By Charles S., Cripple Creek, Colorado
This is a photo of my father, aka 'Chief' (nah, no Indian blood..that was his rank in the Navy during WWII) on the family home 'ranch' ('ranch' in the California sense of five acres of navel oranges). My grandparents, Sicilian immigrants, raised oranges, cherries and apricots around Southern California. This photo was apparently taken in 1927 when my father was ten years old. Downey is about 25 miles SE of downtown Los Angeles and a hundred years ago was out in the country.
The fields and groves in those days were teeming with rabbits. My father was one of seven and was the hunter in the family. He has just harvested a pretty plump buck that would no doubt have ended up in the family stew pot. My grandmother was a great cook. If I recall correctly, that weapon he is shouldering was a .22LR Stevens. That was the rifle I first shot when I was around eight. I learned to shoot within a few feet of where this photo was taken. Those were the days.
If you have photos of guns in your family, send them along with some narrative, and we'll be glad to share your heritage with firstname.lastname@example.org.