Saturday, August 01, 2009

Match Went Great!

As I tweeted (twittered), we went up to Cheyenne to shoot the Cheyenne Regulators monthly cowboy match. Was Big Fun, if a bit strange (a whole stage, rifle and 2 pistols, shot from the hip, which, perversely, I shot pretty well). Sweetie also shot extremely well...I was very proud! She was shooting the new Long Hunter/Taylor's Firearms 1873 clone, and it rocked.

Gene Moffett, our Director of Photography for COWBOYS and SHOOTING GALLERY, also shot a really good match using a set of the brand spanking new Ruger SASS Vaqueros. I thought he was very brave to take to revolvers out of the box and shoot them for the first time in a match, but the two Rugers ran like champs.

Once again (and other than the hip shooting), the only shots I missed were those darned flipper clay pigeons — hit a steel target and a clay pigeon pops up in the air, which each time I cleverly miss. I got a fast, high flipper from Mike Gibson at MGM Targets (home of the famous, and famously painful, MGM Ironman match) and one of the SASS standard flippers from DS Welding, and I will pummel myself into figuring out how to hit the darn things!!! As I mentioned before, we're also going out to Kiowa Creek to take a clays lesson from their world class pro, Warren Watson. It ought not to be as hard as it is (for me)...

My good pal Steve Hunter sent me this link to a marvelous piece he wrote on Bonnie and Clyde in Commentary Magazine:
The squalid ambush that ended their careers in 1934 disappeared down the collective memory hole in the years that followed. The two diminished into a narrow regional celebrity, if that. I was the little boy who wanted to be a G-man and work for Mr. Hoover and I knew of all the great law enforcement triumphs of the 30s over the Dillingers and the Nelsons and the Capones. I had never heard of Bonnie and Clyde.

That all changed in 1967 when Arthur Penn’s film version came out with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and created the Bonnie and Clyde most people remember: vibrant, beautiful movie stars with witty ripostes on their lips and grace in their limbs and superbly tailored haberdashery on their shoulders, while bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs plucked away brilliantly behind them. Quickly, they commanded the allegiance of Baby Boomers hungry for anti-establishment heroes, killed (virtually crucified) by ruthless officers out of mean-spirited vengeance. It was an easy generational transference for the nascent Boomers to see themselves as so beautiful, so in love, so radical, so entitled to self-expression, so embittered by a failing economic system, so martyred by a crusty older generation that despised them for those attributes exactly.

Bonnie and Clyde pandered to and fed on the vanities of a generation hell-bent on avoiding an inconvenient war and exploring its awesome power in the marketplace. In fact, even now it’s difficult to know whether to regard the two outlaws as figures of the far-off Dust Bowl 30s, or symbols of the more insane 60s. If they’re famous today, it’s certainly because of the Penn film, not because of anything that happened in 1934.
What set the pair apart, more than anything, was no genius or vision of their own, or the audacity of their usually petty crimes, but the fact that after narrowly surviving a police raid in Joplin, MO.—Clyde’s shooting and driving skills got them out of that one, as it did so many others—they left behind a Brownie camera full of cute shots of the sorts most young couples take, except that Bonnie and Clyde’s depicted them at play with weapons almost bigger than they were. The images of these frail children with their adult arsenal in the gleeful poses mimicking true banditry were widely reprinted, especially a shocker with Bonnie playing the gun-moll part to the hilt, with a big Colt .45 in her hand and a cheroot dangling provocatively from her dainty lips. She looked like a Kewpie doll from Hell and died wishing people didn’t think she really smoked cigars.
Of course read the whole thing! Steve's conclusion on B&C, Frank Hamer and modern American culture is just freakin' brilliant. I'm probably getting ahead of myself here, but if the new show floats, I'm going to beg — beg! — Steve to be a regular guest.

On the way up to Cheyenne, we saw zillions of motorcycles north headed toward Sturgis. Have to admit I've never been, nor particularly wanted to go. This summer has been terrible for getting on my bike...a combination of endless travel and cold, rainy weather when I was home. I'm going to get on it this week and try to see whether I remember what all those levers are for.


Geoff aka Pathfinder said...

Commentary is a Jewish magazine, and with many Jews (at least the ones I know) still celebrating bho's ordination, this is a wonderful article, and throws down the gauntlet beautifully.

FTA: "Hamer stands for your grandfather’s authority, annoyance at fools, and the willingness to kill in the belief that he was saving the weak by eliminating their predator. He was a righteous killer, a dinosaur whose time has passed. He’s what Barack Obama swears he’ll change about America."

Unknown said...

I grew up 24 miles down the road from Sturgis. For the underaged horn dog, it's heaven.

For a grown adult who works REAL hard to stay out of bad places/bad cases... It's a place to avoid.

That said, I was up there two weekends ago training with your pal Farnam, the Sturgis PD, and the Pi family (as in Cor-Bon) ammo. The bikers were already thick and noisy.

Last I knew, the Hills were Bandito turf, but a "truce" is always called for the rally... as long as the wrong colors stay out of the wrong bar.

My advice: Take the scoot up to Sturgis in June or early July. Same beautiful hills ride, significantly decreased risk factor.

devietro said...

Glad to hear your match went well, and dont take this wrong but its kinda refreshing to hear that you have things in shooting that you struggle with. Sometimes it seems like all the shooters on TV are perfect every time and dont ever struggle.

That being said I would love to shoot a match like that, sound like lots of fun.

Eric said...

May I be so bold as to make a suggestion on how to deal with the clays? Work backward! Have a partner shoot the steel and you just focus on the clay. Once you get that down, then go back and work on nailing the combo.

Anonymous said...

L'art pour l'art. Ars gratis artis. Art for art's sake.
Defy these words, in any language, and one writes the claptrap of Stephen Hunter.