Recently I allowed my 5 year old son to tag along on an afternoon squirrel hunt where he met his great grandfather.The day we picked was windy and cold, almost too cold for his little body to stay warm. Little Joey was bundled up with so many layers he looked like Ralphy from the movie “A Christmas Story”.
He waddled back and forth as we headed into the woods looking for a dry log to sit on and wait.
Once we picked a spot, we sat down and I reiterated to Little Joey how being still and quiet was the only way we would see a squirrel.
I knew it wasn’t going to be long before he would tire of being still and the cold would seep through all his layers. It took about 20 minutes and he was ready to move about. We decided to some “run and gun” hunting.
This is the best way to introduce a little one to hunting; we just walk around the woods hoping to tree a squirrel before shooting it down.
The time passes by quicker for them and they stay warmer. Even if they don’t see any squirrels, they have a good time walking around. After about an hour of walking the woods and seeing nothing, we decided to take a break. Little Joey helped me build a small fire and we sat around it to thaw ourselves a bit. While sitting there, Little Joey asked about the gun we were using.
I had brought out an old Winchester Model 24 side by side double barrel in 20 gauge.
As any 5 year old will, he asked countless questions about this gun. As he regularly helps me clean my other guns, he was unusually interested in this one as he had never seen it before.
We talked over many things I knew about this gun and realized some things I had never noticed before. It is over 70 years old and is in remarkable shape for being so old.
My Great Grand Father was Dr. Charles Greenwell from here in the county and his attention to detail showed in how well taken care of this weapon was.
Dr. Charles had the stock on this gun shortened and narrowed to resemble more of a youth size stock. Worn areas on the gun told us that he used it a lot, and dropped it once or twice.
One of the triggers had been replaced and the other was well worn. This gun was obviously special to Dr. Greenwell. He had it repaired when needed, modified to fit him better, and kept up on preventative maintenance.
As the dark began to settle in we put our fire out and walked back to the truck. Little Joey asked if he could one day have that gun, and I assured him it would be his first one.
On the way home he continued to talk about his Great Grandfather and asking questions about him. Some of these questions I had to make phone calls to get the answers to them.
Dr. Charles has been dead almost 40 years and I never met him.
Most of what I know is because of that gun. It tells its own story and sparks new questions to be answered.
The gun isn’t worth much to a prospective buyer but it’s priceless to us.
Hopefully in 30 years Little Joey can sit on a log and introduce his son to his Great, Great Great Grandfather and hopefully get some squirrels.