|1847 Colt-Walker cap & ball black powder revolver. If|
you miss, it makes a great club!
A Buster Douglas Anecdote
He was manager of the gun store/pistol range I worked at back in the 90s. Methodical, with that Germanic/Lutheran stoicism, & a heightened business sense. Wasn't even 25 but mature beyond his years.
He did have his quirks. Very much into the "country" thing. Drove a pickup (Had an 8 track player. Came with the truck.), wore a "duster" & "cowboy" hat. Loved country music (He would get on request lines for songs at least two times older than he was. Made more than one DJ look foolish for not having the desired song.).
When he got into something, he never went half way. At the time of this article, he was deeply commited to black powder shooting. So much so, it was what he carried at the shop: two large replica 1847 Walker Colt cap & ball pistols.(Every three months or so in this country, some idiot tries to hold up a gun store, thus we carried.)
It was rather funny looking. He weighed all of about 120 lbs & had no hips to speak of. Held that gunbelt up by sheer force of will. I once turned from the counter, inadvertantly bumped him & he went flying (I'm not a big guy. I must have been about 175 at the time. Fat old man.). I felt terrible. After about five minutes of apologies he told me to shut up. (What a guy!)
He followed the usual procedure of insuring that a cap & ball revolver would perform properly when needed: Shoot it once a day & clean it. About a couple hours before closing he'd go on the range, fire one off, go to the back room to clean/reload, & repeat with the other one. Quite impressive seeing those hog legs touch off. A loud, low, PHOOM! with accompanying fireball & sparks. A sight to see I'm tellin' ya.
One late summer afternoon, two BIG guys & a couple of young men walk in. The first said he had never been to this range before & could I explain procedure. After going over the range/safty rules they signed in for two booths & entered the range. Right after, a customer walked up to the counter.
"Do you know who that is!?"
"That's Buster Douglas!"
I look at the signed Range Use Agreement. Turns out he, his sparring partner & their sons were having some down time.
Meaning no disrespect to Mr. Douglas, but I was never much into sports of any kind & quit being enthralled by "celebrity" long before. I & the other fellow behind the counter explained that our attitude was that Mr. Douglas (Or anyone of note.) put his pants on one leg at a time like everyone else & probably appreciates it when no one is fawning all over him. We've had "leading lights" come through our doors before. I will say anyone who can pull off a win against Mike Tyson deserves some respect.
After twenty minutes, it was "about that time" to "clean the guns" & off goes the manager to the range (Oh boy! It's nuke time!). He goes to booth one so as not to disturb anybody (Mr. Douglas & Co. were on 9 & 10). Six "Phoom! n' flashes" later, he's in the back room cleaning merrily away.
A few minutes later, the Douglas party comes out to settle up. As they're about to leave, Mr. Douglas asks my fellow counter guy about the pyrotechnic display from a few minutes before. Both he & the owner give a short explanation about black powder firearms.
For several days after, we kidded the manager for putting "the fear of God" into the World Heavyweight Champion. He was not amused. As for Mr. Douglas, I doubt he scares so easily. He seemed a little impressed though.
Article copyright © 2-13-2011 Jay Agan
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