My brother was down here for a few days visiting our parents. Its always fun when he's in town because he wants to get out of their house as soon as he gets here. Dad has Pick's disease. Its a form of dementia like Alzheimer's but it only destroys the frontal lobe or something like that. So our Dad is up all night talking to the furniture, addressing crowds that aren't there and looking for a glass of water everywhere but the kitchen.
During the day he bitches about everything. I don't mean everything that happens either. I mean EVERYTHING. He will go off on a 15 minute tirade about how long he's tried to teach "you people" to set the salt shaker on the table with the label facing out so people will know what it is but he can't teach "you people" anything. Hide the salt shaker and he bitches about the next thing his eyes fall on. It goes on all day. Sometimes he's up 20 hours straight thanking the furniture for being so loyal and addressing crowds all night and then bitching about whatever catches his attention all day. So my brother and I take road trips. It doesn't usually matter where we go as long no bitching is involved. The first trip this time around was to Micanopy.
Micanopy is known for two things. Its where they filmed most of the Doc Hollywood movie and they have this restaurant where girls from the University of Florida dance nekked. They have billboards all up and down I-75 that say "We Bare All."
So we went to an old book store in Micanopy.
O. Brisky's bookstore looks like one of those musty old bookstores you see in spy movies where the mild-mannered old store owner is really the master spy. They have a lot of books and usually have more gun and shooting books than I can afford. (Not that I can afford much). This time around I had to choose between buying a book by Wayne Van Zwoll, some other book I can't remember and a 1943 book on advanced gunsmithing. I bought the 1943 book. Funny; I found pictures of the inside of O. Brisky's on Google but didn't find any of the inside of the Cafe Risque'.
Anyway, Advanced Gunsmithing for Amateur and Professional Gunsmiths by W. F. Vickery is small but it has a ton of stuff in it. Other books I have bought will just say things like "to lower the bolt handle to clear a scope, either bend it or cut it off and weld it back on lower" but they don't tell you a damned thing about how to go about doing either. This book tells you and has diagrams to show you. Most helpful for someone like me who has only the most general ideas about what he's doing.
One thing that I found gratifying was that the book talks about how to set back the barrel on a bolt action rifle and its exactly what I figured out for myself several years ago. A lot of stuff that takes expensive machine tools to do nowadays was done with simple hand tools back then. It seems that in our quest for the ultimate in precision, we've saddled ourselves with 1,500 pound lathes when a good stout tap wrench might do just as well for guns that don't need match-winning accuracy.
From Micanopy, we went over to Cross Creek to look at Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's house. Its open 9 to 5 seven days a week except that if you actually want to go inside you have to make an appointment and pay three bucks a head for a guided tour. Having no appointment, we didn't get in and decided to go see old Marjorie to let her know what we thought of being locked out after such a long trip.
There's a few local stories about Marjorie that don't generally crop up when you are doing your third grade book report on The Yearling. You don't get to read about her propensity to get in a row boat and row across Orange Lake to drink moonshine at a fish camp on the Marion County side. Cross Creek is in Alachua County and Alachua County used to be dry. Not so on the other side of the lake. You also won't hear about her foul mouth when she was addressing the students at the Ft. McCoy School. She definitely was a character.
Of course, when we found her, the old gal wasn't in any condition to help us get a look inside her house. I definitely don't want her giving me a guided tour of anywhere.
There were several Confederate Graves in the same cemetery. All of them had little US flags on them. We will return some time in the near future to adorn them with something more appropriate.
Somehow, in the midst of that trip and several smaller ones, I found time to assemble more 10 gauge shells. I have enough for at least one day of ducks. By the end of the first ducky day, I'll know whether my 10 gauge experiment is a success.
Another trip took us to a bunch of flooded springs along the Suwanee River and up to MacClenny. Although it was probably more sane than my Parent's house, we didn't go there for the State Mental Hospital. We went to the Dixie Outfitters Store and Barber Shop downtown.
My brother gets T-shirts with pictures of the Hunley or Stonewall Jackson on them. He wears them everywhere and really gets a kick out of "tolerant" liberals getting all flustered over them. I've always wanted a few too. I got one with the C.S.S. Florida, a Stonewall Jackson and a Confederate Special Delivery via 3" Ordnance Rifle. Now I am as politically incorrect as anybody.
And no, I ain't no Neo-Confederate. There's nothing "Neo" about it.
Along the way we found time to look up a long-lost relative in LaCrosse.
The brother in law is going to use a 16 gauge Browning for his ducks this year and I even managed to roll a few 16 gauge shells for him.
I'll have to write a short post about the 10 and 16 gauge loading but this wasn't too bad for a couple of weeks of just goofing around in my spare time. With the three day weekend coming up I might just tackle putting the 20 gallon gas tank on Ruth, the old Jeep.