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Some of the early Die-Hards were hanging around the firing line on Friday when I noticed this Young Gentleman lurking in the background. I said hello but being my normal introverted self I did not say much more. Well I guess I did not scare him off because he was still lurking around 15 minutes later so I went back over to where he has standing an tried to strike up some sort of conversation. (I was tired testing ammo) Now understand my memory is getting a little fuzzy but I asked him if he was interested in benchrest? Had to ask his name again because It was not polite to call him Kid because every thing that came out of his mouth ended in ‘Sir’ Well he said his name was Matt ‘Sir’ AGAIN. Told him to call me Doug and I learned that he was at the club to practice with his air rifle that night. Remember I was bored testing ammo. I started thinking here might be a fish that I could get to put some down range for me. Bye now I was learning Matt was pretty quiet but maybe could be prodded into doing my dirty work. So after a lot of praising benchrest shooting I was able to drag him over to my bench. I took Two or Three minutes explaining Everything I knew about benchrest shooting and handed him some ammo. He still used Sir after every question but I could see he was warming up to this ‘Game’. He was a quick learner but I still had trouble explaining what all those things with tails meant. By this I mean what do they really tell us, which I am STILL trying to learn. Well between me and a lot of the other shooters we convinced him (and Mom) to come back the next morning and shoot in “The Crawfish”. We told him not worry about a thing we will dig up some ‘Castoff’ rests and bags and set him up with something to shoot. ‘Mom’ I think is getting worried! She has been asking around and is learning that we shoot $2000++ rifle and those little boxes of ammo Bob sells are eight dollars PLUS. Ok lets cut to the early Saturday morning when I see Matt trailing in behind some of the best Benchrest Shooters in the country. I am sharing a bench with Matt so he helps putting out flags and doing the heavy lifting for me (young strong backs are great)\ Well his relay comes up so I hand him my sporter that I cannot even shoot. He shoots a great 224 6x considering the equipment I saddled him with!! Well next comes the 10.5 class. Everyone gives him a lot of encouragement and he starts off. His first five or six sighters were not all that bad. Then he throws one out almost in the black. UGH. I walk over and ask what happened?? He said he did not have a clue! Well my other 40X had just shot a 248 14X and it was clean so I grabbed what he was shooting and gave him that – BIG MISTAKE. Matt Barnes went on to shoot a 248 15X and to add injury to insult did it again in 13.5 class. In the first Benchrest Match that Matt Barnes every shot in he took 2nd in the 10.5lb class and 3rd in the 13.5lb class and FIRST in the Two Gun at “The Crawfish” The only redeeming grace for all the top shooters was that Matt was too sick to come Sunday for Meters. There were a LOT of sighs of relief because he might have cleaned house. That was some real fine shooting Matt!! Now as Bill Calfee might say Why did I write this ‘Folksy Tale” I think it is self evident – ANY TIME you see a stranger lurking in the background talk him up, sit him at a bench, give him your best rifle and your best ammo and tell him (or her) to Have Fun! They just might cost you some wood! Now You Know What Really made My Crawfish Memorable. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Doug    April 2006

PS: 2008 Matt and his Family have returned every year to participate and help out at the Crawfish.