Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hair & the 1903 Springfield rifle

Nice wood, on most of the firearms and on the cabinet. Modern guns have little beauty. Synthetic materials have replaced both wood and steel, for the most part, and while firearms once often had allure and mystique and art in their construction, these ingredients have been replaced by a phony bravado and film-fantasy appearance -- by macho ridiculousness in sort of an effort to make guns "sexy." The firearms in the cabinet in the photograph are old, their age ranging from 1894 to 1942 with most dating to the early years of the twentieth century. The cabinet is sort of new. I bought it in a moment of weakness last summer, but just this week managed to move it from the garage into the house. I might also note that the pitcher and the clock atop the cabinet are well over one hundred years old.

Give me a head with hair

I had five inches of hair cut the other day.

This is the pattern which has been a constant during my life: Very short hair as a boy, long as a teenager, short as a Marine .... long to short and back and forth as a man. My hair usually has been worn rather long as an adult -- except when I have been looking for a new job.

I am not sure, but I think it might be time to cut it very short again and, probably, to leave it that way, not because I am looking for a new job, but because it is time for me to settle down and to make a few decisions about what I am and who I want to be during the next few years. Besides that, it is thinning with age, and it might be appropriate to throw in the towel in terms of long hair.

I always have preferred long hair on both men and women. I suppose for me, when thinking about long hair for men, my preference originates from the Bible and the story of Samson. His strength was in his long hair. In the Marines, the boot camp super-closely-cropped hair was symbolic of rebirth from the recruit's existing life into the Marine Corps. I did not agree with that notion then and do not now, and could tell you a story or two about peace-time Marines and war-time Marines and the way hair was worn.

Someday, maybe ....

Alexander the Great had his men cut their hair short so "the enemy" could not grab it and grip it in combat. Very logical and very practical, indeed. I suppose the question, therefore, is who to emulate: Samson or Alexander? I know my choice, and I have trusted the wrong woman a time or two to demonstrate it. Whoops .... I am assuming you know the story of Samson and his fate at the hands of Delilah. If you do not, I leave you to your own resources to research it.

I am not sure how to apply these thoughts to women. Their hair, I mean. Where does the concept of short hair vs. long hair come from among women? I do not know. Enlighten me.

Those are the questions, Horatio

I spent some time today "playing with" an old rifle I just acquired. It is a Springfield Model 1903. Which means its "brethren" went into action one-hundred-ten years ago. It was one of two rifles used by U.S. troops during World War I. My particular rifle was manufactured in 1930, between the world wars, and making it eighty-three years old.

Since this rifle is eighty-three years old and "began its life" as a military weapon, a doorway is opened to speculate about the hands which have held it and the places it might have been. When World War II began, American soldiers carried rifles such as it into North Africa and American Marines went ashore with ones like it at Guadalcanal. Production and use continued during the war despite the introduction of a new and improved rifle -- the M1 Garand -- which held on to being the primary U.S. rifle of war until just before the Vietnam era. Noted for their accuracy and range, many 1903s were adapted for sniper use during the Korean War and into Vietnam.

You have heard me often "say" here that I greatly enjoy old watches, old coins and old guns -- especially in the sense of thinking about who might have held them before they came to me.

There is nothing about our existence which is simple. Even the time-worn objects which come into our hands travel just as we travel from our beginning to our end. And, in my sorry excuse for a personal philosophy, Horatio, these objects have within them a Manitou which measures them and records what they have done and have seen.

Where has my new-old rifle been? What has it seen? What has it done? Those are the questions, Horatio. I hope it will begin to trust me and will tell me these things ....

12 comments:

Kelly J. Call said...

This post makes me smile...I remember dancing in the living room with my sisters to this album. I think we were in Junior High...lol
Good memories :-)

Congratulations on the haircut, Peter Pan. :-) (teasing)

I am glad to hear you are out and about and making improvements to your home and your head!
Fun post tonight! Thank you :-)

ANITA said...

