There was no such thing as credit cards in 1956 and who would give a credit card to a teenager if they did exist? My, how times have changed! Credit was available at Boyle’s and we all had an ongoing charge account. That 7-1/2" Colt .45 added $125 to my account. Fast Draw soon arrived, and I ordered an Arvo Ojala Hollywood Fast Draw rig finished in black basket weave. The first date I had with the blond teenager now known as Diamond Dot was in November 1958 as we went to Boyle’s Gun Shop to pick up my new Ojala leather. Both are still around, and in fact, that belt and holster is hanging in the room she uses for woodcarving.

I wish I could say I still had that .38-40, but dumb teenager that I was, I let it get away. I also wish I had the first Colt .45, however, it also got away, but at least for a more noble cause. By 1963 I was in college and Dot was a stay-at-home mom with three young babies to take care of. The Colt .45 went for tuition and groceries. I knew if I dropped out of school it would be awfully hard to get back, so the .45 had to go. I did graduate in 1965, started a teaching career lasting 31 years and took an early retirement to write full-time. By 1968 I was on the road to spending much of my life with Colt Single Actions. The first of my new batch of Colts was a 4-3/4" .44 Special. To this day, it is hard to choose between a .44 Special or .45 Colt when it comes to Single Actions.