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VOLUMES 155 & 156--------MAY/JUNE 2015

June 28, 2015

A lot of things happening as Spring ends and Summer begins.

We finished our second Hunter Education class on May 9th, graduating 15 students.  We had beautiful weather for
our field day at Hauser Lake Gun Club, although it was a bit chilly for the first hour or so.    (For more information about our Hunter Education efforts, click on the link above left.)  We did not schedule a class during the month of June as past experience has taught us that end of school activities tend to interfere with students' ability to make it to all of the class sessions.

We did have a visitor from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Wednesday of this recent class.  Mike Whorton, Hunter Education Coordinator for Region One of the Department, oversees the Hunter Education efforts in this part of the state.  Part of Mike’s job is to visit a certain number of classes each year to ensure that Department policies are being followed and to evaluate the curriculum and quality of the instruction.  Mike’s findings are reported to the statewide Manager of the program.

I’m pleased to report that we passed muster in good shape, and am very proud of our instructors and volunteers.  Here are a couple of quotes from Mike’s evaluation report:

“This Traditional Course was one of the best that this reviewer has witnessed.  The curriculum was exceptional and imparted all the necessary educational messages with the students.

Rick Parman, who happened to be scheduled for most of the teaching that evening, was singled out as being particularly effective:

“Instructors, particularly Richard Parman, kept students engaged by consistent questions and answers. When a student did not have an answer, Richard Parman had the child answer by saying "Muzzle Control."  This was an excellent method to reinforce with every student the importance of muzzle control while at the same time diverting any perceived embarrassment a student may have in not knowing an answer.  This was really a good class room management technique that kept students engaged.”

Not sure Rick's hats and caps fit anymore what with the swelled head and all!

Speaking of Mike Whorton, I received a communication from him June 22nd reminding us that the current Washington State budget impasse may affect any classes we have scheduled after July 1st.  That's right, our elected representatives in Washington State,
nearing the end of a second Special Legislative Session, are no different than those we send to Washington, DC!  If they can't agree on a budget before July 1, the state government shuts down!  Since the Hunter Education Program is under the auspices of WDFW, we are told we must cancel classes if this actually occurs.  Hopefully, our esteemed public servants will get their S _ _ T together before the end of the month.

Also having to do with our Hunter Education activities, our Elks Lodge was presented a certificate of appreciation by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council.  Director Linda Thompson presented the certificate in recognition of our Hunter Education efforts and providing U. S. Flags to Eagle Scout Honor Courts.  Such activities are important in guiding our youth in positive directions and away from drugs and alcohol.


Certificate Presentation: L to R - Jim Parman, Phyllis Porter, Linda Thompson, ER Gary Hicks, Rick Parman (Phyllis' husband Chuck, who presents the flags to the Eagle Scouts was absent due to illness)

Ann and I just returned from a two week road trip to Missouri and Iowa.  Our travels included a visit with Ann's 103 year old Mother in Lamoni, IA and a bit of a quick reunion with my three siblings near Kansas City, MO.  Our Mom passed away about a year ago and we spent some time going through a bunch of pictures and other memorabilia that sister Carol had saved from Mom's belongings.  After the sorting and distributing session at Carol and Don's Raymore home, we all had dinner at a nearby cafeteria.  The visit was much too short, but as noted below, we had some reasons to get on our way back home.


My siblings Cheri, Carol, Ed, and I after dinner at Golden Corral

Unknown to us at the time we were reviewing memorabilia at Carol's, another piece of Mom's history was en route to Newman Lake via UPS.  Some time ago my cousin, Donna Pritchard, had notified Ann via a Facebook PM, that she was sending a quilt and some other stuff to us.  The quilt is one of dozens our Mother made and hand quilted during her lifetime.  This quilt was purchased from Mom years ago by Aunt Elaine Pritchard and was passed along to Donna after Elaine's passing.  Donna indicated she was downsizing her household, and wanted our Granddaughter, Jennifer to have the quilt.  Donna, how thoughtful, and words can't express the appreciation we feel for your generosity!


