My uncle, Taylor Wilson, was the gun guy in our family. Taylor had grown up in West Dallas,during the Depression, and knew what hard times really meant. He was on speaking terms with other West Dallas residents, namely the Barrow and Hamilton families. However, to my knowledge, Uncle Taylor chose not to get afoul of the law and generally behaved himself. In the fine Texas tradition, however, he always carried a pistol.
I can remember Taylor visiting our home, in Austin, when I was just a snip of a lad. Upon entering the house, he always took his pistol out of his pocket and laid it on the mantel. For people of his generation, that was a way of showing respect and the fact that he trusted the company that he was in. On one of those visits he caught me staring at his gun, from a safe distance. Nothing would do but for him to take me out in the back yard and let me shoot it. I was 4-5 years old at the time and I’m sure that my mother raised holy hell about it.
In the course of time, Uncle Taylor gave me my first shooting lessons. He also showed me how to clean and take care of a gun, telling me that if I took care of a pistol, it would take care of me. Not long before he died, Taylor was telling me how he wanted to split up his modest estate. I told him that he should leave everything to his daughter and grandkids; all I wanted was his old sixgun.
The revolver in question is a 2-inch Smith & Wesson Military & Police model, in .38 Special. That’s the same gun that later became the Model 10. This old sixgun is the early 5-screw model with a rounded front sight and a butter smooth action. And, as the photo proves, I still have it.
Taylor’s old Smith & Wesson stays loaded and does duty as one of my home defense guns. A while back, I used it to demonstrate the cross draw in a segment of American Guardian TV. But it gets light duty these days.
A lot of people wouldn’t understand how a firearm can be a treasured memory of one’s youth and the people who made a lasting memory and shaped the course of one’s life. I expect that you folks can.