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sarge_257 03-09-2011 01:53 AM

Memories of a famous man.
This story starts when Sarge was only 14 yrs. old. When you live on a farm there is no time for a vacation. Why? Because the cattle must be fed and watered every day, and the cows must be milked. And don't forget the chickens. One time our neighbor came by and asked Sarge's Dad if he and his son could look after the farm as he had to take a trip back to the east coast for a funeral. Dad was always ready to help out our neighbors cause that was the way things were done in farm communities.
The neighbor finally came back a week later and told our family that if we ever wanted to take a vacation he would be happy to take over our chores while we were gone. So Mom and Dad planned a week vacation to California where my Uncle Bill lived (Dad's older brother) While there I met cousins I never knew I had and also found out that my Uncle and his sons liked to go shooting. There was a public range not far from where they lived in Burbank, California and he asked Dad if he would like to go shooting for the afternoon. I was all but hopping up and down trying to tell Dad that I wanted to go I want to go I want to go. So off we went and Uncle Bill brought out a pistol. I had never seen a pistol like that before (this was before television) and Uncle Bill told me that it was a German Lugar, and he had taken it off a German soldier during the War. (WWI) He asked me if I would like to shoot it. Dad and Uncle Bill both gave me strict safety rules and let me handle the gun empty for a while before they would put the ammunition into the magazine. I shot two magazines of 9mm rounds and was the happiest boy on the range.
As my cousins took their turn I wondered around behind the firing line looking at all the empty cartridges on the ground. I found one that was a real funny looking case. I was fat on the bottom but had only a little hole on the top. From it's size I figured out it must be a pistol cartridge. The man that was using that firing lane finished up his shooting and was picking up those funny looking cases. I handed him the one I had found and he asked me if I had ever seen one like it. Well I had only seen one empty pistol case in my life (the 9mm L that I had just shot) and I told him we didn't have any pistols, only rifles and shotguns at our farm.
He explained to me that this funny looking case was an experiment he was working on. It was a 45 acp cartridge that the Colt 1911 auto shoots but he had necked the case down to allow him to put a 38 special bullet in it. The barrel was a .38 super barrel chambered out to the 45acp-38 case. (actually .357 cal.) and it made the bullet go faster and feed better than the old 45 bullet. He called it his 45-38.
Many years later I saw the man's name in the NRA magazine. It was Bo Clerke and his experimental cartridge is listed on page 140 in the very first edition of the Cartridges of the World book by Frank C. Barnes. I have that first edition and I happened to run across the picture of his cartridge which reminded me of that nice man that explained some technical things about guns and ammunition to a young Iowa farm boy.
What made me think of Mr. Clerke this time was, I was putting together some 400 Corbon rounds at my loading bench and it brought back that old memory.
Those of you that know their ammo know that the 400 Corbon is a 45acp case necked down to take a .40 cal. bullet.

VitSports6 03-09-2011 03:11 AM

What a great read!
Thanks :D

Neophyte1 03-09-2011 03:22 PM

sarge_257: Sir, isn't it strange; when sometimes a simple gesture leads.:)

sarge_257 03-11-2011 10:04 PM

Here lately I have been thinking a lot about my life and the things that happened to me from childhood to present. I am up to about 250 short stories and still have more to go. Sometimes some little thing will jog my memory banks and I grab a notebook and put down a quick outline of what happened. I realize that I have not had a normal life as things have happened to me that would probably never happen to the average person. I hope my son will pass on these stories to his children.

Neophyte1 03-12-2011 12:03 AM

Such Fun
sarge_257: Sir, in part; I live through some of your stories. They are fun, honest, with color.
Vividly, your pictures of life; remind me of some of my youth.

All, reading your stories, will enjoy. They are such fun. :) and with moral views; learned through life experiences.

continue writing, continue sharing. :) Thanks

sarge_257 03-14-2011 07:56 PM

Thank you Craig, It makes you wonder what stories and experiences were lost forever before the magic of the internet came into being. I may at times cuss this computer but it has certainly opened up my life in so many positive ways. I hope my humble attempt at writing will give others the courage to put down their thoughts and experiences for all to read. And most importantly for their familes future reference and enjoyment.

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