One of Mom's many handmade quilts


This closeup shows the detail of those thousands of tiny stitches that make up the time consuming detail of hand quilting


Here's Jennifer with her Great Grandma Quilt

In addition to the quilt, the package included some music CD's containing a genre of music that my Mom and Donna's Dad, Edward were fond of.  Also included in the bundle was a picture of Mom and Uncle Ed.  The picture is another reminder that musical endeavors go back a long way in our family history.  Here are some words from Donna about the picture and the music:

"I have no information on where or when this picture was taken, but I think Dad was probably around 10 years old or so.  I had only a very small original, and it had at sometime been torn out of an old photo album.  The picture had obviously been glued down, and when it was taken out, the top was torn almost apart.  In enlarging the picture, that worn spot now looks like lightning!  Sorry, it's the best we could do."

"Then there is the music.  Will the Circle be Unbroken is some of my favorite music.  I do love all types of music - well not rap because that stuff isn't music, and it's horrible!  The old time songs our family has sung forever, blue grass, and gospel blue grass are my favorites.  It is comforting and soothes my soul.  I guess I am always going to be a hillbilly...and proud of it."

Edward and Evaleen Pritchard, probably in the mid to late 1930's

Another thing we think we know about those times for Mom and Ed, is that they apparently appeared in many talent shows throughout the area with that banjo and guitar.  Mom and her brothers, Ed and Deb, were my inspiration to learn to play guitar and sing when I was a teenager.

Now back to the road trip highlights.  Our travels were not without a glitch or two.  Our normal route both ways is I-90 to Sioux Falls, SD, then I-29 to Iowa and Missouri.  For our Eastbound travel this time, we detoured down U.S. 83 into Grand Island, NE to avoid severe weather predictions and then I-80 across the remainder of Nebraska.  Our one night planned stay in Grand Island turned into two nights when Ann woke up with a bug that kept us in the Hampton Inn for an extra day. 
Fortunately, the hotel was just across the street from an Urgent Care facility, so that was utilized for evaluation and some medication to stop the vomiting.  Actually we both felt rather bum for the rest of the trip.

Our return route was as we usually travel via I-29 and I-90.  Other than the sickness episode, a late night wind, rain, and hail storm in Rapid City on our way home was about the only other highlight except a visit to Mount Rushmore.  Since we still had plenty of daylight left after checking in to our hotel in Rapid City, we ventured to one of Ann's favorite places in the world!  Mount Rushmore, or as Jennifer named it during a childhood visit, "The Big Heads" is only about 30 miles south of Rapid City, so we spent a few hours there in the early evening.


An awesome sight no matter how many times you've seen it


Nothing like a little ice cream while looking at the 'Big Heads'

After Ice Cream a visit to the gift shop was in order.  Ann has a modest collection of Black Hills Gold jewelry, and what better place to add to the collection than right in the middle of the Black Hills of South Dakota!  I found a bit of a unique piece in the shape of a wishbone that I was pretty sure is different that anything else she has, so upon confirmation that it was suitable, we added that to her collection.


Ann's Black Hills Gold necklace, directly from the 'Big Heads' gift shop

Now I must turn back the clock to the beginning of our trip.  We left home on June 6th and spent two nights in Missoula, MT for shopping, browsing, and dining at some of our favorite retailers and restaurants.  Should have just kept traveling, as the Missoula stay became somewhat expensive.

While Ann browsed the Southgate Shopping Mall, I perused some of the local sporting goods and gun stores.  On gun store visits, I am always on the lookout for left hand bolt action rifles.  Such southpaw firearms were very scarce until the late 1970's when Remington began marketing their mainstay Model 700 in that configuration.  Before that, left hand bolt actions were pretty much limited to Sako, Weatherby, and Custom rifle makers, all of which were well out of my price range at that time.  I remember nearly wearing out the pages of gun magazines and catalogs drooling over the Sako left handers.  I wasn't that interested in the Weatherby's as they came only in the proprietary Weatherby Magnum calibers.

