Saturday, October 11, 2014

Granddad's Gun

Archer, like Sherm, has a grail gun in mind that has no duplicate. It doesn't matter if they made millions of them, the one he wants belongs to his Granddad.

It happens to be a Colt 1911. That's all he told us about it. Here's one of the testing prototypes. All the 1911s and most of the semi-auto pistols that came after this owe something to Browning's design.

But only one of them belongs to Archer's Grandfather.

There's a concept I learned about in Aikido, called Wabi, or more correctly, Wabi-Sabi. It is the idea that a thing can have a rightness to it, in it's place. Like an old barn on a hillside, a small white church with a steeple that you see on a country road, or perhaps an old gun, well used, with a history to it.
Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance. It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to the object. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.
From an engineering or design point of view, wabi may be interpreted as the imperfect quality of any object, due to inevitable limitations in design and construction/manufacture especially with respect to unpredictable or changing usage conditions; then sabi could be interpreted as the aspect of imperfect reliability, or limited mortality of any object, hence the phonological and etymological connection with the Japanese word sabi, to rust. 
(bolded text for emphasis)
I know this term, think I understand it and I would absolutely apply it to the Archer's grail gun.

Because I know what it means to him. I have my Granddad's Browning designed pistol. The one he carried every time he went hunting, worn and well-used. It is not a 1911. It's a Colt Woodsman, one of many thousands made and yet there is only one. He's been gone for a lot of years now, but I remember him every time I take his pistol to the range.

This grail gun is both priceless and attainable. It will not depend on money, it is just time and chance.


Sherm said...

There's just one word difference in these grail guns. Most want "a" while a few want "the."

J Bogan said...

My father, later in his life sold off my Gradfathers never fired Ithaca 1911, and Samurai sword... And he sold the 1911 off for the price of a beater. We have not found any trace of the sword. I know who has the 1911, but as of now, they are not parting with it. Grrrrr.

LoFan John said...

Sherm: "A" gun usually is available at a price (for the "grail" guns, a high price). "The" gun tends to be priceless. "A" Marlin 39A would never mean to me what my father's Marlin, his reliable meat harvester for many years, does. If I didn't have it, I couldn't buy it, rich uncle or no rich uncle.

NotClauswitz said...

Time and chance = patience. It's about the journey as much as the object, there must be some resistance to p overcome.

selsey.steve said...

I know the feeling only too well.
When my father purchased a farm on the banks of the Kafue river in Zambia, included in the purchase were a shot-gun, a .22 rifle and "the" gun, a broom-handle Mauser firing the original 7.63×25mm Mauser round. All serial numbers, including the one on the holster-cum-stock matched. The firearms license gave the manufacture date as 1923. It had a dozen of more empty stripper clips and half-a-dozen clips still holding their original rounds.
I purchased some ammunition from Italy and got to fire the pistol. What a beauty! My father had learned of the history of the pistol, it had lived with the Rogers family on the farm from new and had been involved in some hair-raising moments.
He promised the pistol to me but when he died I was working in the Far East. I arrived back in Zambia a week after his death. A few days after his funeral I discovered that my nephew had had the pistol transferred to his name only two days after my father's death and had sent the pistol to his house in Lusaka.
I have not seen the pistol since.
It is THE "grail gun" for me.

Archer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archer said...

Our family is about half gunnies, half not. Granddad will not part with any of his guns until he leaves this Earth, and then who gets them is left to the will, or a toss-up.

When it's all said and done, though, I'd still rather have Granddad.

Just like his Colt 1911 that is my "grail gun", there are millions of grandfathers like him, but only one of him.