GENTLEMAN GUNNER GONE

Discussion in 'Photography Forum' started by Irishwhistler, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    Gentleman Gunner Gone ~ A Tribute to Nelson Flanigan

    Aye Mates,
    I was informed recently o' the passing o' an old friend and fellow gun club member named Nelson Flanigan otherwise affectionately known as "Nel". The loss o' an old friend is never easy, but the passing o' Nel is particularly laced with sorrow for meself and likewise for many o' the other members o' our gun club. Nel was currently the oldest member at our very old gun club which was founded in 1923, just 8 years prior to Nelson's birth in 1931. Our club consists o' a very small membership (currently at 14 members), that being so by design and certainly a rare gem as such organizations go. A club with a long, proud history, Nelson truly loved the place and made many o' his most fond memories there. I considered Nel to be the last o' "the old guard", that having been made up o' all the older members that I had met a few decades ago when I was first invited to the club as a guest, those lads all now long having passed on.

    For meself, Nelson personified the quintessential "Gentleman Gunner". He never wore a jacket, tie, and breeks whilst hunting, and likely would have been thought o' as demented had he done so and laughed at endlessly. Rather, Nel was a soft spoken man that loved being with his mates at the club, sharing meals and a dram or two after a day o' hunting for birds or whitetails, and spinning yarns about his hunts o' days long having passed, many o' those with gunning partners that had passed on as well. Stories told from Nelson's "golden days" days as a gunner.

    Any time that Nel was able to make it to the club in more recent years was truly a most welcomed occasion for meself. I would purposely cease doing that which had previously occupied me attention and sit with Nelson like a wide eyed kid whilst listening to him relay stories o' his many days spent afield in days now relegated to memory and laced with the names o' other club members now gunning in the great beyond. The glow in Nelson's eyes and the smile on his face as he spoke of now faded gunning adventures underlined how very much treasured those memories were for Nelson and for meself, they were like being put in a time machine that would transport me back to days long before me birth, times I would have loved to experience.

    Like so many o' the old gentleman gunners at our club, Nelson was a proud veteran himself having served during the Korean War and as we all have in common, a profound love for our country. Nelson was a dedicated family man and loved his wife Mary whom passed on a sort time ago, Nelson having cared for her with unending loyalty. He was also the proud father o' three and the grandfather to many. A man o' truly great character and a friend to many, Nelson was surely a gentleman in every sense o' the word.

    In what might almost have been anticipated, Nelson requested that there be no calling hours and that any burial service be private, a testament to his simple and quiet ways.

    Nelson's passing marks the end o' an era for many o' me fellow gun club members. Me good mate Bill, currently our club president and I got together on Wednesday and reminisced with fondness and profound respect for our dear friend Nelson. Billy had gifted me a bottle o' a particularly delightful Irish liquor known as "Celtic Crossing" that is unfortunately no longer in production making it rare to come by and quite pricey if lucky enough to locate any remaining stock. Upon receiving the precious gift from Bill, I told him I would wait for a most deserving occasion before cracking the seal, and that I would surely be sharing it with Bill when that time came. The bottle was opened on Wednesday and Bill and meself hoisted several bittersweet drams to the memory o' our mate Nelson Flanigan, an Irish American gentleman gunner, in recognition o' Nelson's own "Celtic Crossing" into the grand woodlands and fields beyond. Slan Abhaile Nelson Flanigan, ye left ye mark and a void like no other, and ye will be missed beyond mere words.

    Slan Go Foill,
    Mikey ☘️

     
  2. metalworx

    metalworx Senior Refuge Member

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    That is a very fine testament to your friend and gentleman. I'm sure he will be greatly missed as I recall the stories of my late grandfather's adventures afield. My condolences to you Mike and fellow gun club members.

    Chris (Metalworx)
     
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  3. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    Chris,
    Thank ye kindly Sir.

    Cheers,
    Mike ☘️
     
  4. 3labman

    3labman Senior Refuge Member

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    So sorry for the passing of you friend.
     
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  5. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    Many thanks Labman.

    Mike ☘️
     
  6. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Senior Refuge Member

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    Remember the good times.
    True life long friends are few and far between. You will never forget.........
     
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  7. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    So very true. Thank ye.

    Mike ☘️
     
  8. hunting1

    hunting1 Senior Refuge Member

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    Unfortunately loss is something I know too much about so my heart reaches out to you. We never completely lose them. They leave pieces of them behind with us and take a little bit of us with them. That's a fine tribute you gave him and next time I raise a glass I will think of all of you that will dearly miss him.
     
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  9. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    Hunting1,
    Thank ye most kindly.

    Mike ☘️
     
  10. riverrat47

    riverrat47 Elite Refuge Member

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    My outdoor mentors started passing just a few months after I returned from Vietnam. As my Dad wasn't an avid outdoorsman, his friends took over the task. As a young'un, I was the bartender and constant shadow in the room, whether it was a fishing or duck hunting cabin or our kitchen, soaking in every story of days gone by.
    The last few upland hunts we were able to make together, I designated myself as the pack mule. While the old boys still carried their own shells, in canvas hunting coats, their game bags went unused, as they couldn't have handled the strain. (I still have my canvas hunting coat, although it's somehow shrunk while hanging in the closet.) No, the game was not tagged, so technically I was illegal, carrying way over the limit of rabbits and pheasants, but so be it...and I'd do it again.
    Mike, I hope you played or sang "The Parting Glass."
    While I don't have Celtic Crossing, I will raise a glass of Powers to Mr. Nelson Flanigan.
     
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