Friday, January 15, 2010


When I was a kid in the sixties and seventies, catalogs and later magazines were how us kids got our info, other than the radio if a hip station was in your area. Yeah, there was some TV news, but with the limited pre-cable channels we had, there often wasn't a lot of cutting edge news or entertainment on the tube.

I mention this because a few weeks ago El Fisho Jr. and I were in our local gun emporium. He had just been shooting REAL guns the day before, and was entranced with my "family heirloom" .22 Marlin bolt action tube magazine rifle as well as the modern Marlin .22 autoloader with tube magazine and the Henry lever action .22. rifle.

Mrs. El Fisho agreed I could take him with me to the gun store, and of course it was a wonderful experience. I know the owners, and trade with them quite often, so they were more than willing to let him examine firearms of all types. He's got good taste.

So as were were looking at .22 rifles for the next birthday present, on the way out they had some catalogs from Kimber, Ruger and Marlin. I grabbed one of each and told El Fisho Jr. that later that night we would sit in the living room and check out the .22's available from these catalogs.

What's a catalog?

Now, El Fisho Jr. has seen catalogs before, more like flyers I suppose than the thick catalogs of the days of yore. He's a smart kid, and over the years, we have looked through all kinds of catalogs like Orvis and Musician's Friend and LL Bean and King Ranch Leather Shop and the like, but much of our product selection and perusing is, in fact, done online.

But I explained the whole Sears catalog thing as a young child, cutting out pictures of Santa gifts you wanted and pasting them to colored construction paper for when you went to visit Santa, or for your letter to him.

Then, as I became a maniac fisherman at about age 7 or 8, my friends and I would write off for catalogs from various companies, most of which were free. By the time I was in 5th grade, I was drumming and was collecting catalogs from Houston mall music stores like H&H and Parker, as well as by mail. Some of those old catalogs, some of which I held on to, later had some value.

And then, the new neighbors from Minnesota moved in, and with them fishing kids my age and a HUGE catalog from a company called Herter's. They were an outfitter, much like Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops, but they had so much more and a little bit of everything from fishing stuff to trapping to guns and hunting gear and just about everything that could be peripherally connected to any outdoors activity.

So my internet catalog child is now entranced by paper catalogs. On nice glossy thick paper with great color and pictures and statistics and such. As we select his first rifle by looking at the pictures and statistics, like weight and barrel length, we're having fun and he's as entranced by this as I was when I saw my first Colt catalog when I was his age.

We're looking at a tube fed Marlin autoloader Model 60 in stainless, as he really enjoyed shooting that. He also greatly enjoyed shooting the .22 Henry lever action.

El Fisho Jr. is quite the budding multi-instrumentalist. He's been playing my drums for year, and has a gift for making a beat. He's learning to play the parts of songs. He's played with Billy Ray and I (with me on bass) several times and Billy and I have had a great time. He's got his own Squier '51 electric guitar and short scale Bronco bass and a small multi-purpose practice amp. We have fun bouncing song ideas off of each other and he is getting the idea of the role of the bass quite well.I gues that goes with his rhythm ability on drums.

Anyway, he often reads my guitar, bass and drums music magazines, and he's well versed on some of the classics as well as developing his own taste in modern pop music, you know, age appropriate stuff. He appreciates Clapton and Michael Schenker and the differences between them as well as many other artists.

So I guess he never noticed that most of these magazines come int he mail, because the other day he was showing me a kids magazine he liked and I asked him if he wanted to subscribe to it and he said: "What's subscribe mean?"

I explained to him how we get magazines in the mail and that you usually save money this way.

These kids are so used to watching us buy stuff online that I took for granted he knew what the catalogs were we were looking at. I guess he thought they were magazines to read about products.

he has been particularly interested in a import SX fretless jazz bass in Lake Placid Blue that a friend gave me. The sounds he gets out of the fretless are amazing.

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