I've encountered a number of guests over the years who have toured aboard the Carolina Belle with Charleston Harbor Tours. I frequently ask them how they liked it, and don't think I've ever gotten anything but a positive response, but I'd never gone on the tour myself. I decided to remedy that situation a week or so ago, and got out in the harbor for the first time since early this past fall.
Generally speaking, it's lousy to get a text message from a friend saying they are headed to the hospital in the middle of the night. A little while back I got such a message, but it was marvelous news, not bad news.
I shifted the safety to the "off" position and slowly pulled the antique shotgun, which had belonged to my friend's grandfather, up into my line of sight. "Pull," I said softly and squeezed the trigger, hurling the shotgun shell toward that helpless little orange disk. As it shattered, I got the nod of approval from the guys sitting behind me on the dock. I smiled inside, handed the gun back to my friend, and said, "I'm done." The gun was heavy for someone my size. I wasn't interested in having bruises from the recoil. And there were plenty of other things to entertain that day...fireworks to watch, hotdogs to roast, and bonfires to light. Ah, birthdays in the south.