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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jack Flanagan - Part 4

A hunting we will go...............One of Jack's favorite pastimes was duck hunting.  He also liked to fish.  He may have hunted other game too.  My grandfather, Richard J. Flanagan, was the fourth of five children of Jack and Minnie.  He had the knack and patience for hunting in him too.  Obviously, this quality was inherited from his father.  I know that Jack would have taught his three sons to shoot, hunt, and fish but my grandfather had the ongoing privilege of going hunting with his father.  I'm not sure what the background story is for the other two boys.  Maybe they were not interested in these activities. 

Jack's and Minnie's son, John Maxwell Flanagan, must have had at least passing interest in helping his family succeed in duck hunting.  He carved several duck decoys over the years.  My grandfather had his own set.  Who knows how many John carved?  I have two that have been well used.  They have the initials JMF carved on the bottom.  They are pretty amazing.  I only have a couple of Flanagan Family treasures like this.  They mainly revolve around hunting.

In the book Huichica (Wee-cheek-ah), by Stewart M. Duhig, 1990. Page 63, both Jack and my grandfather are mentioned as big duck hunters in the Napa area.  Jack's reputation and skill preceded him.

"Jack's ducks were always in excellent demand (at the San Francisco market) because he did a lot of sculling.  He would drift around the corner.....they'd get up and go.  Jack was a crack shot.  All of his birds were shot in the back, as opposed to being shot in the breast which would ruin the meat."

Those are impressive and very complimentary remarks for Jack.  He also would make the local newspaper with his hunting and fishing successes.  I believe that I do know where his shot gun might be.  He even modified the end of it so that it would fit better against his shoulder when firing it.  It's a great old Winchester.

I wish that I had more stories about Jack Flanagan.  He was my great-grandfather and lived his entire life in Napa, CA - 1878-1936.  He definitely saw the world change some and wanted to be part of the progress as evidenced by his ideas.  I do have some letters that he wrote.  It is wonderful to see his handwriting.

To be continued..............

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