Blackpowder

Blackpowder Overview

We are the Black Powder group here at WWCCA and we’d like to welcome you to the Club.

We encourage you to attend the various meetings and get involved in all the activities available here at the club. Get to know people and ask questions. That’s the best way to navigate around and enjoy the place. If you don’t feel comfortable participating yet, then just come out and watch how things are done. Eventually you will get to know people and realize we’re all here for one main purpose…to have fun!!!

Our particular group, the Tonquish Muzzlerloaders of WWCCA, have our monthly meetings on the second Thursday of each month, at 7:30 p.m. Open to members you are encouraged to come out and introduce yourself. We are very eager to share our hobby with anyone who may be curious, so come on by! Our shoots consist of a monthly “walkthru” which is a variety of targets we’ve set up in the woods beyond the wall along the 200 yard range. The entrance to the walkthru is at the very southeast corner of the 200 yard range parking area. There is a sign marking the entrance. These walkthru’s are usually the first Sunday of every month, depending on our event schedule for that month, and usually at 10:00 a.m. However, read your “Clubhouse Window” to make sure as these dates change on occasion depending on our schedule. We also shoot sometimes on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

We hold to major Rendezvous’ every year here at the Club. The big one is the annual “Labor Day Weekend Rendezvous”, which is the largest primitive Rendezvous held in the state of Michigan. The other one is “The Wintering” held on the last full weekend of January. A much smaller affair but every bit as enjoyable as the other. We sometimes have a small campout on Memorial Day weekend, and sometimes also on the July 4th weekend, and these are very relaxing events as well.

Our Chairman is Greg “Shortcut” Baack. His phone number is on page 2 of your Clubhouse Window newsletter. We also have an event coordinator of Blackpowder activities and her name is Roxanna “Style-n-Grace” Maddox. Her number is also on page 2. The Scribe for our group is Mark “No Name” Johnstone. He writes the “Black Powder Trails” article in your Clubhouse Window and will gladly take any questions you may have about the group and what we do, or anything related to Blackpowder shooting. Email him anytime at finseeker@juno.com.

See below to see what it is that we do!!!

 

Blackpowder Monthly Article

Black Powder Trails (April)

Welcome. Set yourself down close to the fire and pull one of those buffalo robes over you to keep your backside warm. Been a cold winter this year. Help yourself to the coffee, don’t be shy, there are no strangers in the mountains, just future friends.

You might want to take a pull or two off this here jug. Most know the man we are jawing about, and you may too, but you may not be aware that he went under. I reckon you don’t understand that term being new to the mountains. It references that he went under the sod, buried the flat landers would say, cause he died.

His given name at birth was Mark Johnstone but around here we called him by several other ‘given’ names. For years he was No Name on account he had not earned one yet. Later he was Finseeker due to his passion for fishing. But he generally was known as Scribe due to his writing for “The Window” and providing people with notice and reporting of the doins of the blackpowder shooters at WWCCA.

He passed in early February. Our most sincere sympathies go out to his family and friends. He will be missed by all of us. We will miss his reporting of our events every month, we will miss his commitment to the skinners in the several other tasks he took on every year, but most of all we will miss him around the campfire.

Mark was a conversationalist. He could contribute to most any -discussion. Around the camp fire he would demonstrate his knowledge of the mountain men and many other subjects. While talking he would pass around a small jug with a cork in it. He called the bottle Freedom. Often it would be one of three like bottles (Liberty passed by Darnell and Justice passed by Lowe) but his was the only one with the well-worn, by the fingers of the folks who drank from that jug, hand carved figure of a mermaid on top of the cork. I can remember one night he told us how he had written Terry C. Johnston, author of “Carry The Wind” one of the most beloved books of those who call themselves skinners, and that letter resulted in an exchange of letters and even phone calls between him and the author. Apparently Terry also appreciated Mark’s ability to just talk with you.

His passing has left a hole in all who knew him and called him friend. That hole was made so much bigger when we discovered that he had taken his own life. He used a firearm. Mark was part of our community at WWCCA. Statistically we have to acknowledge that suicide attempt with firearms are more successful than any other means of taking one’s own life. Yes there are survivors, but not as many.

Those of us who knew him and spent time with him are now the survivors asking ourselves could/should we have seen it coming? Was there anything I could have done? Who knows what the correct answers to those questions are? But I believe that if Mark had reached out. If Mark had let any of us know what he was thinking. If Mark had let us know about the problems that drove him to this decision. That one, if not all of us, would have been there for him. Helping him to cope and ultimately to avoid the decision he made. Even if we
had to help him find professional help.

I do not know if we could have avoided the outcome. But I am sure we would have tried. And that is where the good things in life begin, with someone trying to correct or avoid the bad things in life. I will always wish we had the opportunity. And if you are struggling with the same questions please let your friends and family know before you implement the plan. If you are concerned that someone in your life may be thinking of this option then implement this five step plan: Ask, Keep Them Safe, Be There, Help Them Connect, Follow Up. For explanation of those steps and other information regarding suicide prevention go to BeThe1To.com

Here are the last words shared by Mark as Scribe in his last column: “I’ve enjoyed my time being your Scribe more than anything over all these years, and I also thank you for everything you’ve all done for me. We’ve had a bunch of shinin’ times, you and me, and I will never forget any of them. I am quite sure that the reins will be taken by someone you will enjoy. Thanks again my dear friends….. it’s been a blast.”

Time spent with Mark was indeed “shinin’ times”. We will remember the times we had and regret the times we could have had. Until we meet again Mark may you find the peace you could not find here.

Your skinner friends and family.