Opening photo: “Grandfather’s Ithaca Flues”
Copyright Ronald Jones. Used with kind permission.
It’s a phrase we often say to ourselves when unpacking a firearm to be restored, as we lay eyes on it for the first time. We find ourselves wondering: what left that scratch on the barrel? How’d the forend get chipped that way? Who was the person whose name is carved in the buttstock? What sort of family stories are embedded in this firearm’s wood and steel?
These mesmerizing classics and antiques serve as a canvas for just a sampling of experiences they’ve been through. They are more than just the tools of their time, but time capsules of their past. Wars, hunts, adventures, friendships. All unique experiences that these heirlooms likely traveled through in their lifetime.
Preserving memories is a careful balance that we all look to manage throughout our lives. Attempting to honor the journey and experiences of the past, while looking to improve and make things better for the future.
Restoring a firearm is no exception. For many of our customers, restoration means preserving the memories of their family heirloom – an artifact with so many stories attached to it – and preparing it for its next hundred-year journey.
Our valued customer Ronald Jones shares this sort of mindset in the story he tells of Grandfather Jones’ 1911 Ithaca Flues 20 gauge. It’s a story that culminates in the restoration of his cherished double. You can read it by pointing your web browser to TurnbullRestoration.com/rj. With thanks to Mr. Jones, you can also see Grandfather’s Ithaca on the front cover of our 2021 calendar.
The opportunity to hear these old guns talk is one we’re truly honored to have. Their voices are heard through their current owners. Our responsibility is to listen closely and understand what these stories mean. And ultimately, to perform a restoration that honors the firearm’s past journeys while preparing it for future adventures.
Because it’s for the memories.