» Remembering…

By on July 24, 2021

Around 1971 may parents and I took a trip to Spain. My Dad had wanted to go for years, as he still had some distant cousins in Barcelona. A Spanish friend/business partner had told us if we passed thru Valencia, to stop and visit with his family. So we planned on it and did just that.

Once there the Old Spanish mans family didn’t treat us like family… Royalty was more like it! Going as far as loaning us one of the families apartments for our stay. To do this, they temporarily evicted a young couple from said apartment!

We were also given guides by the family to show us around town. As it happens there was some festival for some miraculous Saint going on at the time and the town was in full party swing! S it happened, just down the street from our loaned apartment was the main fair

Back then shooting galleries were part of every festival/fair…now I had been given both a BB-gun and a single shot .22LR rifle for my 7th birthday …and I LOVED to shoot them! This fair was no exception, and not being big on rides even then, that was where I went!

I too had an escort for the fair, a young daughter of one of the family and she asked me if I knew how to shoot. I told her, “A little bit…” and she said, “Here I’ll buy you the first round, do you think you can get me that stuffed animal?” and pointed to big teddy bear type animal. A “round” it turned out an even dozen pellets. No real firearms, air rifles. I told her, sure, l would try.

She goes and buy the round and the attendant shows me how to load the rifle and hands me 12 pellets. The set of targets for the stuffed animal in question was ping pong balls set on little metal stands. I loaded up, lined up the sights and squeezed the trigger…the rifle popped…and the shot went low and left. The girl looks at me and said “You said you could shoot! You missed!” I told her the sights were off, but now that I know where it shoots…she just looked at me like I was a liar.

Well the next 11 shots knocked 11 ping pong balls off. I looked at the attendant and he says, since you missed one you don’t win anything. I said ok, give me 24 more shoots, and I paid for it this time.

The result was 24 more ping pong balls flying around. So I got the little girl her animal and one more.

So I bought more pellets.

In fact I used all the pesetas my Dad had given me to buy pellets.

For the next 3 hours I knocked EVERYTHING down that the gallery had TO knock down. Ping pong balls, bottles, rolling metal animals, didn’t matter. It went down. After the first 30 minutes the attendant said he had to change out my rifle. I knew he was lying, but it was his stand, so I got a new rifle.

This one shot to the right. Once again it took one shot to figure it out and I continued devastating the gallery. The attendant was in tizzy. He never thought this 10 year old kid could shoot like I could. Finally, I told him, “Look, I just want to shoot and I’m having fun, keep your prizes.” He relaxed visibly and said ok.

By the end the day the little girl was bringing people by to see young American kid shoot…and by evening half the town was gathered around the gallery to watch me shoot. And me? I was having a BLAST!

The gallery attendant made out well in the end, because he had people trying to out shoot me. In fact he asked me to stop by the next day and I could shoot for free as long as I didn’t miss more than 5 shots.

I didn’t.

Blog Essential Training Featured

Related Posts

Post Your Comments