About a gun

Song about Gar­nish leads Gan­der res­i­dent to gun from fa­ther’s youth

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL Adam.ran­dell@gan­der­bea­con.ca

How two peo­ple con­nected over a song and a lost pis­tol.

Wayne Loren­zen still can’t be­lieve it. Af­ter up­load­ing a song about Gar­nish – where his fam­ily’s roots are – to so­cial me­dia, a viewer reached out to tell him about a unique find.

The viewer of the orig­i­nal song “Maybe Home” was Fred Dodge and in his pos­ses­sion was a .22 cal­iber pis­tol that once be­longed to Loren­zen’s fa­ther, Jim, dur­ing his youth – a pis­tol lost more than 70 years ago in a meadow in Gar­nish back in the 1940s.

Loren­zen is un­sure how it first came into his fa­ther’s pos­ses­sion, but spec­u­lates it may have been a gift from his un­cle, a war vet­eran.

The his­tory of the gun has been pieced to­gether by Dodge, who has been in pos­ses­sion of the hand­gun for the past 30 years.

A friend gave the firearm to him. It was dis­as­sem­bled for safety, with both the ham­mer and trig­ger re­moved.

“(My friend’s) fa­ther had found it when mow­ing his meadow one day – this was prob­a­bly 20-30 years be­fore I ended up with it. He laid his drink bot­tle down where he al­ways did be­hind a rock and he heard the clink of glass strik­ing metal,” Dodge said.

There was al­ways a fair amount of spec­u­la­tion about how the hand­gun ended up in the meadow, but liv­ing in a time with­out in­ter­net made re­search dif­fi­cult.

Dodge placed the pis­tol pieces in a desk drawer and pretty much for­got about it.

The mystery would be solved af­ter Loren­zen’s fa­ther passed in 2015.

“My fa­ther-in-law – Don Marsh – was at the house, say­ing he couldn’t be­lieve his old child­hood friend Jim had passed,” re­counted Dodge. “He started telling us sto­ries about when they were boys, men­tion­ing he had a lit­tle pis­tol he would use, never loaded, when play­ing cow­boys and In­di­ans.”

Dodge fol­lowed up the con­ver­sa­tion by ask­ing for a de­scrip­tion of the gun.

A lit­tle .22 cal­iber pis­tol, sil­ver, with an oc­tagon-shaped bar­rel – a pis­tol that Jim had lost as a child, was the re­ply.

It was a light­bulb mo­ment.

“I went to the desk, brought it out, and he said, ‘oh my God that’s Jim’s gun’,” the Gar­nish res­i­dent said.

At that mo­ment Dodge de­cided the gun be­longed with its right­ful owner’s fam­ily.

“As soon as I re­al­ized this gun had a home, I knew what I had to do,” said Dodge. “I said to my wife that night, ‘Jim’s boys are get­ting their fa­ther’s gun back.’”

Last week he saw Loren­zen’s video post and de­cided to reach out.

Loren­zen said the news made for an emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It hit me like a tonne of bricks,” he said.

“I’ve had a lot of loss in my life over the last four years, los­ing Dad be­ing one of them, so I took this as a mes­sage from my fa­ther, don’t get down – ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be ok.

“And I see this as a very pos­i­tive thing in my life right now.”

Loren­zen will make the trip to Gar­nish to re­trieve the gun af­ter con­sult­ing the au­thor­i­ties about whether he’ll need a re­stricted firearms li­cense to trans­port the an­tique.

He’s un­sure what he’ll do with the it just yet. It will ei­ther be­come a restora­tion project or a box-mounted dis­play. Ei­ther way, there’ll be an­other song. “The first thing that came to my mind is, I want to write a song about it,” he said. “Based on the per­spec­tive of him los­ing the gun as a young boy and how it re­turned to me.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Af­ter post­ing an orig­i­nal song about Gar­nish where his fam­ily’s roots are, a viewer reached out to Gan­der res­i­dent Wayne Loren­zen about a long-lost pis­tol from his fa­ther’s youth.

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