Wow!Nice cabinet!love the tree its made of :))
About hair.I like men with short hair.So short you can feel the little hair between your fingers when you touch it.Do it Fram!About womans hair.I dont know..there soo much to be said on that stuff..But for me..I have the classical style of long hair you watch on old movies..Its warm and make me feel good.Female.

Ohh boy about those war things!Yesterday i watched "Katyn" the truth about Stalins worse massacrs in the beginning of2 WW.I am still schocked.So much bad things has happened in the world..and we forget it so easily..
Iam glad you have been thinking of your final destination.You shood have a good woman too.Wish you all the best Fram.
Here we have a bad storm.Ohh boy i can swim in the streets!So for me..this weekend.. back to old movies ..As Leningrad and Libanon..see you !

Greetings Norway!

Fram Actual said...

I would imagine many young girls danced to this song, Kelly. It is a fun song, a happy song, and I like the lyrics, especially these lines:

Oh say, can you see my eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short ....

Do not get too excited about the haircut. It happens every now and then and, even after this cut, my hair still reaches to my shoulders. I suppose I should have mentioned that in my post. It was really getting long. It sort of makes me feel civilized to have it cut this short. (My turn to tease.)

The house project is delayed again, both by materials which were not delivered and by the weather. I am not sure if the "Idiot of the Year" award should go to the contractor or to me for hiring him.

By the way, I am thinking about legally changing my name to Peter Pan. (Teasing or true?)

Glad you stopped by for a visit, Kelly.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, I really like the gun cabinet and the tree it is made from, too. There is no furniture that can compare to furniture made of wood.

I expect your preference for short hair is related to sort of an overall preference for things military, Anita. The length of hair you describe was the way I wore it as a boy, but that was my mother's decision, not my own. I was about eleven or twelve when I "broke the bonds" and demanded to grow my hair longer. It was super short during Marine Corps boot camp, too, but I doubt I will have it cut that way again anytime soon.

I am sure some women wear their hair short because they feel they look better that way -- and, some do -- but I agree with you that longer hair on a woman seems more feminine.

Tyranny and wartime atrocity are always lurking just out of sight. There are some among us who know that and understand that and always sleep with one eye open.

As for my "final destination," I am not sure I would want to try to make plans in those terms. I do like to plan ahead, but only on the basis of months -- a few years even, maybe, but that is about it. I am part nomad, and always will be. As for a "good woman," I think I really finally am adjusting to being alone and I still have family obligations which keep me tied down more than I would prefer.

Nice to see you here again, Anita.

Kelly J. Call said...

Teasing :-)

And like Anita...(Hi Anita :-) I like men with short hair. When they are young if they have pretty hair, longer is sexy too, but I definitely prefer older men with short hair or no hair...lol
I find bald men that are confident in themselves super sexy.

Fram, don't you know by now that women will play with Peter Pan boys for a bit, but if you want a woman to stick with you for the long hall Peter simply will not do.
Wishing you a sweet and cozy weekend :-)



Fram Actual said...

I never have been sure of the preferences of California girls, Kelly. They are a mystery to me. But, I seem to recall you have mentioned your preference for short hair in the past. I am beginning to think most women do like it that way. My second ex-wife told me that many times. Perhaps, that is why I am divorced .... hmmmm ....

Hair is almost a philosophical concept with me, at least as relevant in that sense as an appearance or stylistic thing. You know I am superstitious and that I dwell in history almost as much as I exist in the present. Long hair is biblical in several ways, which might not fit the general modus operandi of an agnostic, but to wear it long also is an act of defiance and independence. Long hair = live free or die, in my eyes, especially during times it was absolutely unacceptable. Short hair = surrender to society and/or the current craze. And, really, it goes even deeper for me.

