This is the beginning of a mini-series within a larger series. The larger series is called “Early Ro” and will include multiple posts – since it’s an evolving process, I have no idea how many “multiple” will eventually include − designed to give background on what Ro was like as a child and how those early experiences presaged who she would become as an adult – earlier posts like “Ro as a Millennial” and “Portents” are examples the series.
This post, as well as the next three, will be called “Year 10” and will, obviously, focus on Ro’s tenth year – roughly May, 1992, − her 10th birthday was May 15th − through early May, 1993 – just before her 11th birthday. Although at the time no one, least of all Ro, knew it, her tenth year would turn out to be a pivotal year for her.
We’ll start with how Ro first got started shooting, an interest that would eventually lead to her winning skeet shooting championships and later handgun target championships as a teenager and young adult.
During the summer of 1991, when she was nine, Ro had begun to accompany her father on his once every few week Saturday morning visits to the Witness Tree Rod and Gun Club in rural Fort Armstrong County, where he was a member. A hunter as a kid, as an adult Mike had switched to casual skeet shooting competitions with friends.
Mike and Ro would stop at the club’s snack bar for breakfast, then go out to the skeet range where Ro would sit and watch Mike and his friends plunk away.
There had been a couple of similar visits in the early spring of ’92; but at her tenth birthday dinner Ro asked her father if she could learn to shoot like he did. So, Mike retrieved his old Stevens Model 311A .410 from his gun safe, the gun his father had given him and that he’d learned to shoot with as a kid, and presented it to Ro, proud that she would be the third generation to use it.
As Ro’s tenth year progressed, it soon became apparent to Mike and his friends that she had outstanding hand-eye coordination and missed very few clay pigeons. In fact, it was just a little over a year later, in the summer of 1993, that Ro won her first championship, taking the Witness Tree’s junior (under-15) skeet shooting division title.
(C) 2017 Dave Lager