Sonoma County Bowmen
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Jan. 1, 2003
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Today my father-in-law took me out to the Sonoma County Bowman's
range out in Bennett Valley, where I got to shoot a bow and arrow for
the very first time since I was a kid. I hit a few bullseyes out of the first quiver, but
Bill warned not to get too excited since everyone does that on their first
day -- and then they struggle the rest of their days to shoot as well.
On our way out, we met a bowman named Dan, wearing a rough leather
vest and carrying a
longbow he had made, based on a 6,000-year-old design found in
Italy. (Why did I find his story more convincing than that of the Celt
I'd shared a bonfire with the night before?) Dan said he has been shooting
arrows for 60 years. As we talked, Bill mentioned that he had not worked
as an engineer for a year now, and was trying to decide what he wanted to
do next. Dan said, "I have an idea for you about that. Think about what you
liked to do when you were a child. What did you love to do when you were
6 or 7?"
Although he wasn't talking to me, I realized that what I liked to do most
was run around in the hills above Vista Lane playing soldiers and Indians ...
not too differnt, I'm thinking, from what the guys at the Sonoma County
Bowmen's club get to do every weekend.