Newsletter Archives for the V.G.C.A.

V.G.C.A NEWS January, 2001

This Month's Topics:



Show and Tell

 The Next Meeting

 New Members




 Spirited Discussion


Secretary’s Subtleties

President’s Corner

General.  The Combined November-December meeting on Pearl Harbor Day was more than interesting.  We had another great program followed by a short business meeting that became a longer meeting because of spirited discussions. 

Program. Phil Schrier presented a program on the guns of Teddy Roosevelt.  We learned that nobody ever called him "Teddy" to his face.  He was always "Theodore".  The NRA Museum has four of Theodore's guns on display, two of which are handguns.  One of the rifles is an 1895 Winchester that he gave to General Leonard Wood and is on loan from Mr. Tom Powers of Texas.  Another is a 500/40 Nitro from one of his guides.  When Theodore presented someone with a rifle, it was always one that he already owned.  He would send it to the factory for refurbishing and then present it.  Phil also read one of the chapters from a book that is not yet published.  What made it special is that Phil wrote it for the publisher. 

Show and Tell. Larry Hare showed a Colt Model 1883 in 44-40.  Larry is the proud owner of one of only 6,300 that were produced.  Tom Kyriakakis showed a Sig Sauer and Japanese police pistols in .32 caliber.  The Japanese guns have manual safeties but only with the hammer down.  Addison Hurst showed off his 1868 Cavalry Carbine.  This piece started life as a Civil War percussion Carbine.  It is one of 27.000 that were modified to 50-70 by Sharps.

Next Meeting. This month's Program will be on January 25 at 7:30PM at the NRA Headquarters.  This month's presentation will be by Jeff Perkins, our expert on the M1 Rifle.  Jeff will be discussing the rifle's manufacture and will demonstrate many of the tools and gauges used in their production.  Members may bring in M1 rifles.  However, Jeff will only be able to examine in his presentation the first five rifles presented to him.  It should be very interesting.  Don't miss it!  (A light supper will be provided as usual.)

New Members.  Four applicants were accepted as new members.  Welcomes were David Condon, a former member who came back; Greg Krause; Terry Neal; and Con Rice, who brought his two well-behaved sons to the meeting.

Hats.Well folks, the VGCA hats are here, and they are really  nice.  Yes, I bought two, and most everyone who attended the meeting bought one.  They are $15.00 each and will be for sale at each meeting until they are sold out.  Please buy one.  The executive Committee reacted to what the membership asked for, researched it, and allocated the money.  Now let's get it back into the treasury and have a decent looking headpiece at the same time. 

Official.  Ed Costello gave a modified financial report and also reported that the VGCA is now officially a not-for-profit organization.  Some of us worked very hard completing all the stuff that had to be done to reach the goals we set.  We did it in less than a year.  Yes, I'm bragging for all the Executive Committee and its two primary advisors, Emory Hackman and Charlie Rathel.

VGCA-NRA.  I think we all agree that the programs this year were all outstanding.  Our programs have always been good, but your combined efforts with the NRA have brought programs that we could not have had if left to out own devices.  The response from visitors representing gun clubs in other States has been nothing sort of remarkable.  Phil Schrier and Doug Wicklund should be congratulated for their efforts on our behalf.  The response has been such that Addison and Phil are working on planning at lest three joint programs in 2001.

The VGCA is also planning on attending and displaying at the NRA Annual Meeting again in 2001.  It looks like Charlie and Vince Rausch will again lead the charge for us.  If they do half as well as they did this year, we couldn't ask for more.

Spirited Discussion and Courtesy. There were two items that caused spirited discussion.  The first was when Phil Hill commented that he has never seen a gun tied at show and tell.  He feels that we should practice what we preach at our Gun Shows and tie the guns we bring to meetings.  It appeared to be a 50-50 split as whether the members agreed.

The next spirited discussion was also Phil led.  Phil, in his position as Gun Show Guru, asked what those present thought about: adding automatic weapon sales at our shows; allowing the sale of civilian knives (read: knife dealers); discussion with the automatics causing the most give and take.  The Executive Committee will discuss whether to bring the items to the membership for further discussion.

I would like to let the members who do not normally attend meetings know that we have come a long way.  Nobody tried to yell anyone else down and everybody who had something to say was allowed to finish with no sarcastic comments from anyone else.  I think back to my first Newsletter when I commented on rudeness, crudeness, and crassness.  We are definitely improving.

There was one comment, however, and it was voiced to me by a few after the meeting.  We had one member, who does not usually use vulgarity, spout a string of profanities -- none of it directed at another member or other member's opinion.  The member apologized privately and recognized the fact that our guests included women and children.  'Nuff said!!!

Election.  Enclosed in this package is a mail-in ballot for the election of three members to the board of directors.  Nominees are the three present members: Gary Holderman, Ernie Lyles, and Moe Phillips.  Nominated from the floor and accepting the nomination was Larry Hare.  Please mail the ballot by 15 January.  Only mailed ballots will count.  There is a VGCA -paid-for-stamp on each, so please use it and vote for no more than three.  A few comments about each nominee in alphabetical order follows:

Larry Hare.  Larry is a 10+ year member who seldom misses a meeting or VGCA sponsored function.  When he does it is because he is out of town or his work hours that day preclude his attending.  Known as "Mr. Show and Tell", he has shared his collection of rare and always interesting firearms as no other has.  Larry truly enjoys our meetings and has often stated, "This is the only place where I feel comfortable discussing what interests all of the members and I have yet to meet somebody who I cannot learn from."  This is Larry's second nomination and, in his quiet and honest manner, is honored that someone would consider him worthy of a leadership position in the VGCA.

