While writing my last posting I was suddenly over come with a flood of long forgotten child hood memories. Memories of the ending of Americas Great Depression and post WWII money and food shortages. Even though the Great Depression and WWII were at an end, and the severe dust storms of the dust bowl era were slowly ending. It would take another 20 years for America to recover. Money, food and jobs were still in short supply. A very large part of American lived hand to mouth, surviving on poultry, pigs, fruits and vegetables home grown and persevered mostly by canning. This was long before the days that every family had a electric refrigerator, many were still using iceboxes and almost no one had access to a freezer.
In those years hunting and fishing was not a sport or a hobby. Hunters and fishermen did so to put meat on their families table.
Don’t mistake my remarks as whining. I had a good life as a child and as a young man. I never went hungry or went to bed without supper(dinner). I did however know where food came from and learned at an early age that hunting, and for me that was mostly rabbits, hunting and fishing was not a sport, it was survival skills I and many other Americans used to put meat on my families table.
Christmas 1952 I was 5 1/2 years old and that year I received two presents. First was a 5 week old ‘real’ live beagle puppy. I was elated at having my very own beagle puppy, a ‘real’ hunting dog! He came from a good line of dogs and as such came with papers and his name was Dart the III! That was a bit formal so I settled on just Dart.
Second was a model 67a Winchester single shot, bolt action 22 rifle. It was chambered to fire 22 shorts, longs or long rifle cartridges and was sized for younger hunters. It had a shorter stock and a half barrel making it a perfect fit for the smaller hunter. On this Christmas day I no longer considered myself a child, I had a real hunting dog and a hunting rifle, I knew that very day I was no longer a child.
Darts young age, short legs and a brutally cold winter made my first winter as a hunter one that 60 years later I still remember as if it were yesterday. Dart spent much of his first winter safe and warm, stuffed in my coat peering out of a hole between two coat buttons. I would always put him on the ground just before we topped that last sand hill just south of the house, I didn’t want anyone to know Dart had spent the day safe, warm and dry in my coat, he was after all a ‘real’ hunting dog!
Dart and I spent 13 of the happiest years of my life hunting in the winter and fishing farm ponds in the summer. He was my ever present companion and friend. As he and I grew older he seemed to sense and understand had we had less time to spend hunting and fishing. I was working more around the farm and daddy’s welding shop. Dart never seemed to mind, he was still my ever present companion. Never under foot but always keeping me in his sight. At age 17, I was becoming a man. That’s the year that I came home and found my old dog, my friend, my companion had died in the shade of his favorite cottonwood, without even so much as a whimper, I was then and 47 years later, still broken hearted at the loss of the best
companion Friend I have ever had.
A man or boy is blessed if in his life time he has one ‘good’ dog. Dart was that once in a lifetime dog. I am truly blessed as I had Dart and now I have a blue heeler, Spock, and a border collie, BG, that are my ever present companions, what more can a man or boy want or ask for. A loving family, wonderful grand kids and now a great grand son and my very own dog(s), my friends and constant companions.
Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.
Why is Common Sense so Uncommon?
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