I grew up in the Schuylkill County area of Pennsylvania. It was a rural and predominantly poor area. My father was a hardworking coal miner, with not a lot of extra money on hand as he was raising a family of five. Despite that, I did receive a Daisy pellet rifle for Christmas at an early age.
In the spring of 1964, I had a stay at the hospital and received many get-well cards, with money in them as gifts. Not too long after the end of my hospital visit, I went with my father to a Western Auto store. While there, I saw a Mossberg Model 342KA bolt-action—a .22 rimfire with a folding forearm and seven-round magazine—sitting on the shelf.
After showing the rifle to my father and convincing him of just how responsible I was with my Daisy pellet rifle, I was allowed to purchase the Mossberg with my accumulated hospital money at the age of 13. For many years after that point, I used the rifle twice a day in the field and shot thousands of rounds through it.
It has always been lovingly cared for and is still in excellent shape. After doing further research on the rifle, I found out that Mossberg made those specific rifles for Western Auto. My father passed away in 2015, and I have accumulated many more firearms since this first one. I plan to pass down my Mossberg Model 342KA to my twin grandsons in the future.