One year at Bynum, all the boys I played with talked about nothing but Red Ryder Carbine BB guns.
We begged for one at Christmas.
All of our parents said the same thing (just like in the movie) "you will shoot someone's eye out". I even asked our Santa (Mr. Walker) did he bring BB guns to kids. He kind of changed the subject without answering my question.
Doodle bug had all kinds of comic books with special offers on the Red Ryder Carbine. We drooled over those ads. I even showed one to my parents. But, the response was "you will shoot someone's eye out" over and over. Coonie Brewer said he got the same response at home.
It seemed that we had all the deck stacked against us (just like Ralphie in the movie). But we continued to try and justify our ownership of such marvelous Red Ryder Carbines. Coonie Brewer often spoke of us going on hunting trips into the woods with our Carbines. It all made sense to the whole crew.
Our family was shopping at the old Sears in Anniston prior to Christmas. Guess what? Santa was there. I procrastinated over going up to him and asking about the Carbine possibilities but, I was older than all the kids in line and decided against it. We were just not going to get those Carbines no matter what we did.
Christmas Eve day arrived and we all gathered at the trash can bin next to the Brewer's house and verbally expressed the hopeless situation. We were in despair.
Christmas Morning arrived. Heeeeyyy! There was a wonderful Red Ryder Carbine and several packs of BBs under the tree. I quickly got dressed, grabbed my Carbine and ran down to the Brewers. And guess what? All three Brewer boys had Carbines too! Yeeeaaa! Bynum now had a whole crew of Red Ryder Carbines to defend it. And, we immediately started planning a hunting trip down to Tenny's pasture. What would we hunt? Well, there were no game there, just cans and stuff to plink with BBs.
We went to the Tenny's and guess what? Jerry had also got a BB gun. He got the high end pump model. It was a real marvel and we held him in awe for the ownership of such a thing.
Wow! We were armed to the teeth and ready to take on anything.
After shooting up a bunch of BBs, we went to Walker's store and restocked our ammunition. Because you never know when those Carbines may be needed. Mr Walker told us "be careful and don't shoot anyone's eye out".
Bynum was now safe from invaders and had a host of hunters if they were needed.
When the movie, A Christmas Story, came out, I really connected with Ralphie. Pat Keyes even wounded himself in the head from a ricocheting BB while he shot Jerry's BB gun. Wow! He had a real gun shot (abet BB) wound. Such a badge of honor to behold.
I own, even to this day, a Red Ryder Carbine BB gun. It has a special spot in the corner of my study. After all, you never know when that Carbine might be needed.
Ronny Wheeler, Apt. No. 10
"Dead Eye Ronny" and his Carbine Click on pic to enlarge