Shooting With Dad

By: Scott Jarvis

As I get older I tend to look back more often at many of the good times I had growing up. Perhaps it’s because time makes us more sentimental, and perhaps it’s simply because the longer we live the more we have to reminisce about. At any rate I’ve found myself thinking about the fun I had growing up, shooting air soft guns with my neighborhood buddies. Many of us owned some type of bb gun or air rifle though there were the obstinate parents who never let their kids own such things however we found that it was always those kids who were most eager to shoot some targets out back.

My parents came for a visit a couple of weeks ago and of course my dad and I spent many hours talking about the things we did together as I was growing up. Naturally, we went right into a conversation about all the shooting we did in days past. As much as I wanted to, I was never allowed to fire my air soft guns alone. My dad was always present to make sure I was being both safe, and courteous to other shooters and to any animals that might have been in our line of fire.

I spent the majority of my youth growing up in Yucca Valley, California which translates into “the middle of nowhere” but this allowed us to do things like shoot in our oversized backyards without having to worry about foot traffic or other houses posing a problem. Most of the time my dad and I spent our time shooting empty soda cans but the occasional neglected and unused toy would end up on the shooting post. Thinking back I have really fond memories of shooting my old toys because for whatever reason both my friends and I laughed uncontrollably when we did dispose of an unwanted toy.

Saturday’s where the day of choice for my father and I. My mother would have the mothers of my friends over for conversation and gossip while my pop would take all of us kids out back for some air soft gun fun. As my father was a busy man I never missed a Saturday afternoon out back with him as this was normally the only free time he had, perhaps this is why I have such fond memories of shooting both with friends and my father. As I get older I am beginning to see that it wasn’t the bb guns or the shooting that I looked forward too, it was the time I got to spend with my dad and even my friends.

My father has gotten on in years though he’s still healthy and to my surprise continues to collect and even shoot air soft guns. Now that he’s retired though he has the luxury of dusting the old guns off and taking a shot at some targets any time he pleases. In fact, during this last visit he actually suggested I buy a new gun, bring my son and head out to his house for a weekend. Though I still own all of the guns I owned as a child they haven’t seen the light of day in close to fifteen years. Needless to say this talk and invitation he gave me really fired me up and my son wants to shoot with Grandpa so we’ll be heading out in early April for some backyard fun. This trip should prove to be both fun and interesting. As a kid I though my dad was the greatest shot this planet had to offer, and though I still believe him to be a solid shot, I’m expecting to give him a run for his money. I even asked my son if he had any old toys he wanted to shoot at but he’s not letting any of those go just yet.

It is indeed fun to look back on the times we enjoyed with loved ones and friends but it’s something entirely different to be doing it again after so many years. They say you can’t go home again, and while I would be inclined to agree with that, I believe that while you may not be able to stay, it sure is nice to visit once in a while.

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