My father has a lifetime membership in this club, and I came here with him as a young girl. In fact, there are lots of kids here today with their dads. The old dealers tease them a bit, asking, "Are you staying out of trouble?" They nod and smile. Most of these dealers are older folks farmers and hunters. Except the National Rifle Association instructor he's my age, and is a retired police officer and Drug Enforcement Agency agent. He eyes me warily for a minute till I reassure him with my my-dad's-a-lifetime-member speech. He gives me handfuls of pamphlets about gun safety and Michigan laws, and two magazines one entitled Woman's Outlook celebrating firearms freedom and outdoor lifestyle.
In addition to shotguns and handguns, I find holsters, skinning knives (some with gorgeous bone handles), ammunition, powder horns (made from real horns), books, handmade wooden birdhouses and toy boxes, and a wide range of hunting supplies that don't cost $20,000. I'd really love a Sydney oilskin slicker a long weatherproofed coat designed for horseback riding in nasty weather. It has a cape across the shoulders and is split down the back. It's fifty bucks, though, which is more than I can afford. I'd wear it too, despite being a country girl transplanted to the city. With no horse. Or gun.
The next Huron Gun Collectors show is at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9.