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Old 12-09-2013, 03:44 PM
Ricky T's Avatar
Ricky T Ricky T is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Age: 57
Posts: 13,239
Thanking folks for his birthday wishes on 11/7:

What a great day, men. Thank you for taking note of the occasion.

So many kindnesses. So many blessings. So many good friends texting, writing and sending good wishes. Calls from brothers in Germany. Family surrounding me with love and great surprises. Wonderful gifts that I could not have anticipated. More than one purposed and carefully-selected toast in my honor. Even had a 4-star General ring the long-latent work BlackBerry to sing Happy Birthday to me.

I continue to marvel at the manner in which so many continue, relentlessly and without even the slightest hesitation, continue to pour out genuine affection, concern and to me. I cannot deserve any of it, and yet they -- and you -- haven't slowed down for a moment, and show no signs of backing off now. How can I even begin to mount an adequate response to that, really? I can't. There is simply no way that words can touch it. Not even any of the ones that usually come so easily to me in any other circumstance. I can only tell you that you enrich my life in more ways than can be counted, and I am deeply humbled.

So, yep ... I guess I made it to 48, after all. Never saw it coming. Now I see it going. And I am feeling pretty darned good. Thanks for choosing to have been part of it today.

Better brothers I could not, and would never dare, ask for.


A week after his birthday, "Operation Irene" landed at his house, yes they gave it a name. A band of m4carbine.net brothers took it upon themselves to solicit funds, donations and contributions for a care package for Chuck. Some of the stuff were donated by our own WilsonCombatRep. The picture below was only a small part of stuff. There was also a Surefire X300 Ultra for Chuck's new Colt Rail Gun that a 1911forum moderator donated (it wasn't me), Raven Concealment System holster, Wilson mags, a Volund Gearworks ATLAS belt, Wilson coffee mug and ammo.

Chuck's comments on the whole deal:

Just wanted to add a quick footnote on the heels of what Cory said, above. While I cannot know precisely how our various interactions come together on or off of the forum, it has always been my desire to see folks truly invest in each other in ways that matter beyond the simple give-and-take of another online community. These resources have their limitations, of course, and I don't wish to be silly about any of this, but given the amount of time that so many of us spend here (whether by design or pure happenstance) I think it is important to be able to take something "real" away from it.

If my situation has served as some sort of catalyst for guys coming together, finding some genuine lines of support and forging new friendships, then I obviously find tremendous encouragement in that. It's not about me, ultimately, but about the way in which like-minded men choose to create and maintain meaningful exchanges that serve to enrich the lives of those around them. So, what might seem like a small thing on the face of it (though I would not call Operation Irene a small effort), I find even greater significance in the fact that so many of you have learned, as I have learned this past year, that the investments that we make in others are among the most important things that we can do with our lives. It runs contrary to popular wisdom, but the truth is that the less we look out for ourselves, the more extraordinary the results.


On December 2:

Short on eloquence today, boys. Haven't been online much at all.

I really, really wrenched my back just before lunch, and have been laid-up hard all day. Good thing I already had strong pain meds on hand. I'm just really weak in the physical sense (muscle atrophy from prolonged steroids), and moving a small pistol rack onto my nightstand was all it took. Totally unrelated to anything else ... just one of those old guy things.

I had actually felt well-enough to be out tooling-around in the garage for an hour or so prior to that, and having some old energy reserves back had proven to be a great encouragement. It's something that I've been struggling with quite a bit since the move, actually. Most days, simple movements from the bedroom to the study, living room or kitchen are about all I'm getting accomplished. Am trying to fight my way back into a more normal routine, and working on getting back out of the house with Mrs. AC more often.

Someone asked what flavor of 1911 was Chuck's favorite, he replied on 12/4:

1911s? What is this? Slow-pitch softball? lol

I think that different folks being very different entry and exit points to questions like this. You recall the influences of Cooper (as do I) and were drawn to the Commander. Another unique old Colt came your way via a close family member. There is significance tied to these guns that reaches far beyond the steels and woods involved. Context matters.

So it is with me. My affinity for the 1911 is less-driven by any particular delusion that it remains the best tool for the job in 2013, but rather by the fact that it is pretty-consistent with who I am as a person. I'm willing to make the greater knowledge base investment to get the necessary results from a 1911. I appreciate what can be done to these guns -- and what I can do with them -- that cannot generally be done with others. In this, I suppose I am simply reflecting an innate appreciation for classic, high-quality things in general. I apply much the same logic to timepieces and fountain pens.

Where 1911s are concerned, I've ended-up in a place where old custom Colts probably speak to me more than anything else. Model-wise, Commanders remain a favorite just for what they are, but 5" guns really form the cornerstone of my armamentarium. Without going into too much detail, on any given day, that means that you might find me with a Wilson Stealth, a custom Colt LW Commander, a custom Colt Rail Gun or some other variation on the 5" theme that meets a particular need. I may have more to say about all of this in time (and likely will), but for now, I think I am going to leave it at that.

Liking a Glock is a Version of Stockholm Syndrome. Nobody likes it but they get used to it in time.

Last edited by Ricky T; 12-09-2013 at 03:58 PM.