Sunday, September 28, 2008

Play all their red neck games...

Come January, we will have been here in Kentucky for five years. It is hard to believe it has been that long! Times flies when you are having fun, I guess. In this time I have been able to remain a Yankee through and through. I proudly wear my New York Yankees shirts, although I get remarks wherever I go. I know they did not do so well this year, but I figured if Red Sox fans could support their team through 86 “rough” years I could be loyal through one tough year.

I am currently the leader of the Men’s Ministry team at my church. In order to get the men in our church together, it requires doing some things that I am unfamiliar with (a Wild Game Dinner for example). Many of the men in our church are hunters and during the hunting season, they are hard to find. Almost every one of them has a truck and if you don’t need a ladder to get into it, it isn’t BIG enough. So in an effort to have a fellowship gathering for the men, we organized a Clay Pigeon Shoot for yesterday. It went from noon to about 3:30 and it was a potluck.

I arrived shortly after 12 with four boxes of clay pigeons, which are conveniently sold at Wal-Mart. Of course, the first Wal-Mart I went to only had one box, so I had to drive about five miles to the next Wal-Mart to get the rest. The people in the first Wal-Mart knew I had no clue what I was doing, but after “hunting” them down there, I was able to go right to them in the second store.

I am from an Italian family in Rhode Island and I brought pasta to the potluck. Everyone else brought chili, deer salami, fried chicken or wild turkey pot pie! Eating here is a little different from what I got back in RI! It is good to branch out and I had a little of everything (and a lot of some things).

After our meal, we ventured over to the field where all the men had pulled their trucks into a line. We had two clay pigeon shooters and about 30 shot guns. Everyone came fully armed and ready to go. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and when they handed me a pair of ear plugs, I knew I was in for a new adventure.

One of the more experienced hunters gave a brief instruction before we started and then I mounted a truck and loaded one of the shooters (it launched the clay targets) which was located in the bed of the truck. We started off slowly as the older gentlemen were teaching the younger gentlemen (6 or 7 year olds) how to shoot. Once they got a few shots in, we were off. Each box of clay pigeons contains 90 disks…we launched all four boxes!

After about 30 minutes of launching, I was asked if I wanted to try it. Who was I to say “no”? I was given some instructions like, “don’t point it at me!” and “this is where you load it” and I was off and shooting. The majority of the weapons were 12 gauge shot guns, and I got to shoot three different ones. Once I got a little more instruction like, “shoot as soon as you see it in the sights” I actually began to hit the pigeons! I was waiting until I had the shot lined up, but I learned that the closer the target, the better chance of hitting it, even if you're not perfectly lined up.

All in all it was a good day. The weather started out a little cloudy, but by the time we started to shoot, the sun had come out. We called it quits about 3:30 and I was pretty tired and bruised by that point. I went home and took a shower and rested the remainder of the day.

When I got home, my wife noticed that I had gotten some sun by the color of my skin. We were in the sun for most of the time and I was a little red on my face and my neck…so I am a true “red neck!”


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Wow!! I'm proud of you, Mike! I've never been to a clay pigeon shoot. We usually just went out in the woods and shot squirrels. (Well, my brother shot them, I just watched). But I can shoot a mean tin can off a fence post! = )

I'm wondering what color your shoulder is and how it's feeling today? = )

Tech Daddy said...

Pasta to a "red neck" potluck? After 5 years I would have thought you would have known better :-).

Sounds like a lot of fun was had. Way to kill those defenseless clay pigeons. Glad to hear that your beginning to fit in to the local culture. I've been here (RI) 11 years and I'm still not sure if I fit in. I just don't stick out as much anymore.