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Author Topic: Birthday present for a friend  (Read 531 times)

Online Darren Haverstick

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Birthday present for a friend
« on: September 14, 2019, 10:04:56 PM »


I finished this arm guard last night for my good friend, John Pruitt, who will turn 79 next Sunday. Mr. Pruitt is an accomplished bowyer and gunsmith and I have whole room full of his bows and flintlocks to attest to his skills. He's also as windy as a sack full of politicians which brings me to the story behind this arm guard.

John never lets an opportunity go by to tell me some tale. Over the years I have known him, most of these tales I have heard many times. This one is no exception. John claims that anyone can hit a big target like a deer or moose but it takes exceptional skill to hit something really small like the time he killed 811 field mice with his bow in one year. Mr. Pruitt swears that all these kills were confirmed by his friends who, conveniently, are all dead now so I will just have to take his word for it. When I first heard this story, some 15 years ago or so, I think the number was quite a bit less than 811. But that is the number he is going with now so I have recorded it on the back of his arm guard for posterity's sake. John also has a sweet tooth so I will have to send him some homemade cookies or brownies to go with the arm guard. Otherwise, he will be calling me up and whining that he was slighted on his special day. That man is like a Walker hound - you make the mistake of feeding him once and now you have to feed him for life!

Arm guard specs: The backing is made from vegetable tanned cowhide and the facing is hippo hide. The yellow trim is moose hide that, ironically, came from the one I killed with my longbow in 2015. The field mouse was laser etched onto a piece of deer hide by my friend, Chad Thomas, at Springfield Leather Company. I carved the lace hooks out of deer antler and sewed everything up by hand using artificial sinew.

Darren

Offline Oldetexian

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 08:04:31 AM »
 :hairy
WOW! Beautifully done, Darren! What a wonderfully thoughtful present. You are truly a great friend. ANd I loved the story behind the armguard. That just was the icing on top of the cake.

I have to admit that when I first saw the field mouse I was a tad confused :Doh! I recognized it was a mouse, but thought it was a strange decoration for an armguard. You story cleared it up.

Again, well done, my friend!  :toast
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Ray Buchanan

Online Winter Hawk

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 10:15:57 PM »
Great story, and a beautiful arm guard!  I saw the "811 Confirmed Kills" and mosquitoes came to mind, until I read the text!

~WH~
NMLRA Life
"All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse and a good wife." - D. Boone
USN June 1962-Nov. 65, USS Philip, DD-498

Offline SharpStick

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 02:28:32 PM »
I read this in the specs, "the facing is hippo hide", and immediately started wondering how does anyone skin a hippopotamus.   :laffing
The trouble with doing things right the first time is no one realizes how hard it was.
Often, however, the following is more applicable.
I stand corrected, a position somewhat painful to achieve, but once there, is quite satisfying.



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Online Darren Haverstick

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 07:22:23 AM »
I read this in the specs, "the facing is hippo hide", and immediately started wondering how does anyone skin a hippopotamus.   :laffing

My first guess would be with one very sharp knife!

Darren

Online Darren Haverstick

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 10:28:02 AM »


Here is John in all his glory. I don't think anyone cooks in his family so I sent him a pan of brownies and a do-it-yourself birthday party kit along with the leather work. He received his box of goodies yesterday and was very pleased with the contents. I told him to send me a photo of him celebrating and this is what I got. It sure made my day!

Darren

Online Winter Hawk

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2019, 09:26:06 PM »
You're sure a nice guy!  That was a very kind gesture on your part....

~Kees~
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Online Uncle Russ

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Re: Birthday present for a friend
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2019, 05:37:28 PM »


Here is John in all his glory. I don't think anyone cooks in his family so I sent him a pan of brownies and a do-it-yourself birthday party kit along with the leather work. He received his box of goodies yesterday and was very pleased with the contents. I told him to send me a photo of him celebrating and this is what I got. It sure made my day!

Darren

I like this!
It speaks volumes, showing a kind and thoughtful giver, and a very thankful person receiving the attention....very nice.
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