In more recent times, Sako (I'm told by those who should know that this is pronounced 'Sock-O' not 'Sake-O') had stopped making their flagship models 75 and later, 85, in left hand configuration.  That changed a couple of years ago with the re-introduction of the Model 85 in left hand but I had never seen one on display.  Guess what I found?  The Bob Ward's store had two left hand Sakos on their rack!  One was in .270 Winchester caliber and the other a .30-06 Springfield.

Not to stop there, they also had in stock a couple of Henry pump action .22 rimfires!  Pump action rimfires have also been a scarce item for many years, pretty much supplanted by first, lever actions, and more recently, semi-autos.  Of course the bolt action rimfires have been around forever, but seldom in left hand configuration.  I've previously written about my first gun, a Winchester model 61 pump, received for my 13th birthday, which is much easier and quicker for a southpaw to operate than any right handed bolt.

What to do, oh what to do?  I certainly don't need any more rifles!  Does that mean I don't want any more rifles?

After consultation with Little Heifer, both the Sako .30-06 and Henry .22 ended up buried under the rest of the luggage in the trunk of the Cadillac and made the rest of the trip with us.  After over 50 years of owning centerfire rifles, this is my first .30-06!  I've always said, "Everyone has a .30-06, and I want to be different!"

While there are many who might consider me 'way different' anyway, they can no longer say it's because I don't own a .30-06!


Henry pump action .22 rimfire

Henry rifles are made in the USA, with the Company's Owner, Anthony Imperato, advertising that they will be made in America or they won't be made!  We currently have a Henry youth sized lever action that we use as a demo gun in Hunter Education classes.  Jennifer also has a Henry lever she received for her 13th birthday.  This pump action looks to be internally, a duplicate of their lever action offerings, with a simple change of connection from the lever mechanism to a single 'action bar' on the left interior side of the pump handle.

As a matter of note, a design flaw I see with the Henry pump is the danger of a bloody thumb for those with small hands.  The breech bolt extends about two inches back from the action when opened.  Unlike the lever action, which takes the operating or trigger hand away from the grip area when cycling the action, the pump leaves the trigger hand on the grip while the opposite paw does the operating.  Beware the breech bolt injury if the thumb is too close to the hammer area!  A pistol grip butt stock would have solved this issue but would be a departure from the straight grip configuration on the rest of their entire line.


Here's Rick demonstrating how keeping ones hand well back on the grip can prevent injury when cycling the action


Sako M85 Hunter in .30-06 caliber

Sako rifles are
made in Riihimäki, Finland.  This one is the 'Hunter' configuration, and is the base model of the M85.   The Sako company was founded in 1921, and has since picked up the Tikka brand, which is the 'economy' line of the company's offerings.  Sako was absorbed into the Beretta Holding Company of Italy in 2000.  Beretta dates its firearms manufacturing to the year 1526.

The M85 is touted to be a 'controlled round feed' action with three locking lugs on the bolt head providing for an approximate 60 degree bolt lift to cycle the action.  While the cartridge does indeed slide upward into the bolt head slot as it exits the magazine and is captured by the extractor as it slides into the chamber, there are those who argue that it is not truly 'controlled round feed' ala the old Mauser bolt action and it's many near clones.  I'll leave that debate to the experts.  I like the rifle and am pleased to be able to add it to my modest collection!

Of course, the addition of the Sako will require further activity with Leopold in Oregon to obtain mounts, rings, and a scope.  This will be an excellent excuse for more gunfire as I will now try to include the Sako in the test firing of the Cooper and Browning that I've been delaying for far too long!  As I keep saying, "More on this later."

Both Mother's day and Father's day have come and gone since my last newsletter.  Rick, Christi, and Jennifer came up as they usually do on both those days for a short celebration.  That celebration always includes a gift of flowers and tomato plants for Ann and a Cabela's gift card for me.  I haven't spent my gift card yet and Ann's tomato plants are doing well!

Ann's Tomato plants must be kept on the deck else the deer will eat them, and we also hope for ripe tomatoes before the frost gets them


Big smile anticipating spending that gift card

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote Little Heifer found on the internet somewhere:

"Don't make excuses for nasty people.  You can't put a flower in an a$$hole and call it a vase."

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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