Sporting Miscellany

As the Peculiars are here with grandbaby Eli I shall continue my slackerish blog- sloth for a bit more, but I have harvested a number of cool images to share. So with no further ado:

Colonel Charles Askins was a more ambiguous character than the other Golden Age gunwriters; he once described himself as a “sociopath”. Charlie Waterman once told me that he was the only evil person he ever met, and his darker side shows in the character based on him in Stephen Hunter’s Pale Horse Coming. On the other hand, he was endlessly kind to a friend of mine who grew up in San Antone (where he spent his retirement), when Mark was a child.

And he had great taste in guns. I have coveted this baroque monster of a ten- bore, best- quality AyA since I first read of it in the Seventies and now it is up for sale, unfortunately with an estimate of over $20,000! Somewhere there also exists its companion, a sidelock over- and- under that may be the only one ever built in ten…

We have seen blog- friend and all- ’round sportsman (pointers, falcons, fine guns, even Spanish pouters!) Daniel’s dogs and hawks here before. Here he is (on the big gray) at a field trail with pointer Ferd– and I think that is fellow blogger Mike Spies on the ground…

Berkutchi Lauren McGough*, who we are proposing as a Fellow for the

8 thoughts on “Sporting Miscellany”

  1. Upon reading Askins' memoir Unrepentant Sinner, my first thought was that his editors were not paid enough. What a mess. He wrote that book without editorial assistance because he hated editors, who he claimed ruined his work.

    I have been thinking about roe deer stalking for years. I think they are cool animals. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  2. My 1st cut at 'evil supressors' would be to bring in different land use patterns and the resulting diffs in game law enforcement. I don't think it gets things all the way explained, but it's part (I think) of the story.

  3. You are privileged to have known Charlie Waterman. I'd always heard that he was one heckuva nice guy. A recently departed old friend guided Waterman years ago in Montana with another well-known author who wrote dialogue in italics. There were several trout authors in the group. While Charlie was as pleasant to be around as he could be, the other fellow bitched about the free wine.

  4. Charlie (and don't forget his wife Debie, who Ed Gray's successor at GSJ edited to "Debbie" on the apparent grounds that Charlie did not know how to spell the name of his wife of 50 plus years) was the best. Sometime Libby must tell the tale of how he introduced her to Florida on my request, showing her her first cardinal and alligator among other things.

    Or the time he showed Betsy H and I his best fishing holes near Deland. Or his tales of the "natural" pointer, or of the wilder days of the Montana literati ("good boys, but they sometimes get a little crazy…"

    They don't make his kind any more.

  5. Love all the stories about old hunting buddies and stalking roe deer – but how could you miss that beautiful photo from Turkmenistan … the dog is a mystical color, the hawk (falcon?) is appropriately ready for his close up and the human is obviously delighted with everything … Love it!

    Black Dog Lady

  6. Askins probably was a sociopath — but that puts him in good company with any number of gunslingers. Many of the hard men we romanticize have/had sociopathic tendencies; such tendencies are useful for those for whom a hesitation to kill (which almost all of us have) could be fatal.

    Re: Editors. I are one, so I'm biased, but I could reel off a list of authors who got "too big to edit" (Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Wilbur Smith) whose work suffered as a result. I also know some folks who respond very poorly to editorial suggestions — and they share certain other traits with Askins.

    Jim Cornelius


Leave a Comment