William Metcalfe, 2/5/2018

Current Occupation: Having retired from profitable work, I am playing about with either writing or photography.
Former Occupation: There were 40 years of picture framing. My company was one of the first in Washington, DC, to push for preservation as a very important aspect of a framing job. 
Contact Information: After 30 years of aimless travel, I settled down in Washington, DC. after I found I enjoyed working as a picture framer. In the years of travel and of working with customers, I have accumulated a large collection of stories, which exist as short notes. For a period, I was also, by acclamation, a interesting photographer, but a move to a near suburb, a wonderful wife and our 3 children took more and more time. I had to curtail my pursuits. Now that I am retired and my children are adults, I have returned to earlier interests. The iMac which sits on my desk offers itself as a means of rendering a legible copy of a story from the dusty corridors of my mind. It also offers itself as a instructor in converting digital snapshots into something much more meaningful, might I say art. One can only hope.

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A DAY AT THE RIFLE RANGE

 

    The following story is about an incident which happened on the rifle range when I was going through the US Army’s Basic Training in the early 60s. I trained at Fort Ord which was near Monterey, CA. The range was between us, raw recruits, and Monterey Bay. Whenever a boat, canoe or freighter, came into sight we were ordered to cease firing immediately. And we obeyed that order.

    One day, just after every recruit was ready to puncture his personal target, a rabbit appeared at one side of the range and began to chew at something wriggly and green. The rabbit could not have known that our leader had begun the countdown for that second when we were to begin shooting at the bullseyes. As soon as the Sergeant gave the order to fire, the rabbit began to lazily hop across the range. Very quickly, the poor creature was hidden in surrounding clouds of dust. You would think that it would now speed up and fly across the range with the dust clouds followed behind. No! Not this one. No army was going to interfere with its after dinner hop. So it continued and, as we could barely see the creature, we followed its clouds. Eventually, after the rabbit exited the range, we stopped shooting and the clouds dissipated forever.

    When our Sergeant turned to see how well we had done on our first trip to the firing range, he was obviously perplexed to see so many Maggies Drawers waving in front of the targets. These whirling pieces of cloth meant that not one bullet out of 30 plus rifles had hit a slowly moving target.

 

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