Sporting Classics Digital

Jan/Feb 2017

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A t first glance, this Dick Stone illustration is pure nostalgia, a glimmer of the past, a window into a time long gone-by. Five men gather at their gun club—friends, even hunting buddies, judging from the ease of their stance and smiling dispositions. Each is casually dressed in a sports jacket and flannels or corduroys and, of course, a tie—standard leisurewear of the day. The fellow in the apron is turning a succulent roast on the electric spit—he obviously prides himself as a cook, hence the chef's hat, and his specialty is, of course, wild game. Maybe he's preparing a haunch of venison, likely from a buck taken a month or so before. It's probably January since no holiday decorations hang about the clubhouse, and the deer was obviously taken up North, where deer grow big. Why, that whitetail would have had to dress out at 160 pounds, maybe better, to warrant a .270 Winchester cartridge fired from the Winchester Model 70 the gent in the navy blazer's cradling. Deer that size can't generally be had south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The SporTing Life by Laurie bogarT WiLeS The GenTlemen's Gun club – One Of These men cOuld be yOu. The older man pointing out the attributes of the Model 70 could be Jack O'Connor. Now, there's a thought. Throughout the 31 years he served as Outdoor Life's Shooting Editor, he sang the praises of the .270 Winchester. Bet that Model 70's chambered for .270 Winchester, just right for a 10-point buck, and it's a pre-64 judging from the cut checkering, so that rifle would have had a Mauser-type controlled-round feed. That means this scene was set in the early '60s, maybe before. The man in the club chair . . . surely that could be Corey Ford. He never went anywhere without his pipe. Were this a gathering of the Lower Forty Shooting, Angling and Inside Straight Club that Ford brought to countless millions in the pages of Field & Stream from 1953 till his death in 1969, then the conversation would have gone something like this: "Cooking is an age-old instinct of the human male, dating way back to the time when he was a little boy and used to roast potatoes in a bonfire." "As a rule," Mister MacNab observed, "his cooking hasna impr-r-roved much since." Judge Parker frowned. "I agree with the Colonel," he began. "The average man would rather cook than eat." "'Specially when he has to eat his own cookin'," interrupted Uncle Perk. "Beneath his derby hat lurks a white chef's cap," the Judge continued. "For instance, just give me a chance to roll up my sleeves and get out there in the kitchen and start mixing around with the pots and pans," he insisted, "and I'll turn out a dish that will make my wife turn green with envy." "She'll turn green," Doc Hall remarked, "but not with envy." Could these men have been the members of The Lower Forty? Probably not. Judge Parker stood six-foot-four in his stocking feet. Mister MacNab—well, that was Donald Ross, Ford's bird-hunting buddy and New Hampshire neighbor, the renowned Scottish-American golf course architect. Ross would have returned to Pinehurst for the winter season already. Uncle Perk always wore green boiled wool pants and a black-and-red- 64 • S P O R T I N G C L A S S I C S

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