Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thanks for your service, Jay, and for the introduction


I was sitting on the patio with my dog a few minutes ago when I suddenly flashed on a memory of the first real gun I ever got my hands on.

From the time of my birth until the spring of my third grade year, we lived at 609 East Franklin Street in Delphi, Ind. There was a big brick double across the alley to the east of our house that was occupied at one point by the Taylors and the Kents.

Jay Taylor had been a bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and his government issue M1911A-1 semiautomatic pistol lived in the top right drawer of a desk near the back door of the family’s apartment.

His daughter Jeannie, who was the same age as I was, showed it to me when we were probably five or six years old. I thought it was pretty cool, even if it wasn’t a revolver like Hopalong Cassidy carried. I was also puzzled by its single-action design because nothing happened if you pulled the trigger.

I have no idea if it was loaded, but it’s a good thing I didn’t know you had to cock the hammer to make the trigger function. I’d like to think Jay kept it unloaded, but there is the possibility that it had a full seven rounds in the magazine. I knew nothing about the safety lever, so it may or may not have been on.

I guess it made a big impression on me because I’ve had a version of the Colt 1911 for several years. Mine is the Combat Commander with a shorter barrel than the military version and is equipped with a CrimsonTrace laser sight.

I think Jay would have been impressed.

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