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Your Last Good Day


J-BAR #18287
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I had a really great day yesterday.  The Southern Missouri Rangers Old Coot's Shoot is held on Wednesdays.  We had 12 shooters (Ozark Annie is taking the picture), all old friends.  I can no longer handle a rifle or a shotgun at match speed due to arthritis, so my pards were kind enough to allow me to shoot only my Ruger Old Armies on each stage.  The brass pickers loved it, I did not make any work for them!  I got to thinking, with my arthritis progressing as rapidly as it is, it might be my last shoot.

 

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A few years ago, four Frontiersmen shot a monthly match together.  Range Bum, on the left, died shortly afterwards of a heart attack.  Noz, in the red shirt, bumped his head and then had knee replacement surgery.  Fingers McGee on the far right, has retired from shooting due to health reasons.  I'm in the fringed coat, unaware that this is the last time the four of us will be on the range together.

 

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You never know when your last good day is going to be.

 

Enjoy your time together, compadres.

 

 

 

 

 

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Deal'n with old Arthur myownself, and I'm approaching the same decision you made.

Going to shoot this Saturday with Bear Creek Volunteers. 

With the move into our home and everything, we haven't shot cowboy in about a year.

OLG 

 

 

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You, Noz, & Fingers were my "Wire Heroes" over the years.

I shot a couple of times with Fingers, but never with you or Noz.

My loss, as I think it would have been great fun!

Take care & enjoy your shooting retirement!

--Dawg

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J Bar my friend I was there with you yesterday and the thought that maybe you're last time shooting with us isn't something I want to consider.

So with that I hope and pray for relief of your arthritis and look forward to seeing you very soon. 

Your friend 

Wildlead

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IMG_5221.jpg

 

Great guys. We've shot with Fingers many times. J-Bar came up to Owl Creek at least once and shoot with us. But we have visited numerous times. Noz was our RO1/2 instructor years ago and we've visited numerous times also.  Always visited with Range Bum.  He was always outgoing and fun to visit with. 

 

J-Bar lately has been my go to advisor with my new latest adventures in shooting the Ruger Old Army. 

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Nobody knows more than you do about your situation and whether or not you can overcome it enough to continue to play the game. I've been there a couple of times and was forced to make some adjustments to how I played the game. You never know what is coming around the corner. 6 mo ago I expected to be gone by the end of the year, but a new experimental drug has kicked that can down the road. My advice is to make adjustments, if possible, that will allow you to continue. Maybe switch to cartridge handguns and smokeless powder. As for shooting at match speeds.... Ha! If you need a egg timers to shoot the stage..... SO WHAT! Make mine scrambled.

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Almost 4 years back now, I shot a local match that unexpectedly became my last one, at least for now (I keep hoping and working towards being able return).  I was in good form that day and actually won overall (Lassiter didn't show up that day).  So, I went out on top, but I sure didn't expect to end up in the hospital a week later with an infected knee implant.  This infection and the 4 more knee surgeries required after months of pic-line administered and oral antibiotics, plus shoulder surgeries on both shoulders over the next two years ended my work career much earlier than planned, as well as most of my recreational activities.  Frankly, I could have lost my leg with this infection, but what we did save is no where near what it used to be anymore.  I can walk un-aided for short distances, but I am slow and need to be careful and deliberate.  I generally use a cane for support and balance to get around, but I now wear out very quickly and deal with a lot of pain on a regular basis.  Anyway, at 68 years old now, my life was changed forever in what seemed like an instant and I sure didn't see it coming!

 

Anyway, the reason I post this is that no one really knows what the next day will bring and you can be an active and fit individual one day and a complete invalid the next.  So, make to most of what you do and enjoy life along the way.  If you can get out there and shoot and still enjoy it, then by all means do so.  Personally, I am determined to get back to at least one match a month, hopefully starting this coming spring, but there is still a tough row to hoe before I am ready and able.  Good luck and good shooting to all!

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On 11/11/2021 at 8:03 PM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Deal'n with old Arthur myownself, and I'm approaching the same decision you made.

Going to shoot this Saturday with Bear Creek Volunteers. 

With the move into our home and everything, we haven't shot cowboy in about a year.

OLG 

 

 

OLG I am with you.  I am approaching 92 and me and Arthur refuse to give up.  I shoot every match where I can trap one of the grandkids to do the griving.

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3 hours ago, Deadwood Miner, SASS # 45575 said:

OLG I am with you.  I am approaching 92 and me and Arthur refuse to give up.  I shoot every match where I can trap one of the grandkids to do the griving.

 

92 and still shooting.....God Bless Ya.

 

You, Sir, are an inspiration.:)

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Your last good day can come at any point - not just with age.

 

I won Gunfighter at the Four Corners Regional this year.

My last full cowboy shoot - I placed top 10 against the murders row of fantastic shooters at Cowtown.

 

And then...

Covid hit me and its affects still linger.

I fell (really wish I had a better story) and broke the Radius and Ulna in my right arm - the Radius in my left and damaged both my wrists.  Which are not healing properly.

 

I'm incredibly stubborn and am refusing the idea that I may never get back to where I was (high mediocre) - but in the back of my mind is that little voice telling me my best day as a cowboy may have past.

 

Enjoy everyday you have - you never know when your last good day may happen.

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JBar that is a rough crowd you shot with Wed.!! Whew!! With deepest respect I would sure miss watching you run them guns, no matter how you get it done. Learned so much from you about this game. Attitude was a big one . Antiqueing guns advice, and lots of good shooting advice. I wish and pray for Gods will for you.

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Any sadness is more than compensated by the kind words and thoughts from those who have responded.

 

I am blessed to have such friends.

 

Thank you.

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40 minutes ago, Oddnews SASS# 24779 said:

I have arthritis in both knees. I sympathize. Who is the fellow with the blue vest at the far right in your second photo? I think I shot a match with him back in 2000.


Fingers McGee, dedicated Frontiersman and Colt collector.  

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Just now, J-BAR #18287 said:


Fingers McGee, dedicated Frontiersman and Colt collector.  

Then it's not who I thought it was, but he still looks familiar. By the way, on your topic, I agree with the others -- keep shooting while it's still fun.

 

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Our annual this year, which I agonized over for months then ran myself ragged setting up and getting ready (as others I'm sure know well) brought me a jam in my '73 on the first stage (8 misses) then went to backup '92 and very next stage, get to ULT only to find a live round in the mag... SDQ (called on myself). Finished dead last!

Still... way better than a day at work. I got to shoot with my pards.

We won't talk about what the range folks are doing to us... :angry:

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