I guess this fits in with Peter Pan, too. Women look for security and a nest. Security depends upon how one defines it; a nest, for sure, is not moving every year or two. White, picket fences are for guys with short hair. Someday me .... maybe, maybe not ....

I have enjoyed this conversation, Kelly .... thank you .... and, do not cut your hair .... it looks great ....

A Cuban In London said...

I don't know why but your post made me play Elton John's classic album "Tumbleweed Connection", specifically the song "My Father's Gun". It's a beauty of a melody.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

I am not sure if this would qualify as similarity of thoughts or sort of coincidental or exactly what, CiL, but the song which was drifting through my mind when I put this post together and which I considered including was The Band's version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," with "Levon" Helm on drums and providing the vocals. I am not sure what gave rise to that performance in my mind at that point in time.

As for Elton John and "My Father's Gun," that seems very appropriate to accompany this post. I cannot recall the last time I heard that song. It has been years and years. But, I played it a few times today after reading your comment.

Now, the sort of weird part: Elton once named a song "Levon," citing Helm and The Band as one of his inspirations.

The Southern aspect and other elements of the music, and the performing artists involved, came together like travelers at a crossroads.

Kelly J. Call said...

Hmmm....hmmmm....hair, no hair, long, short???? Such a conundrum...
I'm thinking if you want a nice woman, you better keep that hair short! :-)

You know, nowadays men shave their head to be rebellious.

I have been growing mine these days and it is couple inches longer than the picture :-) Thank you, sir, for the compliment. It's fun to have a long ponytail. Now all I need is a caveman to drag me around and I'll be set! (Teasing...teasing... :-)
No caveman for me!

Well, off I go, and Mr. Cuban, I like My Father's Gun too! You are taking me back...

Have a nice night, Fram ;-)




Fram Actual said...

You have my mind slipping back to life, Kelly. Two thoughts in a (sort of) brief manner, although I could write and write about these things.

In terms of myself, symbolism, superstition and beliefs based on experience are the hegemony of my existence. This includes both the trivial and the vital, which means I am fortunate I have not been struck down from lightning cast by a vengeful god or beaten to death by a vengeful mob after walking into a bar looking for a fight just for the hell of it. (Although, I have not done that for a decade or two.) In the overall scheme of things, the length of my hair is trivial, but still a part of my persona because it is the way it is for specific reasons and because I am Peter Pan and like being him.

In terms of women and one among them who is nice, I do prefer long hair, but that is sort of trivial, too. My first wife was a blue-eyed blonde who avoided the sun and was mostly of Norwegian descent. My second wife had black hair and brown eyes and olive skin, and was often mistaken as a local girl when traveling in both Italy and Greece. Who a woman is intellectually is the most important element to me, along with having some shared interests and common beliefs.

You might recall my "magic girl" thoughts which have been at the bottom this page since I began this blog. Those words remain relevant, and I still see the face I was looking at when I wrote them. You might also recall I have said I look for someone who is physically brave, and would stand back-to-back with me in any situation. I really do mean that. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and need a hand to hold at times, but companions need more similarities than differences, I think.

In other news .... hmmmm .... I finally had both materials and a crew working on the house Sunday. (Work is for when there is work to be done; weekends and holidays are for unions and government employees; no sarcasm, just my opinion.) Progress is being made on the repair/renovation project, and I am relearning a bit of Spanish in the process.

Thank you, for being here, Kelly. You make life more interesting and enjoyable, for sure ....

A Cuban In London said...

I'm chuckling at those "coincidences". I haven't heard The Band for years and years. Ahhh... time to dust off some of my old tapes (yup, still got them!).

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

I can recall times four years ago, CiL, when we seemed to be moving along on sort of "parallel paths" in regard to our posts. We would select the same or similar topics to write about around the same time, for instance. It could be our trail of coincidences continues to function, only at a slightly different level.

The greatest coincidence this time, perhaps, is that fathers and guns are the focal points of both songs, along with the Southern element. We shall see what happens next ....

Something special ....