Billy Norman
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The 32 Caliber Rusted Antique Pistol
Isabel, South Dakota Rodeo

The 32 Caliber Rusted Antique Pistol

By Billy Norman

In 1955 my dad, Vyrl Norman leased the Art Noyce 8,800 acre ranch north of Belle Fourche, SD near Redig.

My favorite thing to do was climb on my horse Smokey and go on long rides. The year was 1957 and I was 10 years old. We were in the big pasture, approx. 2,500 acres, which was the same pasture that Crow Butte was located in. About a half of a mile straight west of the Buttes was a windmill. About a half of a mile west of that I saw this pistol lying in the prairie. I jumped down and retrieved the pistol. I was riding bareback so I had no way of getting back on my horse. I led my horse to some good grass and he started eating. When he put his head down to bite the grass, I swung my leg over Smokey's head. It caused Smokey to raise his head and neck in the air and that put me up on his back. I still had about a mile and a half back to the ranch house.

In the early 1960's my Grandpa Virg from Nebraska came to stay with us. When he saw my pistol, he asked me if he could have it. I wasn't very excited about giving it to him. My mother said if I would give it to him, then when he passed away I would get it back along with Grandpa's musket that I loved so much. I agreed.

The 32 Caliber Rusted Antique Pistol

In 1965 I went to Army basic training. About 4 days before the training was over, Grandpa died. The Army let me go on my two week vacation a few days early so I could go to his funeral. When we got to Nebraska, all of my relatives were already there. The pistol and musket were missing. That was the first time I ever say my mother come unglued. When we got ready to leave after the funeral we found the musket in the back seat of my folk’s car. A couple of months later the pistol showed up in the mail in South Dakota.

My son-in-law, Evert Hill gave me a flint locked pistol for my birthday and now it is his birthday and I am returning the favor by giving him this 32 caliber rusted antique pistol.

Thanks Evert for being one hell of a son-in-law.

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