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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><STRONG><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 8.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">“Starting To Solo†(Part 2)</SPAN></STRONG><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 8.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> </SPAN></P> <DIV class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"> <HR align=center width="100%" color=#3b491f noShade SIZE=1> </SPAN></DIV> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0px"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->Unknown to the Kid, his father contacted the Feeney residence and had conversations with Mrs. Feeney and Mr. Feeney as to why the Kid was asking questions of the sporting goods store owner about Mr. Feeney. The whole story of the first meeting, the lessons, the hunting and the visits to Mr. Feeney’s garage were discussed and all was out in the open between Mr. Feeney and the Kid’s father. His father called the Kid into the living room one evening and questioned him about Mr. Feeney and what the Kid was up to. After relating the entire story to his father, which seemed like a five hour conversation when actually it was only thirty minutes, his father told him he disappointed in the Kid for not telling him sooner, but after talking with Mr. and Mrs. Feeney about all of the events, he was comfortable and now knew that Mr. Feeney was not as strange as he had observed or had been told. He was aware of Mr. Feeney’s passion for duck hunting and his appreciation for the out of doors. The Kid’s father gave initial approval for the Kid to continue to go to the garage to talk and learn. With that out of the way and a slight nod of approval from his father, the Kid could go to Mr. Feeney’s garage knowing that both of the adults had talked and things seemed to be ok. <BR><BR>The Kid stopped by the Feeney’s garage several times in the next few weeks only to find it still closed, the car gone and the dogs still in the pen. On a Saturday the Kid visited the garage and the door was standing open. The Kid stood in the door and the memories of all the lessons and visits came to mind as he saw the contents of the garage. As the Kid stood there dreaming he was unaware of a figure standing behind him. The figure spoke shocking the Kid to the point where he about fell into the garage. He turned and there stood Mr. Feeney with a smile on his face. He spoke saying that he was glad to see the Kid. He started to talk of the conversations he and Mrs. Feeney had with the Kid’s father. He told of the lessons that were being taught, of their going out in the boat and of the other things that grown ups seem to talk about when it comes to things like that. The Kid told of his new boat and how it had fared in the water. Mr. Feeney just laughed and said he had heard about it from a couple of men in town and was happy the Kid had taken it upon himself to get some hunting gear even though it was home made. The Kid asked if there were to be any lessons or anything to fix up in the garage that day. Mr. Feeney said the only thing that should be done is to sit and talk about some of the things the Kid would need to become a full fledged duck hunter. They both pulled up their designated crates and the conversation began. Mr. Feeney talked duck decoys and there were a lot of new types on the market but he wasn’t sure if they would hold up because they were not wood and they would not take any rough handling or if they got shot as birds were coming in, they my not last long. He talked about pump guns and how the Kid just might be ready for one in a season or so. He related about the hazards of the big water at the lake and how it could get dangerous when the wind came up. The conversation turned to how hunting alone was fine, but it could be a lot more memorable if it were to be shared with a hunting companion and that he had many times wished he weren’t so pig headed that he finally ended up being a loner. Then the usual occurred and he started to talk of days when the sunrises were the brightest, sunsets were the orangest, ducks had the best colors on their feathering, when ducks seemed to blacken the skies, his being a loner, all the dinners he had gone to with the fellows at the café to talk about the future of ducks and duck hunting, times of just sitting and watching the ducks fly and never lifting his gun, many hunts alone and his not having the garage open as much as it used to be. The Kid sat and thought of how strange the conversation was, but dismissed it as it was time to get on with talk about what the Kid needed to become a good duck hunter and the subject of decoys and guns was brought up. The Kid asked if he was to get some decoys and he could not afford the new ones on the market or the wood decoys, how would he be able to get enough to start. He was told him that he may have to make some for the time being and in time came the Kid would have enough money for a larger spread. The Kid also asked what pump gun he should look into. The only response was a grin and he told the Kid to be patient, read about the ones that are available and they would talk again. Soon it was time for the Kid to go home, so he thanked Mr. Feeney and said he would be back another time to see if the garage door was open.<BR><BR>The next day the Kid went into their family garage and found some two by six lumber. He could cut that in the shape of duck decoys, nail it together and use a heavy rasp and sandpaper to shape a decoy. The problem with the heads was solved by cutting out the shape, rasping, sanding and using wood glue to fasten them onto the main decoy shape. He then got a bunch of house paint and mixed the proper colors like he was taught in the garage. Having no existing decoys on hand and not wanting to ask to borrow some he looked at some magazines to see how the newer ones were patterned for paint. He chose a pattern that looked like it had the easiest way to paint and drew it on the rough decoys. He commenced painting the two dozen he had carved out. He then allowed them to dry thoroughly and lined them up in the basement. They were shown off with pride to his father and mother. They agreed they looked good and the Kid satisfied with the outcome could not wait to show them to Mr. Feeney. In the meantime the Kid’s mother had some of her friends over to the house and she showed them the decoys. One friend asked if she might buy one from the Kid. The Kid’s mother asked if the woman could have one decoy and what would the Kid charge her, even though she thought it would be better if he just gave her one since he could make more. Reluctantly he agreed to give one to the woman. For a few days the Kid walked down to the Feeney garage with a drake and a hen decoy if by chance Mr. Feeney was there and he could show him what he had done. Late that Friday Mr. Feeney showed up and the Kid proudly showed the decoys to him. There was talk about how the Kid had made them and where he got the ideas for the painting. Of course there was the casual critique of the overall look of the decoys and what the Kid should do when he made more. Mr. Feeney told the Kid to sit down while he went over to his power tools and started to cut some wood and drill holes in it. As he finished he handed the wood along with a handful of brass screws to the Kid and told him to go and screw a piece of the wood to the bottom of each decoy for keels. Eagerly the Kid left to do what he was told.