A Dispatch From America

Amidst the daily horror stories of a nation and culture in failure mode, it’s refreshing—and perhaps, recalibrating—to realize the America we all love is still in full bloom, in many places, from Sea to Shining Sea.

I was reminded of that this week, with some images from a county fair in West Tennessee. Even in my devolved home state of California, the county fair is sure to harbor a bit of the culture, values, lifestyle, skills, traditions, and arts that are the bedrock of the grand American experiment, but when you plot a course for a place like The Volunteer State, you can feel a shift, as if those things are no longer the exception, but the norm.

A case in point: At the 2023 Carroll County Fair, a young artist earned several ribbons, including a Blue Ribbon, for his pen-and-ink depictions of such classic revolvers as the Colt 1851 Navy, S&W 1875 Second Model Schofield, and Colt Python.

While the subject of his art may have induced a case of the vapors in some less enlightened corners of the nation, in Carroll County, the folks simply appreciated and rewarded the enthusiasm and talent of this young artist, as they should have.

That delights me to no end!

I really appreciated these charming—and excellent—drawings which transported me back to my own youth, and reminded me of an age when I used to scribble lesser-quality versions all over my school book covers, in the margins of my homework, and on papers that I hung on every vertical surface in the house that my indulgent mother would allow. I was never as talented as this young artist, but I did my best to make up for it in quantity.

This innocent, boyish fascination with guns, planes, tanks, battleships, trucks and cars is something to be celebrated in my book, and I’m just tickled to see it’s still alive and well; Happy to know there are still places where this kind of creativity and interest is encouraged.

I’d humbly ask the RevolverGuy audience to say a prayer of thanks for this young artist, and for the family and people in his life who made it possible for him to share his creative passion with an admiring audience. The future of our nation is still bright, as long as there are people and places like this that remain.

May God Bless America!

Author: Mike

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Mike Wood is a bonafide revolver nut, a certified law enforcement instructor in handgun, shotgun, patrol rifle, less-lethal, and diversionary device disciplines, and the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the definitive study of the infamous, 1970 California Highway Patrol shootout in Newhall, California. Mike wrote the "Tactical Analysis" column at Police1.com for 8 years, and enjoys teaching both armed citizens and law enforcement officers.

12 thoughts on “A Dispatch From America”

  1. Many of our politicians are irredeemably crummy and should be booted out of office (and some belong in prison) but most Americans are decent and want a fair and functional republic. Meanwhile, the solutions to our cultural and political malaise are pretty obvious and achievable.

    Perhaps it’s the very young folks in our troubled nation who someday will turn things and achieve a better America.

  2. This actually choked me up a bit. Thank God for people who can see talent in something regardless of their interest in the subject (though I’m guessing that isn’t a huge issue in Tennessee).

    1. I was lucky, Paul. I had ones that didn’t seem to mind, and even let me work firearms into my creative writing projects, occasionally. SoCal was different back then. Heck, everything was different back then.

  3. Mike it is nice see these “vile” objects portrayed in art work from young folks. I too was a serial doodler for many years. Never could get the curve of a SAA down right.

    My wife has an interesting hobby (one of them) she judges county fairs in the northern tier of the Arkansas Ozarks counties. She has served as a judge in several categories including
    photography, art , crafts and horticulture. It is really nice to see the youth division entries, you can readily see patriotism, pride, faith and other anti woke subjects.

    It is an activity that very much needs to remain in our american landscape. It is on the endangered species list along with religion, law & order and doing the right thing.

  4. Future gun designers ?? Maybe the next Sam Colt, Paul Mauser, John Moses Browning, Bill Ruger . . . ?

    Wait . . . (bite my tongue) there will never be another John Moses Browning.

  5. Congratulations to young artists. Some school districts hell-bent on “liberalism” would get their panties all tangled in knots, blue hair on fire, and body tattoos oozing pus if a student took pen/pencil to paper drawing a firearm. Next they would call police, suspend the student, scold the parents, and tell other students to shun these young artists.

    Ironically, if a school shooter starts popping off rounds on campus, school admin would immediately call for police officers with guns to come save them. And if you try to explain their hypocrisy to these weak frightened people, they will have a tantrum and call 911 again to come get you.

    Young artists, keep drawing. One day your talent will be rewarded by the same people who are clueless about your subject matter, because they will need help from an armed person holding a real firearm vs. their dislike of your paper firearm.

  6. In case you guys haven’t heard it yet, there’s a song that went viral last week from a gent named Oliver Anthony, titled “Rich Men North of Richmond.” A line from the song seems appropriate here:

    “Living in the new world, with an old soul . . . “

    Sums up how I feel every day. That’s why this story from the county fair was so appealing—I think it speaks to us old souls, trapped in a new world that’s going the wrong direction.

    That young man’s art gives me hope.

  7. Yes Sir,
    God bless America, the artists and the good people who inhabit and promote the 2A. Anyone who wants to take away our rights is not a friend and will be treated as such

  8. WTF is “1st Premium “. I have one blue ribbon from a county fair some 50 years ago. It says “1st Prize”. I’m glad about the young artists but man this country is screwed up

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