I’ve been shooting since 3-4 years of age, at first under the supervision of my father.  Later while in the 8-9th grade I’d strap my cased Remington 582 .22 tube fed (holds 16 long rifle .22’s) to the crossbar I welded on the handlebars of my Schwinn Stingray, and pedal my way to Lincoln Jr. High School in Santa Monica.  Once there I’d lock my bike, carry the rifle into the school building and lock it in my locker.  The only reason my teachers didn’t want it in the classroom is because they were afraid I’d be fiddling with it.

 

 

 

I’ve been shooting since 3-4 years of age under the supervision of my father. Later while in the 8-9th grade I’d strap my cased Remington 582 .22 tube fed (holds 16 long rifle .22’s) to the crossbar I welded on the handlebars of my Schwinn Stingray, and pedal my way to Lincoln Jr. High School in Santa Monica. Once there I’d lock my bike, carry the rifle into the school building and lock it in my locker. The only reason my teachers didn’t want it in the classroom is because they were afraid I’d be fiddling with it.

 

 

 

Imagine being able to do that. I was also a volunteer audio visual geek who set up projectors and tape recorders of all types in classrooms because the teachers didn’t know how to run them.   AV headquarters was in the basement next to where the students filed down to get their text books from.  One side was the textbook area, another was the room with all the AV gear, and then there was another long closed off.  Of course I had to know what was in there.  One day I brought some dirty clothes and started rummaging with a friend.  Removing a large stack of old books revealed a room which opened up into a cavernous area stretching back further than the light would allow us to see.   The smell was a mix of mildew  and wet concrete and spider webs were everywhere. 

 

Hmm.. Iooking around I noticed an old gate type light switch but it didn’t do anything.  I noticed an older screw in fuse block above it but no fuses.  The next day I’d brought one from home, screwed it in, and flipped the switch.  I was instantly rewarded with almost 50 bright but dust covered bulbs firing up at different speeds revealing a series of lanes with cables running down each.  Eureka!  I’d discovered the schools long forgotten about rifle range.  Rummaging around some more I discovered a wood locker with a padlock I easily snapped off because the wood was rotten.. and inside was about a dozen .22 rifles in various states of disrepair.

 

Now think about this.  A kid who took their rifle into a school building with the full permission from the dean so he could visit the nearby city rifle range after school.  And this same kid discovers what would today be called “an arsenal of assault weapons” PLUS AMMO (about 5000 rounds of .22 shorts).  Imagine the outcry, the lawsuits.. my gosh what a bag of giant sized worms I’d stirred up.

 

I safety checked each and every rifle because frankly I didn’t trust the teachers know-how on the subject and rummaged further finding over 5000 rounds of .22 short rifle ammo in the same locker.  I carefully separated the ammo from the guns and asking a friend to stand watch I went and dragged down an unbelieving dean who thought I was playing yet another hoax.. not that I was known for such things..                       okay I was..

 

In my head I was envisioning cleaning up the range and starting a shooting club.  In the deans head he was envisioning the bad publicity when he notified the police department.  Voicing his fears I simply said he should do it on a weekend when no one was here.  This is why he loved me so much,  I always had great ideas.  And so he did.  The police removed the “offending items” from the building and during the course of their conversation it somehow (thanks Dean!) it came up that I often brought my rifle to school.

 

No one was alarmed, but they did caution the Dean that this was probably not a good idea and of course he had to make a new rule that was read over the PA system with all my fellow students looking at me knowing I somehow was the cause of this length sermon..  Oh well..

 

I treasured those times at the range after school. With my parents having divorced and without any real supervision in my life at that point much less male mentoring, those days at the range were special.  I’d lose myself and all my troubles as I settled behind that rifle.  It was a beautiful thing and to this day nothing is better therapy for what ails me.  Full grown men would watch me shoot that old rifle wishing they could do as well, and betting with them kept me supplied in .22 ammo.  The beauty of a tube fed .22 is that it can shoot virtually any type of .22 ammo. Long rifles, short rifles, etc.. Today I think they just wanted to keep the poor kid without a dad to take him to the range shooting flush with ammo.  And what a generous mindset that was.  But I really did beat them..    maybe..

 

Do you have any similar stories?  Would you like to share them on this site?  Email me and we’ll make it happen.

 

Until next time..