Gary Holderman.  Gary is one of those people who is always ready, willing, and able to work for the VGCA.  He is one of the original members and is quite proud of it. His involvement in VGCA activities includes taking new-member photographs, safety officer on the firing  line at our picnics, and being in charge of the show committee where he rules on all the major and minor, perceived and real, inconveniences generated by members, dealers, and other table renters, and visitors at our shows.  When it appeared that the membership wanted hats, he told the Executive Committee that he would take charge and you see the results.  No VGCA -related task is too hard for Gary.

Ernie Lyles.  Ernie was elected to the Board for the first time last year.  He has been a life member of the VGCA for approximately 10 years.  He is also a life member of the3 VSSA, an active member of the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club, General Manager and co-owner of Gilbert's Small Arms Range, and an active shooter for the past 28 years.  Ernie has enjoyed being on the board for the last 12 months and feels a part of the progress: new Articles of Incorporation, revising the Bylaws, obtaining non-profit status with he IRS, and working on updating the show rules.  Ernie would like to be reelected to what he considers the finest gun collecting organization on the East Coast.

Moe Phillips.  Moe has been a Life Member since 1984.  He collects U.S. martial long arms up to the end of the civil war but admits to owning a couple WWII M1 Garand rifles, a carbine and a colt .45 auto.  Moe is an original member of the VGCA and is proud of it.  He has been a hard working member devoted to the VGCA.  He has been a show judge for at least the past 15 years and was program chairman for at least that long.  He has also served as Vice President and is a current member of the Board.  He supports the VGCA wherever and whenever needed and still considers finding an alternate show site as one of our top priorities.

Secretary's Subtleties.  This has been a great year for us, and I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the support many of you have given to me in my job as Secretary and Newsletter writer.  Some of you didn't like the way I started off, but many of h9u have changed your minds and have told me so.  For those of you who still look at me askance, please remember that the best interests of the VGCA are uppermost in my mind and I will continue working toward that end; and if it offends, so be it.

In my opinion this organization was n the verge of splintering at this time last year.  I do not feel that way anymore.  This is due to Addison's leadership, the close working relationships of the Executive Committee, and the hard work of the many of you who volunteer to work at the many things we do and not expect any recognition.  I will continue to recognize those members whenever I can in the Newsletter.

As the year draws to a close, I do see some of the members becoming more vocal about change.  Please remember one important thing.  This organization was founded by gun collectors who were and still are devoted to collecting guns and educating the populace at large about what we do.  So when you think about complaining that we don't have 10-cent knives or other non-gun items for sale at our shows, please remember that we are the Virginia Gun Collectors Association.  There is nothing in the name about knives, electric trains, or anything else.

As to the subject of automatic weapons at our shows, as long as I have a vote, the vote will be "No".  My reason:  all we need is one illegal sale and we are finished.  Before you vilify me for that statement, think about it.  How many times have you seen a non-dealer who rents tables buy a gun from somebody walking the aisles and then resell it?  That makes the guy who did it an unlicensed dealer.  How many times have you seen an out-of-State dealer sell a gun using a Virginia based dealer as a go between?  That's illegal.  How many of you have, as attendees, sold a gun to someone walking the aisles without checking to see if he was a Virginia resident?  Many of us don't consider any of what I just mentioned as being illegal, and blame the politicians.  Well folks, the politicians will not be the blame if an automatic weapon is illegally sold at one of our shows.  If you counter what I just said by telling me that there are strict laws controlling the sale of automatic weapons, I counter that with, "There are just as many stringent laws controlling the sale of rifles and handguns."  And if people overlook the rules as they stand, it will only be a matter if time until someone knowingly overlooks the laws that govern the sale of automatic weapons.

Our gun shows are the best, most highly thought of, and best regulated in this part of Virginia and I will do my best to keep them that way!!!

President's Corner.  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and save and sane New Years Eve.  We have had a great year.  We have rewritten the Articles of Incorporation and had them approved by the Commonwealth.  The Bylaws were rewritten and approved.  The IRS has granted us not-for-profit status.  We improved the show rules and tightened security and safety.  We had an award-winning display at the annual meeting of the NRA.  We changed the voting process  to allow everyone in the VGCA the chance to vote rather than letting only those who attended a particular meeting run the organization.  We also had VGCA-sponsored trips to see collections at the Smithsonian and the CIA Headquarters.

None of what was accomplished this year could have been done without the strong support given to me by the elected Officers and members of the Board of Directors.  They, as the Executive Committee, met at the NRA Headquarters at my call at least once each month, and in the beginning of the year, twice each month.  On top of that, each spent long hours on the telephone and on the Internet to get things moving.  In addition to the EXCOM members, two others deserve mention.  Emory Hackman, as our unpaid legal counsel, kept us on track with the legal ramifications of reincorporating and dealing with IRS rules.  The second is Charlie Rathel, our volunteer CPA.  Charlie was instrumental in his advice to Mike and Ed, and, because of him, we actually got money back from the IRS for taxes paid before we were declared not-for-profit.  Next I want to thank each member for your support in what started out as a tough year.  You rallied behind what we tried to do, and did, and volunteered to help as never before.

Last but not least, I want to thank Mike for keeping this organization, and especially me, on the right track.  Secretary is the most difficult Officer position in many organizations, especially when responsible for presenting the written words to the membership.  This Secretary has the best interests of the organization in his heart, and we all owe him a vote of thanks for being an active player in everything the VGCA accomplished this year.

Lets have another great year -- Addison