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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A few of Grandpa's Pictures

A few weeks ago I was able to spend some time flipping through the photo album with my Grandpa. I felt just like a little kid again, listening to him tell some of the stories, and relive those memories that are still etched clearly in his mind as if the events described had just happened yesterday. A lot of the stories I've heard before, but I love to listen to him tell them again, and again. I know I'm a lucky man to have been blessed with having a Grandpa that I'm so close to, and hopefully as time goes on I'll have more pictures to preserve along with their stories.

The first picture that I was drawn to was this one...

The original is laminated, so hopefully that helps to preserve it as best as it can. This was my Grandpa's first buck taken in sometime around 1954. I'm not sure where exactly it was taken, other than it came from Pennsylvania. Although my mother's side of the family is mainly from around NE Ohio area, they hunted quite a bit over in PA. I guess back then the deer hunting was better over there than in Ohio, go figure. Our family has had a cabin over in Elk County PA since the late 30's or early 40's (I can't remember). As the story goes, my great Grandpa bought the place after the factory in the area exploded. The company owning that factory sold off all the worker's homes because there weren't any other jobs to be had in the area, and people bought them up as cabins. As the years have gone by, the cabin has exchanged hands a few times, but has always remained in the family, and has always been open for friends and family to enjoy. My Mom now owns it to this day.

Uncle Chuck and Mom with Grandpa's first buck.
Hunting Whitetail deer wasn't the enormous machine of an industry that it is today. In fact, it was big news to even cross the track of a deer in the area. Times were different in most parts of the country, in fact, small game hunting was king. Rabbits, Pheasants, and Squirrel were abundant and often the quarry of choice for most. As Grandpa tells it, he would rather go hunt squirrel than just about anything else. He can recall getting his first .22 caliber rifle at the ripe old age of 13 years old, and when the rest of the neighborhood boys would run home to listen to a baseball game on the radio, Grandpa would grab his rifle and head off to the woods. Just him, his gun, and some bushy tails to chase. I think that we've definitely lost something in today's world filled with the latest& greatest gadgets, while being bombarded with marketing messages carefully aimed at the wallets and egos of hunters. Seeking out the simplicity, purity, and honesty of small game hunting needs to get put back on my "to do list" for next season.

All the kids with Great Grandpa getting ready to clean some squirrels...

As the story goes on this one, Grandpa & his older brother, Uncle Harold, (pictured) came across a section of woods that held every squirrel with a 5 mile radius. Apparently they found the mother load of acorns on this hillside, and when all the starts aligned it provided for some of the best squirrel hunting that either one of them had ever experienced. They hunted the area for two days, took their fair share for the table, and made some memories that have lasted a life time.

Uncle Harold admiring the success that being in the right place at the right time can provide.

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