And It Was A Peculiar One.
As we reach senior citizen years it is common to look back on our youth: remembering things like our first car, first date or, for me personally, my first handgun. It seems I was born wanting one and must have pressed the matter enough that at about age 6, my non-shooting father borrowed a .22 revolver.
He let me shoot it into a fallen tree and then we dug the bullets out so I would understand what happens when a gun is fired. When I was around 12, Dad came home one evening and handed me something in a brown paper bag. It was a real pistol resting in a full flap military-type holster! I was excited but confused too. What kind of pistol was it and how did he come up with it?
Our local chief of police named Rossi Bucci (pronounced Butch) gave it to him. As the name implies Bucci was also of the town’s significant Italian community. Being in the coalfields of southern West Virginia, our town was rather rough in character, which I think is why there were always a few Italians on the police force. Although Dad and Bucci grew up in the “Little Italy” area they weren’t close so I wondered why he gave Dad that handgun. Dad would only say that the police took it off a drunk. I suspect the fact Dad was a bill collector also had something to do with it.
By Mike “Duke” Venturino
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