Greetings from the historic Northern Neck of Virginia. I am spending a few days with some friends here (To include my best little buddy, Miss Susan of the purple BB Pistol)
I wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year. I hope that it is a good one, or at least better than the last one.
Last night I sat up until midnight and was reminded of a tradition that I thought was southern, but am finding out that it SEEMS to be universal. On both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, folks have a tendency to fire off firearms. I always wondered why folks did this, (Other than the Hell raising aspect of it all) It seems to be a very old custom, going back to the colonial period. When I was doing some research on law men of the old west, I found that the town codes of Tombstone, Dodge City and a few other cattle towns forbid the discharging of firearms in the limits of the towns with the exception of Christmas Day and the 4th of July. It's sorta strange to think of a time where it was considered "O.K." to step out in the back yard and touch off a few rounds. I will not address the safety issues of this, pro or con, I KNOW it isn't the safest thing to do.
In North Carolina, this tradition carries on in a small town named Cherryville, in the western part of the state. They have been doing a traditional New Years day shoot as long as anyone can remember. It has a lot of ritual involved and is very well received by the folks who live in town. They have a web site to check out with links to videos of the shooting. Check it out:
I keep on planing to be with them one of these New Years Eve, but haven't made it yet. Maybe next year....
Pore Ol' Hillary
9 minutes ago