Mint 50 year old Marlin 101 Bolt Action .22 Rifle

During our early March trip to Toledo to visit family, my father and I had a chance to talk about the new hobby that Gail and I have been enjoying. He was surprised we have been shooting guns. I think he enjoyed hearing about our experiences and what we have learned. And then it was his turn to surprise me! He told me that he had purchased a rifle and a shot gun many years ago. He had always kept them (successfully!) hidden from his three boys while we were growing up. I asked him whatever happened to the rifles, and he said he still had them! I was shocked! I remember him talking about guns on a very rare occasion, and mostly it was about removing bullets from people in the operating room. He was a general surgeon and attended to many Friday and Saturday night “specials.” Those seem to be the favorite days for people to shoot each other. But I never saw him involved in shooting sports in any way, shape or form.

He asked if I wanted to see the rifles and I said, “Sure!”. He went up into the attic and came down with a rusty old shotgun, and with a .22 caliber, single shot, bolt action rifle that looked like it was brand new. And that’s because it was as good as new. He told me the rifle had never been shot! He even showed me a little box of bullets that he bought at the same time as the rifle, with all of the bullets still inside. He bought these things in 1962, fifty years ago!

The best part? My dad offered me the rifles, and I eagerly accepted his generosity! 😀

The .22 rifle has the words “J.C. Higgins Model 41” on the barrel. I have since found out that this was a rifle made by Marlin Firearms, a North Carolina company. Marlin rebranded the rifles as “J.C. Higgins” exclusively for Sears. The little box of .22 Long ammunition also was in a Sears box.

I wrote Marlin and was able to get a users manual for the rifle. Though he can’t remember, I was able to find out that my father probably paid about $19 for the rifle in 1962. It is now worth about $125 – $150. I learned from various gun blogs and sites that this was a rifle many kids got from their fathers as their first rifle, to learn about shooting. It is reportedly easy to shoot and remarkably accurate.

So I brought it home and dropped it off at ProShots Range for a cleaning and inspection. The guys at the range had a good little time with it. They said it was in perfect operating condition. I think they were a little jealous. 😉

I have had a chance to shoot the little rifle, and it is indeed very accurate. More than that, it is really fun to shoot! Since it is a .22, there is essentially no kick. It is very quiet. The single shot bolt action is actually fun to work/play with. And the very best part, I know the rifle will always remind me of my father. What a treasure! 😀

The Kelly Crotte and Jason Armstrong Wedding!

March 23rd will be a permanent occasion on my calendar. My daughter Kelly was married three days ago in a beautiful wedding and reception, the stuff of dreams. Really, the whole thing could not have been any nicer!

Kelly wanted a very sunny place for her college studies and chose Arizona State University. That was ten years ago. She loved the Arizona desert so much that she has made it her home. She has long since graduated, has been working full time as a Clinical Research Coordinator, is back in school for an advanced degree, just started a business called Armstrong Adaptations, and while planning for her wedding also completed a half marathon run! She is a busy girl! And somehow she finds time for one of her passions which is salsa dancing. Actually, she was a competitive ballroom dancer in college, and her first job out of college was as a dance instructor. She finds much more joy, though, salsa dancing with her friends at the salsa clubs. And through all that she found the joy of her life, Jason Armstrong, who is now her husband!

So family and friends gathered in Scottsdale, AZ for her wedding last Friday. Here is a picture of Kelly and me in the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, which is where the outdoor wedding and the reception took place. The building in the background is The Clayton on the Park, which is where the reception was held.

The Spring temperature was a lovely, dry 85 degrees during the day, and a very comfortable 70 degrees by 10 PM. Here is a shot of the park between the wedding site and the reception site.

And here is Kelly at a spot on the park known as The Marshall Garden, on the day before her wedding on that exact spot.

And here are some shots of the wedding itself. First, of course, because it’s MY blog, the bride and her father:

The wedding party (photo by Craig Amrine):

The wedding music: (Doesn’t everyone have mariachi love songs at their wedding?)

Walking down the aisle, Karen my ex, Kelly the beautiful bride, and me:

Part of the ceremony:

Dig the red shoes! 😀

The vows (photo by Craig Amrine):

The newly marrieds, Kelly and Jason Armstrong:

…and by photographer Craig Amrine:

All my children and me!

From left to right are my son-in-law Mike, his wife/my pregnant daughter Megan, me, Kelly, Jason, my daughter Ginny, and my son Kevin.

My parents:

And I’ll finish with three more pictures of the beautiful/handsome couple, Kelly and Jason Armstrong! (The first two photos by Craig Amrine.)

Kelly and Jason are two beautiful and outstanding young people! I am proud to welcome Jason into our loving family, just as I know they have welcomed Kelly into theirs. May they live long and prosper, and may the odds be ever in their favor! (The Hunger Games opened on the same day as their wedding.)

I am very happy! 😀

I’ll try to gather reception pictures/movies to share on another post.

Kevin’s Sylvania Triathlon 2011

I made a little trip to Toledo these past few days to watch my son participate in a triathlon. He did the bike leg on a three man team. Each of the guys are particularly good at their respective part.

Kevin has been on bikes since forever. I recently posted these pictures from about 23 years ago:

A few years after that, Kevin competed in his first triathlon. He was pretty young, and he did great! That’s his sister, Kelly, to his right. They did a solid kid’s event swim/bike/run.

And now he’s back to the same place, in Sylvania, Ohio, to compete in his first triathlon as an adult. Here we are before the race.

His teammate Ryan McHugh swam the 1.5 km (0.9 mile) open water swim in 18 minutes, which is an awesome time! Then Kevin biked 40 km (25 miles) in the pouring rain in 1:12, which was also remarkable! And finally, Alex Schoen ran the 10 km (6.2 miles) in 43 minutes, another super performance. They came in 2nd place by just a few minutes.

Here they are, all exhausted looking after the race. 😉

Can you tell I’m pretty damn proud!? Alex recently lost his dad; I know he would have been very proud of Alex as well. These are three really great young guys!!!

Al, Kirsten, Christian and Daniel come to visit!

My brother Al, his wife Kirsten, and their two adorable, energetic boys Christian and Daniel came to Winston for a visit! We spent some quality time together at our house, at City Lake Park in Jamestown, and at a nearby pond. Here are a few images to immortalize our great day and a half!

The boys enjoyed their lego cars, chasing the cat, Gail’s bird feeders, and checking out our massage chair and the rest of our furniture!

The had a bubble bath in our jacuzzi and then cuddled up to a movie.

We went to City Lake Park in Jamestown, NC, at the recommendation of two young-mom therapists at work. (Thank you, Kelli and Robynn!) The kids enjoyed the playgrounds…

… and we rode the train and the merry-go-round!

Later, we hung out at a neighborhood pond, where the boys tried out their 25 cent, garage sale radio controlled boat, Al showed off his casting skills retrieving said boat, and I took a few pictures for Macro Monday.

It was really fun hanging out with the Columbus Crottes. The boys are a riot and my sister in law Kirsten is a dream. My little brother is doing alright! 🙂

Kevin identifies his first Cattle Egret!

Kevin stopped by last week with his friends on their way down to a Florida Keys fishing trip. We had a very nice pre-Father’s day dinner. Then, because he had expressed a little interest in birding, I gave him a copy of The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Who knew that he would start birding so soon! 😀