Country Life

Frank Cotolo

I lived in cities for most of my early life but as I approached an age not recommended for alligator wrestling I moved away from the metropolitan madness and went far from the suburban society. In other words, just short of the woods, where there is land lots of land, the kind of land that is your land and my land.

It’s not an easy transition, though. Folks like me who have lived in cities and towns get used to things like electricity and running water, not to mention a Piggly Wiggly you can walk to and get a Slim Jim or even meet a slim Jim and shoot the breeze.

Speaking of shooting, though, living in the country is shooting heaven. You can point a rifle and almost anything, even living things, and fire rounds of bullets without once hearing a neighbor complain about the noise.

Rifles are easier to get in the county, too. Practically every person I have met in the country has a few to sell and they are cheap compared to buying rifles in crowded city stores.

My friend Ernie sold me a Browning AB3 Stalker Rifle drilled and tapped for scope mounts with a free-floating, hand-chambered and target crown that has bolt action, a sixty-degree bolt lift and a detachable box magazine. Woo-hoo. The first day I got it home I shot everything. I shot my car (I have to get a flat-bed truck anyway), my lawn furniture, part of my chimney, the bucket on my well, four rabbits, two squirrels, a mule (I didn’t know mules could run so fast) and a few ducks that were laying around a pond and already looked dead but what the heck, right?

You have to be brave living in the country, even though the city is thriving with crime. Out here in nowhere land it gets mighty scary when the sun goes down (I never used the word “mighty” as much as when I moved to the country but now I am glad I do because it is a mighty fine word).

The other great thing about living in the country—and by the way, I am talking about the United States of America, not any other country—is getting a taste of what it was like for the pioneers that were forced to survive on what they grew in their garden, what they shot, what they wore on their bodies and what they shot.

Out here, aside from all the shooting, there is peace and quiet. Far from the madding crowds we live with a spirituality that can only be described as spiritual, void of angst (which is the title of my new book: “Void of Angst” will be available on the shelves of some general stores as soon as a few copies are finished printing by the Diamark Platen Printing Press, which was once a mighty way to print a book).

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