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My Little .44 Magnum
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  1. #1

    6 My Little .44 Magnum

    My little .44 Magnum

    I got a job working for the Indiana State Board of Health. My first apposition was in Northern Indiana—a little Slaughterhouse called “Hobart Locker”—though in fact; it was about halfway between Merrillville and Valparaiso, well South of Hobart. (The original Business had been in Hobart—and one doesn’t give up name recognition lightly.)

    I ended up getting a Room for $130/Month in Valparaiso. I took one Gun with me, a Colt 70 Series Government model that JB Wood had heavily customized for me. I came home somewhere along the line, and bought a Bolixed Detonics.

    The Gun was an early model—serial number below 2000. Some Bezonian had put a Glow-Worm Front Sight from a Shotgun on it and had it Nickeled with one of the worst examples of Nickeling that I’d ever seen—it was uneven, way too thick in spots, and lacked luster.

    So I got it at a hefty discount, and took it back to Valparaiso with me. Boy was I in for a rude awakening the first time I shot it. Right off the bat, the Slide cut the web of my hand—I still have the scar—or maybe it was Hammer-Bite.

    The only time the Gun didn’t Jam is when it Doubled—though it often jammed on its second shot. Once it fed correctly, and I’d gotten into such a rut, firing and then racking the Slide, that one time it didn’t jam or double, and I still reached up and racked the slide out of habit.

    There was a rather large Hardware Store—kinda like “Rural King”—called “Fetla’s”. And back then; Fetla’s had more Handguns than all the Gunstores in Evansville put together. They had maybe three or four times as many Long Guns as all the Evansville Gunstores put together.

    And do you know what they had? They had one of the limited edition Lee Jovino’s 3” Round-Butted Smith and Wesson Model 29’s. I don’t really believe in swapping or selling Guns. Buying a Gun is a Solemn thing, like an adoption—and anyway, the whole Idea is to accumulate Guns—not go through them…

    But the Detonics was a Real Lemon, I hadn’t had it very long, and I really wanted the 3” 29. Of course, I didn’t let on that the Detonics was a Sitz-Beater. I forget prices, but the Detonics Payed for about 70% of the fee for my new .44 Magnum.

    You know, I told you that Fetla’s was a huge Gunstore. After they sold me my 3” 29, the clerk went I the back and brought out a second one. I wish to this day, that I’d went ahead and put the second one on Layaway. It would have stretched my finances, but I coulda done it.

    I hated the finger gripped Wood Grips that it came with. I lucked into finding an old-style pair of Round-Butt K-Frame Pachmayers. I have since come to dislike synthetic grips, but even back then, I wasn’t willing to carry a pair of the new Packmayers that had what looked like a Coin-Slot in the bottom of the Grip, to reveal the Serial Number.

    I was at the range one day, when a Deputy Sherriff showed his new 4” Security Six to his Partner. His partner laughed and asked if he had to feed it Quarters to get it to shoot…

    And I solemnly resolved never to expose myself to that sort of Ridicule. I’d rather use a pair of unmodified pine 2” X 2” s.

    I shot full-Power loads out of it I never Found it particularly punishing to shoot—oh it recoiled—but…

    Later I was fool enough to let the State transfer me to Jasonville Indiana—a very unpleasant little Town East of Terre Haute. But one day I took my 4” S&W .44 Magnum and my little 3” Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum. Put a pop can on a twig about chest high. Backed up five paces, and started shooting at the can from the hip, firing both .44 Magnums simultaneously. On my second shot, the can went flying off.

    Now I’m no hip-shooter. I didn’t expect to hit the can—it was just a general point of Aim, but I did. Hit the can several times after that.

    Well jobs don’t last. That job with the State was no exception. A few years later I was on the Road removing Asbestos. That was a come-down in the World. Railroaders work very hard, but they’re well paid, and there’s the Union. State employees aren’t particularly well paid, but they don’t do manual labor—at least both conditions were true of a Meat Inspector in Charge of a small Slaughterhouse.

