The Volunteer by Mike McAlpine
Article shared by Bob Johnson
What was all the commotion about over at the clubhouse? Everyone was standing and looking at Bill’s Scorecard. There was a big fat 99 on it, and Bill was proud of his accomplishment.
Bill was a real go-getter, someone who was always there for his sport. One might say that Bill was the perfect member of any club.
On any Saturday you would find Bill out at the club, and he always seemed to beat us there. Our club is like any of a thousand clubs across America. It is really a great place, because all we have to do is shoot. There is no work to be done. The grass is some special type that doesn’t grow much and never has to be mowed or watered. Another amazing thing is that they make those targets we shoot, right there in the skeet houses. There must be a big, old machine in there cranking them out as we sleep because when we are ready to shoot the houses are full. Of course, the ATA, NSSA, and NSCA must always send someone down to put on those registered shoots that we enjoy on Sundays. I am pretty sure that our local newspaper writes the newsletter that we receive every quarter.
Well, friends, let me tell you what happened a few Saturdays back. I happened to drive out to the club a little early and do you know what I saw? There was old Bill with his pick- up truck loaded down with targets. Of course, I knew he had to be stealing them right from that big machine that makes them for us. You know what I did? I went over there and gave old Bill a piece of my mind. When Bill told me he was hauling targets to the club from a warehouse in the next town, I couldn’t believe it. I can tell you I was sure surprised. When I looked in the house, I could see he was right because he was stacking the targets. Of course, his stacks were in the wrong place and were too high so I thought it was my duty to tell him, how targets should be stacked. I had seen them stacked at the gun club I used to belong to and I knew about such things.
As the year went on, I straightened out quite a few problems at my club. I found out that old Bill wrote the newsletter. Of course, he wasn’t very good at it and I told him how it should be done. He offered to let me take over the writing, but I am a busy man and I don’t have time for such things. Old Bill would always take new shooters and shoot a few rounds with them. He seemed to think he was doing them a favor, but what did he know about teaching? I always beat him in our shoots.
One thing I didn’t like about old Bill teaching new shooters was it always slowed down the squad, and all of us regulars would have to wait. Old Bill sure had an attitude. I told him he was interfering with the harmony of the shooting-you know, just like the rulebook says. You will never guess what he said to me. He told me we had four other skeet ranges and that I should go open up one of them. What nerve! Who does he think he is? I am not out here to work. I am here to shoot. He should open that other range; after all, the club must be paying him pretty well for the work he does. That reminds me, I am going to find out how much they do pay him, because I don’t like those directors wasting any of my money. Speaking of directors, what a bunch of boneheads we have at my club. They are always telling us how to run things.
A few weeks later, I went out to the club again, early Saturday morning. There was old Bill again. This time he was messing with the traps on the sporting clays range. I thought to myself that this guy was trying to slip in a few stations of his own for the shoot we were going to have the next day. I knew those NSCA boys would be mad, so I jumped on old Bill again. This time he told me he was setting the course for the whole shoot. Well, what did this guy know about setting targets? After all, I am the best shot at the club, and everyone knows it. I have been to two other clubs and know how targets should be set. Sunday, after we finished the shoot, I knew I was right. There were three stations I could not break more than a six on. One of the stations was too far, the other way too fast, and who can hit a rabbit, and a teal thrown at the same time. Boy, what a jerk.
Well, last Saturday I decided to go out to the club and do a little shooting, but when I got there I couldn’t find a case of targets anywhere. The grass must have reverted to its original genes and was a least a foot tall. I checked the bulletin board and found out our monthly registered shoot had been cancelled, I guess the NSCA slipped up. I didn’t see old Bill that day. I wondered where that goof off was. Well, who cares, he couldn’t do anything right anyway. I had not received a newsletter in more than three months.
Bill was really proud of the ninety-nine. Of course, it would have looked good on the shooting range, but old Bill had given up shooting. It seemed golf was much more relaxing.
The names in this story are fictional, and any similarities with your gun club are purely intentional.
The next time you are out at the club and you see old Bill, stop and see if he needs any help. You might find out old Bill is a pretty good guy, and you might just learn something about the other side of shooting “behind the scenes,” the work.