I can’t help but think of John Lennon singing, “Happiness is a warm gun, bang, bang, shoot, shoot.”
However I “cherished” (maybe too strong a word) the 20 gauge Remington 870 pump gun which my father gave me for Christmas after I became obsessed with quail hunting in Missouri.
My Dad never owned guns but managed to find a used shotgun for me. Our neighbor, Walter Shaw, said”God, that just looks like a perfect bird gun.”
And it was, lightweight and perfect for hunting bobwhite quail.
Returning to Missouri, I put it in a case and flew from Albany to New York City. I hatched a plan to do a Holden Caulfieldesque stay in New York. I rode buses and subway into Manhattan, shotgun in tow. This was 1966, never could happen today of course. The shotgun was not loaded but I did have a box of shells in my suitcase.
When I checked into The New Yorker Hotel the bellhop looked apprehensively at the gun case.
“Whattya got there?”
On the airplane to St. Louis you simply hand the gun to the stewardess and she puts it in the pilot’s cabin. You retrieve it as you leave the plane.
That shotgun stood me well on my many quail hunts in Missouri.
Many years later when I came upon some hard times, I pawned the shotgun.
I let my Dad know that and he never forgave me.