David was a fierce competitor
who proved time & again that he could win with a 788 hunting rifle. He had
no qualms about walking up to the bench with his bipod & rear bag & settling down beside a rail gun. He usually went home with some type of award or ribbon, too. But
always with graciousness and a smile. He just loved to shoot long range.
But I think even more so,
he just loved to be amongst his shooting family. David & I talked on many occasions about the subject of the fellowship
with the other shooters and sitting around under the tent talking and mostly listening to the Shop
Talk as he called it. I can not recall a single time that we drove back together
from a match that he did not broach this topic. He was always trying to get me to be less uptight (type A+) and more laid
back. , He would say, “ Quit worrying about your (scores/ settings/dope
book, etc) and relax and enjoy the Shop Talk” He was really big on listening. I can still hear him
say “while we were walking down to score the targets I was just listening to what everyone was talking about. “
Maybe we should try this or that. “ We discussed in great detail the
always present willingness to share new ideas and help out the new guy attitude of the shooting community in general. We were always questioning what we felt created the big family atmosphere that
seems to permiate the parking and staging area at most all of the matches that we attended. Was it that most shooters are
ex military or have military ties somewhere in their background that makes them such a big family?. He was always telling me how all the problems that seemed to pressure him would affect his mental shooting
attitude and how he seemed to draw strength and a sense of relaxation from sitting around the tent with his shooting buddies. At any rate in the end I believe that for David it was of course his love of shooting,
but even more so it was the fellowship with good & like minded people that gave him the most pleasure. He absolutely reveled in it and it showed in the way he treated and interacted with everyone he met.
He once made the statement to
his wife that “he was privileged to be in the company of such a fine group of good people” That statement, unselfish & from his heart, kind of sums
him up for me. It was we who were privileged. We are diminished.