Comments from the countess:
Here is the Reunion update from Col. Clint Ancker on JEFF COOPER'S THEODORE ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL set for 28-30 September.
Things are moving along for the Reunion. I met with the folks at Whittington and they are glad to have us and have been very cooperative about helping us out. Whatever glitches there might have been in the past seem over. For example, there is no problem with open carry on Whittington. Their only requirement is that we observe New Mexico state laws, which do allow open carry, at least on Whittington itself. I've arranged for a quick review of New Mexico state laws the first morning of the Reunion so that everyone will know what is and isn't allowed on and off of Whittington.
Everyone who does shoot has to pay a $10/day fee. This is Whittington's standard for "events" at the facility. It doesn't matter if you are a Whittington member or not - they charge all events this shooting fee. I will collect this during the Reunion and take care of paying Whittington, so you don't have to pay on arrival or departure. The only restrictions on ammunition for our shoots are no steel core ammo and no tracers. For those of you who remember the fire and our bucket brigade operations a few years back will know why.
We plan on having a number of shooting opportunities at the Reunion. We'll have the rifle walk set up, so bring a rifle. Any practical rifle will do. The targets are all steel. We will also try to set up some school drills and some man-on-man steel shoots. These will not be for prizes, but just for the challenge.
I am going to try to arrange some really long range shooting (1100 yards), so those of you that wish to try this, bring a long gun. The Whittington rules for their steel are no magnums and no 223 (I know that sounds odd, but that's their rule). So bring your trusty 308 or 30-06 and wring it out. We can get out to about 500 yards at Jeff's place, and will have targets out at this distance for those who don't want to move over to the longer range facility.
John Gannaway has promised to bring an assortment of interesting firearms for us to shoot. John has a very impressive collection and always shows up with an interesting mixture, and this year will be no different.
Whittington has reserved Cabin #1 in competitor housing for the Reunion crowd. So if you call to get competitor housing, be sure to tell them you are part of the Reunion. If you have any problems, please let me know.
In addition to the above, we have something else interesting planned, but I'm not giving it away yet.
The highlight of each Reunion has always been the recitations and this is something that Janelle really wants to perpetuate. Please come prepared to make a contribution. It doesn't have to be original, nor does ti have to be memorized, although both are looked at as good things. Reading from the works of those that write and live in the spirit of Jeff and Theodore Roosevelt are always appropriate.
But, as usual, the most important part of this event is the chance to meet other Ravens and share tall tales, compare notes, and enjoy the general camaraderie with like-minded folk.
Col. Clint Ancker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
REMINISCENCES: Ofttimes I reflect upon my life with Jeff and realize how unique it was. All sixty-four years were ever-changing scenarios, almost always provocative and stimulating and challenging. There were times of stress, but the pressure was from the outside, not from the inside partnership. My husband's insatiable appetite for more knowledge, his thirst for adventure, and his intellectual curiosity led to exciting periods and unusual situations.
He never retired. After his experiences in World War II, and having settled with his wife and three daughters into a home in our city-of-birth, Los Angeles, he felt compelled to go to war again. He volunteered his services to his country as a reserve Marine officer, and that tour of duty, during the Korean War, took him to exotic lands for precarious episodes, all clandestine. What next?…a family move to a mountain haven at 7,000 feet, and back to school to earn a master's degree in history (so he could teach at the college level). When adventure called again it was his idea to explore a river in a kayak, a "river of no return" in a wild part of Mexico "beyond the law." He and his two companions survived many hardships. Their personal safety was assured by the pistol on his hip, a shotgun and a rifle at the ready, and a determination to stay alert. To spice up the mundane part of his lifestyle in Washington, DC, he had taken up sports car racing which he continued for many years, leading to winning and teaching and writing. Then came a passion for promoting the idea of self reliance and self defense against Communist aggressors which led to training at his own ranch (Gunsite) and numerous trips to Mexico and Central America (and one to South America) as a consultant and teacher. Fortunately he wrote it down. His talent for writing was discovered and encouraged and nurtured by the accumulation of innovative ideas and personal adventures to supply material for his pen. His ardor for South Africa and its magic became familiar to many through his literary works, and many were inspired to go and see for themselves.
The Sconce, his home at Gunsite Ranch, is replete with displays of honoraria, numerous diverse rewards for his expertise and his generosity of spirit. The honor which touched him most during his lifetime was the mountain named after him - Pik Jeff Cooper in Kyrgyzstan, a feat accomplished by the efforts of David Bowden. Another notable tribute, appreciated by his family and several hundred friends, was the 86 (eighty-six!!) gun salute fired during the Jeff Cooper Memorial Celebration in May of this year. Rich Wyatt and Tom Russell were the promoters and Rich engineered the impressive display of many rounds touched off in Jeff's honor by selected members of his family and circle of admirers. Well done! Jeff was indeed blessed by the friendship, respect and loyalty of important people.
See you soon!
4 September 2007