    Asbestos removal is tough, back-breaking work, in unhealthy conditions (Often the Asbestos is the least of the Removers health and safety concerns). It is generally on the road, and it is not particularly well-paid

    Well were removing Asbestos in Paducah Kentucky. There were four of us staying in a cheap motel room. I wasn’t, at that point in my life, a terrible good worker—but I was a valued employee. {My physical condition wasn’t great, and I was usually moving slow, and hoping that I wouldn’t vomit—all while loud-mouthed Sadistic Foremen scourged me without let-up.}

    I had a big red Van—meaning that I could take several carless indigents out of town for the company; and at that point I was still very reliable. But that made it very awkward for me to bar troublemakers from riding with me, since it was an Unstated Quid Pro Quo, that I was largely valued for my transportation skills.

    I was a private person. Having to be continually shut up with a bunch of men was making me nuts. I didn’t get any solitude driving to or from work. I couldn’t afford a private room. I couldn’t necessarily go where I wanted to eat, at the end of the day we had to debate the issue.

    When I wanted to be alone on the Railroad, I’d drive somewhere in my Van—but if I started to go somewhere, these dudes all wanted to go along for the ride—like a bunch of Wire-Haired Terriers…

    So Moe and Larry wanted to go to the Strip-Bar. Curly was willing. They started out begging.

    I was always so tired at the end of the day that I just wanted to sleep. I’ve never been much of a drinker. And while I dislike Bars, I hate Strip Bars with a white-hot passion…

    And I was always a big proponent of, “No, means ‘No!’ “ I really had a tough time dealing with folks who wouldn’t take “No!” for an answer. Once I couldn’t take any more aggravation, I faced what I conceived of as an excluded Middle Type Dilemma:

    A.} Lose my temper and Shoot all of them—which while it had some appeal, was sure to get me talked about in all the wrong places;


    B.} Humor them.

    I travelled with my 3” and 4” .44s. I always put one under my pillow at night—generally the 4”, and left the 3” in my pack. When I wasn’t there, I didn’t consider a Motel Room to be a secure place for them. After all, all the maids have keys, as well as the owner. I’d secure both of them in my pack, and lock the pack in my Van.

    Well, when I went to put my 4” back in my pack, both Larry and Moe objected Strenously.

    “You don’t want to go armed into that Biker Bar, we got your back, no matter what happens.” They swore.

    Tilt!!! I didn’t have any intention of wearing them into the bar. (Couldn’t carry concealed in Kentucky back then.) Still, I’m used to people having all sorts of weird hang-ups about guns, so reluctantly I left them. I wasn’t thinking very clearly back then, being always exhausted, and being exposed to all sorts of toxic fumes all day.

    As we were pulling out of the parking lot, Moe suddenly decided to stay in the room.

    After a long tedious night—I hate strippers—I finally got to bed. My 4” was still under my pillow, and still loaded. I’d have noticed if it was not. I never thought to check for my littlest .44 the next morning. It was the last day of work, and when I got back to Evansville, my Blued little .44 Magnum in his little custom Milt Sparks Summer Special was gone.

    That was over twenty years ago, and I still miss him today. It took me many years to realize that I was the victim of a pre-meditated scam. For a long time, I didn’t want to believe that someone would steal a sacred artifact from a friend—but now, I have no doubt.

    I have earnestly tried to be a good Christian and forgive my enemies—and in this case, I thought that I had…

    Only now, relating the story, and thinking about my little friend, I am somewhat tempted to put a curse—the strongest curse I know—on Moe and Larry—still don’t think Curly was involved…

    But I won’t—and sorrowfully, it has less to do with following Jesus’ teachings than it does with the fact that cursing someone properly is very draining, not to mention that some small portion of the curse inevitably comes upon the Curser…

    And I don’t feel up to feeling that bad anymore.

    My Friends, do be careful how you secure your most precious possessions.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    the pacific north west
    oh yeah!

  3. #3
    what she said

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    nw mountains
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin


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