• Red Nichols, Holstorian

Okay, boomer

Updated: May 7

That popular meme is blamed on a Kiwi (New Zealand) member of parliament who, surprise surprise, is a young Left wing woman.

Fact is, all the contributors to innovative holster design of the late 20th century are/were Baby Boomers. And they wouldn't have contributed anything at all if they'd been drafted and sent to Vietnam in the draft lottery of 1970, because the eligibility for that lottery was being born in the years 1944-1950. So the very first men born out of the generation that fought in WWII, were nominated as 'the chosen ones' in the first peacetime draft in U.S. history, to return to the front; and again in SE Asia.

Had we been drafted, there would've been no M-12 Hip Holster that was developed at Bianchi Holster at its own expense, for the U.S. Armed Forces to put their new Beretta 92Fs into in 1985. I was one of its several inventors and the project's manager. JB of course contributed there but otherwise created virtually none of the gunleather designs that his company is noted for.

I'm the youngest of that bunch and Rick Gallagher of Galco is the oldest. In between are/were, depending on their current health status, Randy Shoemaker (dec), Bruce Nelson (dec), Bill Rogers (not leather), and Gene DeSantis.

I'm pleased to discover today, that Pfc. J.M. Bucheimer III survived being an infantryman and was still living in 1984. He and his mother Louise are mentioned in the obituary of his father, J.M. Bucheimer Jr. who died of a heart attack just 6 months after the company was sold by Tandy to third parties. It was liquidated by that party in 1989, some assets ending up with Brauer Bros. of St. Louis.

Above, it's 1964 and Rogers is a junior in high school.

Armed with only our birthdates, you, too, can locate our draft numbers; which were assigned by beginning with the first day of a year and drawing a number at random to assign to that day. So 01 January was assigned a random number, then 02 January was assigned a different, random number; etc.

The chart below is misleading; yes, the numbers were called in order but the only important bit of information was if we would be called at all.

It's a fun game you can play at home with your friends! With only the birthdate of the men you knew who were born 1944-1950, you can learn who had an excellent chance of living past 1970, or not so much.

The drawing was done only once for those of us men (are you REALLY sorry, boomer women, that you were left out of that draft? Really?) born in those years; then a drawing was made for those born in 1951, etc. So being called, or not being called, in 1971, didn't mean that the Board would have another try at you in '72. The draft ended in January of 1973, thanks to Dick Nixon.

The highest number drawn was 195; and I was 194! So all but one of today's gunleather makers had their numbers called yet we legitimately had draft deferments that were provided by law. That is, built into the system.

Prominent among these were the student deferment (a 4 year university program only), and 50 US Code S. 3806 - Deferments and exemptions from training and service; who were 'persons employed in occupations necessary to national health, safety, or interest'. So, for example, Rogers joined the FBI and was thereby deferred because they applied for deferments for their agents. And surely this legitimate exemption was the reason that Bruce took on the dangerous role of undercover narcotics agent for the State of California.

No, that's not Tom Selleck (can you believe such thinking?) but rather is Bruce Nelson.

Randy Shoemaker is not a well-known gunleather innovator although it was his name that appeared on most all of Tex Shoemaker and Sons' patents. This is an intricate invention of his to compete with the forward draws from Bianchi, from J.M. Bucheimer, from Bucheimer-Clark, from Safety Speed, and from Hoyt:

Gene DeSantis launched on the back of Seventrees' failure -- his story, not mine -- whereas Paris Theodore and his cabal were themselves too old for the lottery. This image is from a current interview of him that is running on YouTube:

We've been called draft dodgers even by a present-day FOH (you know who you are) but as with all clever men of that era, we instead learned how to meet the challenge set out for us. It was a real life 'Survivor' television show. And society benefited (if you're pro-Second Amendment, pro-Police, and pro-Military, that is). To hell with the Kiwi girl.

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