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Turkey Huntin'! Truth Is Stranger than Fiction

I'm gonna tell y'all right now that I'm a world class turkey caller. Ain't nobody better. I can call 'em in and I can put 'em in a trance. I just can't shoot 'em as I haven't figured out how to operate the call and the gun at the same time.

Just the other day I was holding a conversation about good guitars with a fellow and mentioned how I'd like to have a pricey Martin guitar but that I didn't play well enough to spend the money. The fellow told of how he'd once played really well at a gathering but, when someone pointed out that he was using a cheap Montgomery Wards guitar, everyone dispersed. I replied that I had an expensive accordion but crowds dispersed whenever I started to play it.

I generally don't admit to it but I play the accordion. I'm bashful though, and not too keen to play for others so I try to avoid it at all cost. I can play the squeeze-box pretty well if I practice regularly. Several years ago I won a contest put on by the Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Accordion Association, coming in first out of 30 participants. I even won a $50 gift certificate to the German restaurant sponsoring the event. Leave it to my wife to take me down a notch by pointing out that all the other contestants were least 20 years older than I was, a sure indicator of the accordion's depressed popularity with the younger set. I used the gift certificate to take my parents out to eat wiener schnitzel in payment for all those accordion lessons they paid for so long ago.

Accordions (and accordionists) get no respect. If a television sit-com requires a cheap laugh, an accordionist turns up. Most folks think accordions are only good for practice in order to learn how to fold a map.

What is the difference between an onion and an accordion?
People cry when they chop up onions.

What is the definition of perfect pitch?
Closing your eyes, turning your back, and throwing an accordion into the dumpster without touching the sides.

Yeah, accordions are a joke. I've gotten used to it.

Sheet music, correctly transcribed for accordion, is difficult to locate and I'm always on the lookout for it. I can make do with sheet music transcribed for the piano but the "real" thing is nice to find. Once I found a batch of proper accordion sheet music in an advertisement from a music shop in Houston. I perused the list and ordered a number of titles. Soon it arrived in the mail and I was pleased to have some new songs to learn.

Not long after the sheet music's arrival I planned a few days afield in pursuit of deer and duck at our old family place at Lake Leon. While gathering up the decoys, guns, and gear, I thoughtfully included an accordion and some of the new sheet music. I was being considerate to give the household a break from the wheezing instrument. What better place to run through the difficult portions of the music than at our old lake cabin, miles away from anyone else? After all, when I'm rusty and out of practice, my accordion isn't much different than my wife's cat, Lily. The accordion may cost more than the cat but they both make the same kinds of sounds when squeezed.

I can't now recall whether I hunted ducks or deer that morning but after the hunt I test fired an old Army rifle. This was a recently acquired U.S. Model 1903 Springfield which was a real oldie with a low serial number and a barrel date from 1905. Some informal shooting showed me that it was still an accurate rifle despite the many years and its history of military service.

It was a clear, cool autumn afternoon. After the good performance of the '03 rifle and a fine steak dinner broiled over a mesquite and oak fire I broke out the accordion for some entertainment. I warmed up by playing some familiar rags and polkas then shuffled through the stack of new sheet music for some interesting tunes to play. Long past forty years of age and due for my first pair of reading glasses, I'd noticed that the interior of the cabin was a little dim. While peering at the sheet music I caught the notes misbehaving on the staff. I just scooted the chair into the cabin's doorway and placed another chair out on the porch to hold the music. There the light was fine and I could read so I began learning the new tunes.

I was deeply absorbed in the music and not paying attention to the day. The occasional duck winged it's way back to the lake after feeding in the nearby peanut fields, undisturbed by my 10 gauge shotgun which has long stood outside the door when I'm hanging out at the cabin during waterfowl season. I've occasionally taken ducks right there in the yard with that 10 gauge when cooking lunch or plinking cans with a .22 rifle.

Oblivious to the world, I squawked through the new pieces. Then I ripped into "Twelfth Street Rag" and was happily sawing away on the accordion when I looked out into the yard to see a flock of 15 turkeys standing motionless with their necks stretched upward and their heads craned in my direction. They weren't 20 yards from me! They seemed absolutely mesmerized by my rousing performance! I only saw hens and jakes but hey, turkey is turkey and they were in season. I stopped playing and froze, momentarily perplexed. How was I to deal with this predicament? I was strapped to a 28 lb. accordion! My hunting rifle was not loaded and was zipped in its case. The shotgun was just out of reach against the outside wall on the porch. The old Army rifle was lying on a dinette table charged with five rounds of ammunition and with the bolt opened for safety, where I'd left it just in case a deer appeared from the mesquite. I determined that my best bet was to go for the Springfield.

Stealthily I backed into the comparative gloom of the cabin while keeping an eye on the turkeys which were beginning to look around as if they were disappointed that the concert was over. I was hoping that they couldn't detect my movements in the dark recesses of the cabin. I intended to just take the shot through the opened door from inside the cabin. Pressing the bellows shut, I snapped the fastener that retains them with my right hand while gathering up the '03 Springfield with my left hand. My attempts to shoulder and aim the rifle placed the butt plate squarely on the accordion's keyboard which wasn't designed to survive the recoil of a .30-06. Nothing would do but for me to get out of that accordion so that a shot could be taken. I was chuckling to myself, thinking that it would be some stunt to shoot a turkey that I'd called in with the "Twelfth Street Rag." Alas, it was not to be. By the time I could set the accordion down and pick up the rifle I caught a last glimpse of the turkeys as they silently glided into the thick mesquite and buffalo grass like stately ghosts. There was to be no roast wild turkey for Thanksgiving at our house.

My accordion and I may never be called to play a paying gig but we can call turkeys. I'm gonna go hungry though if I can't figure out how to take one.
 

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Thanks Bryan!
I enjoyed that story also!
Put me in a 55gal drum put the lid backon
and no one would still try to listen to me sing or try
to play anything!

dick44
 

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I liked that story.Sounds like if your gonna use a acordian to call them again though you might want to pack a hand gun so you dont have to take the accordian off to shoot.hehehe
 

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I'm glad this story popped back up.

At lunchtime yesterday, I was browsing the guns and knife stuff in a pawn shop in Weatherford,Tx. During the short period of time I was in there, three different fellas came in to inquire about accordions. That seemed strange until I remembered this story and realized that spring turkey season is on the horizon and they needed time to practice a bit before it opened!

xtm
 
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