Curns

Classic Curns
Classic Curns

There are people that come into your life that profoundly impact you! Curns is the single most profound man ever to impact my life!

Curns just turned 70 years old this last month. He is an old fart! He is one of those guys you can call an old fart because he is about as secure a man as I have ever met. Plus if he wanted to kill you he just would. Curns is black and white, love or hate,  just a clear thinking old history teacher with a penchant for the Indian Wars. He taught on the Sioux Rez and the Navajo Rez and was dearly loved on both! He has great sayings like “dig deep puppy on bottom” from his days eating with the Sioux and great stories from his childhood. Curns saved my life once…and grabbed a bucket for me to puke in after I drank too much Tequila. He nicknamed me “bucket boy” cause I was puking in the bucket! Curns knows my secrets and I know some of  his! It is a friendship that few ever develop! Cigars and good whiskey!

Curns was in Vietnam. The bucket boy night – he told me stories I will never repeat. He explained things that I will never experience – like if a guy in his squad was a screw-up and might get them all killed – they shot him in the leg and sent him home. Of Course, this was told in detail – fascinating detail! He told me how he came home from Vietnam and was pretty strung out. He carried a big 357 mag everywhere he went – even to a barn dance where he was walking across the dance floor drew his 357 spun around and fired into the rafters. The music stopped, the dancing stopped, and a rat dropped from the rafters…not a Vietnamese soldier but ya get the point.63546_1460725531060_7853322_n

Curns served our country. He never told me about any medals or any awards – although I am sure there are a few! But he did remind me the other day of my favorite Curns story! I wish I could remember it better but it goes something like this –

This fat lady would walk a 1/2 mile to the post office everyday – down a path that cut past Curns childhood home on the prarie. She would waddle her way down the path with her big ole rolls rolling along. Curns and his buddy thought it would be fun to see if she could run! Curns hid in the tall grass one day and began to pepper her with his BB Gun. Well she took off running proving that a fat lady can run! But the best part of the story is classic old skool America – when Curns dad came home from work that night he walked in and took Curns’  BB gun and wrapped it around a tree!

Curns and I have shared many many stories – and a couple odd supernatural occurrences on the Rez. I owe him my life and wonder how many others do too – Curns is a man like they used to make men…and this is my way of saying thanks for standing up for me when my chips were down. I never forget that day!

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My first gun –

I am sure I will be moved to the top of the government “watch list” after writing about my first gun! Humor aside –

My derringer
My derringer

I was eight years old and my father had bought a Daisy BB gun for me when I was seven. My mother had forbidden him to give it to me until I was at least ten! My dad wore the pants in the family and compromised and gave it to me with 500 BB’s on my eighth birthday! I shot it for years till I wore it out! I still have one BB in my hand to this day – lesson learned. That was my first BB gun! I received a Marlin 22 when I was ten years old and an Ithaca 12 gauge when I was twelve! (My father had me buy the Ithaca Featherlight from my Uncle Tom for $50 dollars to teach me guns cost money.)

But my grandfather Kalman paved the way for my BB gun by making me a wooden gun when I was six! I had been reading about cowboys and Indians and I just had to have a derringer. My grandfather, pipe in hand, gave me a piece of plywood to draw my derringer on so he could cut it out. I remember the smell of fresh cut wood mixed with apple pipe smoke. Finished, he chased me off to play with the other Hungarian kids in the neighborhood. I still have my derringer 43 years later along with another gun he cut from scrap for a neighbor kid.

I remember taking it to school for show and tell and all the kids thought it was cool. I remember taking it everywhere with me – church,profile_336374526_75sq_1364330036 school, the grocery store, Ponderosa Steak House (and ya wonder why I like the nickname Hoss). I loved that little gun but I had been raised to respect guns. Our home was full of hunting rifles, pistols from WW2 complete with swastikas and a history. I was raised to respect guns, beer, my parents, and above all God.

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