

"I was coming home from work one morning and stopped at The De Marquis over on Golden State for a pack of cigarettes. Now can you believe there were four or five punks in there drinking beer and shooting pool at six in the morning?

My dad laughed a little and said "Oh I believe you Pop."

"I could hear them cracking jokes about my outfit, calling me Barney, you know, that guy on the Andy Griffith Show?"

"Yeah, Barney Fife"

"Well son, one of those boys came over with his pool cue and asked me if they let me have any real bullets for this gun."

"Were you scared Grandpa?"

"No I was just real tired, so I stuck this gun right in that boy's belly. I cocked the hammer back and I told him he was gonna find out all he ever wanted to know about bullets if he didn't drop that pool cue."

"Then what happened?"

"Everybody got real polite in there Reno. That boy dropped his stick and apologized. They all did, and the bartender let me have my smokes for free. Everybody was just as nice as could be, but I never go anywhere near that place anymore."

My grandpa was a rough old Missouri boy, nobody in their right mind would ever get him confused with Barney. He looked at me real serious then and said, "We never go looking for trouble Reno, but we never take any shit off anybody. Isn't that right Sonny?" My dad tousled my hair and said "No Pop, we sure don't.

I loved the way they said "we".

Over the years I've owned several Model 10s or 13s. Regretdully all were sold or traded. I do have my Granfather's old M&P though it's not going anywhere.

11:57 AM  

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