<BR><BR>It was later in the spring when the Kid sat with his father and told him how Mr. Feeney had shown him the old Winchester Model 97 pump gun and how he wanted to see if he could save up enough money to buy a pump gun of some type. His father listened very closely and asked the Kid if he indeed could hit most everything he hunted for with his existing gun. Not to be embarrassed and stretching the truth a little, he replied to his father that he could. His father told the Kid that he would see about the pump gun and that the Kid was to get some jobs of some sort in order to pay for a new gun if he allowed him to get one. The Kid, like all kids, took that to be a “Yes†and off he went to think of ways to get some money. There was always the lawn mowing jobs, possibly some leaf raking jobs in fall, then there could be some snow shoveling jobs in the winter and just maybe by the next spring the Kid might have enough money saved to put a new pump gun on lay-away at the sporting goods store. Then he might even be able to have enough by fall to be able to have the gun for his very own and hunt with it. <BR><BR>Later in the last part of that summer the Kid’s father told him he wished to speak with him. The Kid once again was sitting with his father. The conversation came up about the pump gun and his father told him that he himself wanted a new gun to hunt pheasants with when he was out with some of his business associates. The Kid asked his father what he was going to get as the Kid had been looking in all of his magazines and had picked out one from Montgomery Wards that was only eighty five dollars. His father said for the Kid to sit where he was and he would go get something that he would show him what he wanted for himself. His father came back with a box that said Remington on it. His father opened up the box and show the Kid a brand new Model 870 Wingmaster twelve gauge. The Kid’s eyes lit up since he had never seen a new shotgun except in the racks at the sporting goods store. His father assembled the gun and allowed the Kid to hold it. The Kid told his father that is was the best looking shotgun he had ever seen and it should really make pheasant hunting great for him. His father agreed and he left the room with the gun. He soon returned with what seemed to be the gun in a canvas gun case. His father handed it to the Kid and the Kid fully expected to be instructed to take it to the attic where all the guns were kept, but this time his father said for the Kid to open up the case and take out the gun. The Kid figured he needed to do something to the gun of the case so he took it out. Again the shiny new shotgun appeared and the Kid could only imagine how is would be to own one just like that. His father told the Kid to sit back down that he had some instructions for him to follow. The Kid obeyed and his father commenced to lecture him on the safety of handling guns, that guns needed to be cleaned after every use and a gun of that size could give a youngster like him a sore shoulder if not used properly. The Kid listened but wasn’t really paying that much attention since he was more interested in just looking at his father’s new gun and imagining how it might be to own one like it. His father ended the conversation by asking the Kid if he understood everything he had just said. The Kid nodded. His father then said “Son, I want you to take very good care of your new pump gun and it will last you a lifetime.†The Kid could not believe what he was hearing and asked his father, “What did you say?†his father repeated the statement. The Kid just about broke into tears, his father had just given him a new pump gun. He asked his father if he wanted the Kid to pay for the gun after he earned the money. His father said that it was a gift to him and the man who owned the sporting goods store was closing out some of his shotguns and if he was interested the store owned would let two of them go for one hundred dollars for both of them. The Kid’s father had been talking not only to Mr. Feeney again and was told how much the Kid had said he wanted a pump gun, but Mr. Feeney and the sporting goods store owner had also been talking about how the Kid had been at Mr. Feeney’s garage and all of the conversations and duck hunting the two of them had done together. So there it was, a brand new Remington pump gun for the Kid. His father quickly informed him to now take both the shotguns to the attic and put them away. The Kid ran up the stairs with the guns, but only one made it to the attic. The other was conveniently hidden for the time being under the Kid’s bed where he could take it out and stare at it, work the action, point it and just dream whenever he wanted. He was virtually in seventh heaven.<BR><BR>The Kid now had the beginnings of a bunch of gear for the sole purpose of becoming a duck hunter not knowing that in the future that bunch of gear that was fairly inexpensive would grow into a vast amount of gear that would cost many hard earned dollars, but it was the start…..</SPAN></P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0px"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"></SPAN>&nbsp;</P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0px"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana"></SPAN>&nbsp;</P> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0px"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">(Note: Attached are some pics of one of those first decoys. The daughter of the lady that my mother made me give the one to shipped it to me as a surprise a while back.)</SPAN></P><!-- / message -->
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