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We all have those people that helped us along in our shooting careers. My uncle "Speedy" was a national champion in police pistol competition. He mentored me in reloading, and encouraged me to pusue the shooting sports. I never knew how really good he was, until one day about 5 years ago, while over his house for a family function, I wandered into his bedroom, and saw the breath-taking sight of over 100 trophies that he had won. Only after I inquired, would he talk about it, and ever since, a treasure trove of knowledge has been handed down from him to me. He taught me things that would have otherwise taken me decades to learn on my own. He always indulged my wide-eyed enthusiasm to learn more about guns, ammo, and competiton. He lived a fruitful 85 years, but what I wouldn't give for just a couple more. It feels like there is a huge hole that just can't be filled. God, I'm going to miss him. :( Rest in peace Uncle Speedy.

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A little bit over a month ago, I suffered the loss of my grandfather, that due to my father's lack of acceptance of the parental role, was more like a father to me through my childhood.

His death taught me a few things that might be worthy of your interest right now.

1st. He's not dead if he's not forgotten. And I think I know who will you be thinking about when you reload a cartridge or look (or win!) a trophy.

2nd. He's not dead if he leaves a legacy. Sounds like your uncle did for you.

3rd. We have naturally an egothistical nature that wants us to keep what we love wether its beneficial or not for the other person. I don't know what was the case with your uncle.

You are right, nothing will replace your uncle or bring him back. And that's good, because it tells us we are human and his departure affects us; doesn't go unnoticed. I would feel miserable if I didn't miss my grandpa everyday, in one way or another.

I believe death is just another stage in life, we must learn to accept it for what it is.

Rest in peace, Grandpa and Uncle, you deserve it.

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He retired from competition in the mid '80's, but was still an avid collector until the day he died. His name was John Kania. He was really well known in the PPC world at that time, and if he showed up, he usually won. I hear stories from his old friends telling me of how good of a shot he was. He origionally worked in the 7th Precinct in Detroit, but retired in the early '80's and did security work after that just for something to do. He still couldn't get the cop out of him, even in semi-retirement. One day, while working security at Detroit Receiving, he heard a call over his police scanner that an armed robbery suspect had ran into the hospital parking structure and holed-up there, pinning down the two pursuing cops. He ran out into the structure, dove under a car and unleashed a barrage of aimed fired at the doped-up suspect. I was told his first shot made the guy a "tongue man", and he hit him center of mass twice. The guy finally dropped, but was still convulsing trying to pull the trigger on an empty gun. My uncle got grazed on his right ankle only by the suspect, and easily survived the encounter to later receive a medal for what he did. This story was told to me by one of his friends, as he would never brag about it. Amazing guy. I intend to see if there is any memoribilia of his past performances noted at the Pontiac PPC and the Taylor PPC. I hear Pontiac is this weekend. I can think of no better way to honor him than to compete there.

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Barrettone, for whatever it is worth, I will add my story, if nothing else, you can see that you are not alone in this situtation.

My uncle, who has been my best friend since I was old enough to have real friends, took up shooting after he quit drinking. There had always been guns around the house, and grandpa was a bit of a fast draw/carnival shooter way back when. After Uncle B got cleaned up and dried out he had a lot of time on his hands, time he used to spend in dirty bars, fast cars, and loose women. He had been shooting for about 15 years when it was decided that I was of age to give it a go. After a few matches with him, I began to meet some of his friends, who have now become some of my closest personal friends. He, as well as some of the friends of his that are now my friends, had won a number of things ranging from small, to big, to huge. All the plaques, medals, and trophies ended up in private areas like bedrooms, basement closets, and corners of the garage. I can only guess that is they all, like your uncle I assume, lived for the match, not the prize. These men lived for the feeling inside you when the shot recoils, the muzzle makes that wonderful noise, and you smell burnt powder in the air. They would have been just as happy had then never won anything. My parents were always, and still are incredibly supportive, and have always done everything they could to help me, but themselves are not competitors. My uncle is still here with me, but I have thought many times what it will be like once he is gone. I fear that day and offer condolenses to you and your family. Pierrugi was right when he said that he isnt gone if he left a legacy. Live for the match, not the prize and I am sure you uncle will look down with pride.


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