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  1. At our monthly shoot this weekend; I was approached by a shooter that doesn't play with us much anymore. I lit up when I saw this shooter; because this man was an inspiration to me when I began shooting. This man is Irish Red; with his shamrock printed shirts and green felt hats - in the early 2000's, Irish was the Duelist to beat in Southern Nevada. I watched Irish Red and emulated him; taking his advice and guidance on shooting Duelist. I said often back then, "I want to be just like Irish when I grow up". With his help; I became a fairly proficient Duelist and won a buckle or two. I also watch Irish Red interact with other shooters and admired his willingness to mentor, advise and give of himself. I have tried to live up to the example he set as a leader and mentor; I have often fallen short of his level - but I always knew what I should be striving for. As we shook hands and caught up; Irish motioned me to follow him to his car. "I hoped you would be here this weekend" he stated as he opened his door. Reaching in, he removed a hatbox and handed it to me. Inside was one of Irishs custom felt hats; this one a green derby with red feather custom made for Irish Red with his name and SASS number inside. "What is this?", I ask. Not entirely sure why I'm being handed this box. "It's yours", Irish replied. "I want you to have it". This gift means more to me than I can express. It is a great honor and I will wear it with pride. Years ago; while at the top of his game - he thought enough of me to advise and direct and 20 years later as his participation wanes - he continues to give of himself. Thank you, Irish. I want to be just like you when I grow up.
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