Last Friday I posted on our Social Media (You do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram don’t you?) that one of the great pleasures of my job at Gunsite is taking the recent 250 Course Graduates to visit Mrs. Cooper at the Sconce for her legendary tea, lemonade (Arnold Palmers) and brownies. It is wonderful to see her brighten up as she greets each new Gunsite Family Member, welcoming them to her home and listen as she explains Gunsite history, the design of the Sconce and a tour of her home, including Col. Cooper’s library and Armory. If you have not had the pleasure, it is just that. What a grand hostess and emissary of Gunsite. It is no wonder Col. Cooper referred to her as “The Countess.”
That also got me to reflecting on what a wonderful place Gunsite is. It is so much more than the oldest (40 years) and one of the best shooting schools in the world. For those of you who have attended, you learn you become part of the Gunsite Family. The Family is an eclectic group of people, from all over the world that share a love of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is so much more than “just learning to be safe with and shoot a firearm.” It becomes a way of life. Our Mindset sets us apart from so many of the “sheep” walking about.
Gunsite also allows us to meet some of the greatest folks in the world, from all walks of life. (Do you still have good friends from your 250 Pistol Course? I know I do.) We have the “Seasoned Citizen” who is a door greeter at Wal-Mart to our Republic’s finest warriors, to public safety folks, to celebrities, to “secret squirrels,” and most importantly, your friends and neighbors. (Most rare or unusual occupation I have come across is a part-time executioner working for a Department of Corrections.)
The annual family reunion is the Gunsite Alumni Shoot (GAS) on the first Saturday of October. Friends meet up who have not seen each other since their last class or GAS Match and pick right up from the last conversation they had. It is a “polite society” as all topics can be discussed, but in a respectful and friendly way. What a great group of people and way of life.
May is also when we celebrate our founder, Jeff Cooper’s birthday (1920-2006) on May 10 (We wonder if Col. Cooper envisioned Gunsite at 40 years old when they opened the doors on the Fall of 1976.) and Mrs. Janelle Cooper’s birthday on May 31. As a gentleman never reveals a lady’s birthday. Let us suffice to say it is the 75th anniversary of her 21st birthday. A birthday card for Mrs. Cooper would be a grand gesture by the Gunsite Family. Please send them to her, care of Gunsite Academy, Inc. 2900 West Gunsite Road, Paulden, AZ 86334.
As I write this, the sound of gunfire (freedom!) is ringing down range, including automatic weapons fire, as our friends and industry partner The Outdoor Network is back filming “Gun Stories.” We also have “Simply Rugged Holsters” back with staff and friends for a 250 pistol course along with another private pistol course and another 223 Carbine Class. Business continues through the month with additional 250 pistol courses (We had to double both of them due to client demand!), 556 Advanced Carbine, the second Citizen Response to Active Shooter, 260 Shotgun, Shotgun ATP, a three (3) day 150 Pistol Class, and Long Range Rifle Day. Also we are hosting additional private and tutorial courses. Another Off-Site happening in the Nashville TN area with Rangemaster Ron Fielder is the Close Quarters Pistol. While all that is happening, we will be filming our new instructional videos with Panteao Productions for Pistol, Carbine and Active Shooter. It does not slow down for June . . . (Have you enrolled your young American in the “Youth 250” in June? What a great summer camp.)
Let me conclude as my comments this month seem to be as old friend and former Gunsite staff member Jim Higginbotham is want to say: “Just Ramblin” . . .
Reiterating our comments from the top of the pate, Gunsite is a grand place to visit, learn and work. We are humbled by the faith the good people have placed in us these many years and look forward to many more.
We hope to see you (back) at Gunsite again.