I was talking to my Mom about Dad's old gun yesterday, and got a little more history about it.
The story about how Grandpa King came to own the gun is probably like many other stories from those times, and could be a good indication of things to come.
It's the time of the Great Depression in America. Jobs are scarce, part time work was almost impossible to find. Homes were lost and families , unable to feed themselves, left the cities looking for work in the harvest and and other farm work in the country.
Many of the people that fared the best, although not that much better, were the Farmers that owned their land and were able to at least to grow their own food to feed themselves and their families. Such was the case with Grandpa and Grandma King, who had a small place in the country, complete with some farm animals, such as goats, that helped to furnish food for the family.
The story goes that one day a man and his family, traveling by in a wagon, stopped by and requested a little help from Grandpa king. It seems as though they had no food or money, and one of the children was sick. The mother was no longer able to furnish the milk needed for the child. The father was asking Grandpa King about making doing a trade for one of the milk goats, and although he had no money he did have a nice gun...a Winchester Model 1873. He offered to trade the Winchester to Grandpa King for the milk goat for his family . Both men must have been satisfied with the trade, I'm sure that a handshake sealed the deal because that was the way most business was done with country folk back then. Still is the way that most things are done today with most country folks. A man's word, his handshake...that's all that was needed to do most business.
Anyway, that's the story the best as my Mom remembers it. Grandpa King owned the gun until his death, then the rifle became my father's. Lots of history behind that old gun, as there is with many things that we all have around if we just ask and research a bit.
Wouldn't it be something if we could get back to the old ways of doing things? I'm talking about the way that a man was as good as his word, and a handshake was all it took to do a deal. For most country folks, that way of life is still the case...but for the Folks on the Hill, it is a foreign way of doing things and always will be. Maybe what they need the most, is a small dose of "the common man" in their soul! Maybe that would help...just maybe!
C'mon, my friend...let's get a fresh cup of coffee!