Monday, February 09, 2015

A Few Random Gin-ish Thoughts

A got a wonderful package in the mail from my dear friend Andy Langlois of Andy's Leather — a fifth of Dingle's Gin from Ireland, where Andy and his sweetheart will be in a few weeks. It is wonderful, a little taste of Ireland in a bottle.

Thank you Andy!

Today I did the podcast, then headed out in our spectacular weather with Newt and my Sweetie for a long hike. When I got back I hauled steel down to the range and worked on setting up my overall vision for a .22, pistol, rifle and shotgun place to shoot. Hauling steel is, like, heavy. LOL! I didn't get a chance to shoot on it since the sun was going down as I set the last plate.

I've got 2 Action silhouettes — a Tactical Torso and PT Hostage target — set up for pistol at 50 yards and for carbine at 100 yards; the .22 challenge course (contact distance to 165 yards); a 6-plate cowboy/pistol set-up and a 200 yard centerfire rifle stage (I still need to buy some more targets for the rifle course). It is a dream home range for a shooter, something I've worked toward for a long, long time.

When I finished up for the day, we grabbed a quick fish and chips at the local bar, then headed home for the evening. I cracked open the bottle of Dingle's, opened a Fever Tree tonic and called it a day. The Dingle's is made with botanicals from around the distillery, rowan berry, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn, heather, chervil, angelica and coriander and tastes just wonderful. For me, though, rather than a taste of Ireland, the gin and tonic took me back to a roaring campfire under African skies, the plaintive cries of the bush babies, the sounds of the Kalahari, surrounded by the most wonderful friends I could imagine.

Thanks for that memory, Andy…
"The hunter's horn sounds early for some...later for others. 
For some unfortunates, prisoned by city sidewalks and sentenced to a cement jungle more horrifying than anything to be found in Tanganyika, the horn of the hunter never winds at all. But deep in the guts of most men, a prickle of the nape hairs, an acceleration of the pulse, an atavistic memory of his fathers, who killed first with stone, and then with club, and then with spear, and then with bow, and then with gun, and finally with formulae. 
How meek the man is of no importance; somewhere in the pigeon chest of the clerk is still the vestigial remnant of the hunter's heart; somewhere in his nostrils the half-forgotten smell of blood…"
— Robert Ruark
"Horn of the Hunter"


DonD said...

Thanks for summoning Ruark to the blog!

nj larry said...

You have to hear the stories Brian Williams tells of hunting East Africa with Karamojo Bell. Got KB into the whole ivory thing.

Anonymous said...

Brian Williams hunted Africa with Teddy Roosevelt. I've seen the photos!

Unknown said...

Actually Brian Williams saved TR's life by stopping a charging water buffalo.

Anonymous said...

Horn of the Hunter was the first book of Robert Ruark's I ever read. I quickly found every other hunting book he ever wrote. You should do a feature on him on one of your shows!

Michael Bane said...

Ruark haunted my dreams as a kid in high school…I thought POOR NO MORE and, especially, SOMETHING OF VALUE were the best books I'd ever read. And I've read HORN OF THE HUNTER more times than I can remember. I also saw the amazing video Ruark shot on safari, which inspired my own trip to Africa.

In truth, he's one of those people I profoundly wish I could have sat down and had a long conversation with (Robert Mitchum, Raymond Chandler, John D. McDonald and Teddy Roosevelt are some of the others…).


Anonymous said...

Teddy Roosevelt should have stayed out of politics.

Life Member

John Richardson said...

I agree with you about "Something of Value". I was reading it (for fun) in college and a dorm mate asked what I was reading. I replied, "Something of Value". The guy said, "No, what is the name of the book?"

I had to show him the cover of the book before he got it.

Unknown said...

I've had "Horn of the Hunter" on my to-read list for awhile. After reading that quote, I immediately ordered the book.