I was born in 1931 and grew up on a farm in south Mississippi. My dad was a sharecropper until I was in my teens during those very difficult times. My love for guns and hunting goes back as far as I can remember, but my dad was not a hunter and did not even own a gun. It was always my heart’s desire, once I was old enough, to get into the woods that I loved with a gun of my own.
My grandfather bought a brand-new Stevens Model 94A single-barrel 12-ga. shotgun in the late 1930s. He passed away in 1941 and, about two years later, my grandmother started letting me borrow it to go hunting. I would go out and hunt with it and then return it to her each time. I started asking her to sell me the gun and, finally, in 1944, she told me that while she wouldn’t just give it to me, she would let me buy it for $15.
I didn’t know where I would be able to get that much money during those hard times, but after much pleading, somehow my parents gave me the money to buy it. As a way to pay them back, I used that shotgun to put a lot of meals on our family’s table during those years. I couldn’t attempt to guess how many miles I trekked with my treasured Model 94A or how many rabbits, squirrels, ducks and other animals I have harvested with it.
After all the years of use, it is still in its original condition. It has never crossed my mind to part with it, and it never will. I did not understand then, but today I’m thankful my grandmother made me give her $15 for my grandfather’s beloved old shotgun. I now own quite a number of great guns, but this old Stevens Model 94A will always stand out in front of the others.
Doug Lee, Mississippi