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Columnists : Frank Addington
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Gus' First Bow
By Frank Addington Jr.
Nov 16, 2006, 11:25

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    Anyone that knows me well knows I love to get beat up, old archery equipment in the mail.  It all started in 1985 when the late Fred Bear sent me a signed, beat up old micro-flite arrow that he had used.  The late Rev. Stacy Groscup furthered this hobby when he gave me several old arrows to continue my collection.  I have continued to collect interesting items and signature arrows from various folks in the archery world.

Pop and I with my first bow, circa 1971.Note the cowboy boots & a bow in my hand---two habits I've had

    Today a gift arrived for our son Gus.  It was another beat up piece of archery equipment that is now priceless to me.  It is a bow.  Not just any bow.  It's a kid's bow. Not just any kid's bow.  No this bow is very special.  First of all, it is our son Gus' first bow.  That in itself makes it priceless to me.  I know Gus will someday appreciate this bow as much as I do.
 This bow has character.  It is a Blackhawk Mosquito, RH, 16 # @ 18".  If it could talk I'm sure I would hear of many days afield with it's owner & the late Rev. Stacy Groscup.  You see the bow was Stacy's granddaughter Shawna's first bow.  She chose to send this bow to Gus as his first bow.   

    As I opened the bow I couldn't believe that they had sent this bow for Gus.  My eyes were moist as I read the note from Marguerite, Gary, Tia and Shawna (Stacy's family).  It seems Shawna wanted Gus to have this priceless bow & the safari hat her & her grandpa Stacy used to wear.
   As I stared at the bow I saw a feather on the string, a feather I'm sure Stacy had tied on the string just like he did on all his bows as a wind detector.  The Nok point was tied, and well worn.  It's obvious Shawna and her grandpa had spent countless hours shooting together.  If only old objects could talk, I am sure I'd hear this bow tell of many, many adventures and fun times in the outdoors that Shawna and her grandpa had shared.
 The bow is much nicer than the fiberglass stick I'd started with in 1971.  It is an actual wooden recurve bow.  I couldn't help but wonder how many days Mr. Gus & I would spend afield with this bow.  Although he is only eight weeks old almost every day he & I spend some time playing.  I will move one of his small toys around--carefully watching his little eyes track it.  He's been alert since he was newborn, and seems to have inherited his dad's eyes.  
 Gus' mamaw TT and my wife Amanda probably wonder what I'm doing as I move objects around for him to follow.  I guess you could say it's his pre-archery lessons.  I just want to see how he tracks moving objects.  So far so good.  I told everyone I hoped Gus would get his mother's looks and his dad's eyes!
(L-R)Frank & Cathy Addington, Amanda, Gus, Frank Jr. and TT

One day in the future I can see in my mind's eye he and I out under the oak trees here on the ridge at our home going over his first shooting lesson.  I wonder if he'll love the sport the way I do and if he'll enjoy time spent with his dad the way I have enjoyed time afield with my parents.  To this day, almost 35 years later I can remember some of my earliest days spent shooting a bow with my folks.  Perhaps his grand parents may even take him on some bowhunting adventures.  
   Shawna was very kind to send this gift to Gus.  It's one of a kind and one of those gifts from the heart that you can't put a price on.  I am sure someday Mr. Gus will want to thank Shawna in his own words.  Until then, I'd sure like to thank her for this very special gift.  
  I don't want to wish time away but I will be anxious for the day when Gus sees one of my shows and asks me when he can have his first bow. As his dad, I am sure we'll put this little bow to good use in due time.  Under autumn oak leaves we'll spend time learning archery & other important lessons folks like Fred Bear, Rev. Stacy Groscup and my folks taught me.    

    You can't put a price on those types of days or those types of memories.  Thank you Shawna for sharing your days like that with Gus.  My wife Amanda and I really appreciate your kindness.  We will put this bow to good use as soon as Mr. Gus is old enough.  I'm sure there will be some archery legends smiling down from above as we do.... and the torch is passed to yet another generation.

If you'd like to see photos of Shawna and her grandpa, you can visit the tribute site for her late grandfather she has set up at:
    As always folks, thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,


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