Country legend Hank Williams, Jr. talks guns with the NRA
Phil Schreier, Senior Curator for the National Firearms Museum, spent the weekend in Tulsa, saw a lot of great guns, and made a new friend ... here's his story:
Tulsa, Oklahoma - I've been traveling to gun shows for the NRA’s National Firearms Museum for the past 22 years. And from the very first show I attended, it was rumored that Hank Williams Jr, just might be in attendance. Now at one time, it wasn’t unusual to have seen the likes of Buddy Hackett, Mel Torme, Tom Selleck and Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar at the Vegas Antique show. But I wanted to meet Bocephus. Heck, I had Hank Sr & Jr records long before I ever even owned a firearm. Alas, that dream went unrealized until this past weekend while we were filming the new Guns & Gold TV series for the Sportsman’s Channel at Wanenmacher's Tulsa Arms Show.
Two great friends of the museum, Ethel & Ray Saign of Minneapolis, were set up near our TV studio on the balcony overlooking the world’s largest gun show. Ethel told me that she was good friends with Hank Jr, that he was at the show, and he might be willing to film a segment for us.
I readily and enthusiastically accepted her offer of an introduction and patiently waited by. Sometime on Sunday she said he had not returned her messages and that we should go looking for him. Sure enough, we found him amongst a horde of admiring fans in the middle of the show. We hit it off from the get go.
NRA - a place for Daddy's Pistols
He restated a pledge made during a concert at a past NRA Annual Meeting, saying he was proudly donating “my Daddy's pistols” to the National Firearms Museum. I said we were excited to have that happen soon and then volunteered to film a segment of the TV show on his tour bus.
We talked about the fabulous A.H. Fox Super Grade shotgun he found at the show, a real bargain as it had two sets of barrels and was in like new condition. The original “leg of mutton” leather carrying case was also in great condition which is unusual for cases of that period. He went on to discuss his stunning collection of historical arms and accoutrements and promised that his Daddy's guns would soon arrive at the museum.
It was surreal to be sitting in the tour bus of one of my musical idols. It made me realize how blessed I am to be in this position with the NRA. To be in a job that has taken me from DC to Iraq and back, to 49 out of 50 states in the union, and allowed me to spent 60 minutes on a tour bus with Bocephus. It is a memory I will fondly cherish for a long, long time.