Story of an Old Russell GunRecently a cousin suggested on facebook that we each tell about our oldest inherited possession and post a photograph. Mine was an old quilt, undated, but probably made in the 1930s by my maternal grandmother.
Bob told the story to me this way....the gun belonged to his grandpa Elias Russell of Cass, Arkansas, but because the gun was missing a crucial piece of the trigger release mechanism and wouldn't fire, Doyle, Elias's son and Bob's father, didn't want the gun, didn't think it worth taking back to Colorado. So Bob's mother, Frances Smith Russell, laid claim to it and took it home.
Years later Frances's brother Ollie was visiting the family and told Doyle that the old musket was worth a kazillion dollars on the Denver gun market so Doyle told him to take it and sell it. Ollie kept the gun for years and finally brought it back, unsold, with the explanation that the market had fallen. Bob was then allowed to keep the old gun in his room. One day he was messing with it, as young boys are wont to do, and tipped the barrel down. Lo and behold, a handful of dimes rolled out of the barrel onto the floor. The next time his Uncle Ollie came to visit Bob told him about the dimes. Ollie said, "Oh yeah, I kept that gun behind the door next to my shotgun and when I'd come in the house at night I'd drop a dime down the barrel of my shotgun. I must have missed a few times and dropped the dime down the barrel of the musket." Bob had to give up his dimes to Uncle Ollie for who could argue with that story? A handful of dimes at that time was a lot of money for a boy to find and then have to part with.