Mom, as I called my mother-in-law Lois, had a good eye for hitting targets with her Remington 22 caliber rifle.
Living two miles from Union, South Carolina, the Ingle clan lived in the woods that only had access from a foot path. Clearing land had made lumber available for homes and places for gardens. But the animals that called this space of 80 acres home, bought by Make Ingle for himself and his children continued to claim ownership.
Foxes, snakes, and weasels plagued the chicken coops and their eggs. Squirrels and crows often ignored the scarecrows that were posted as guards.
Lois and her husband Oliver talked about the need of a weapon to protect the boys, their cousins, and their food. In today’s economy, the price of $7 means little, but this was a week’s salary in 1941 for a card grinder in the Union Mill. The rifle was bought.
Mom’s 22 cal Remington rifle
Oliver made bullets for the rifle out of small pieces of used lead with a lead melter.
Above is the picture of an antique melter that John says is similar like the original in the Ingle household. In the bottom is a place to add the gasoline for fuel. He used kitchen matches to light the gas.
When the lead in the ladle/long handled dipper became liquid, then Oliver poured it into the lead mold for bullets. Dipping the mold into a bucket of water caused steam and cooling. The last task was pressing the bullet into the shell.
As Tom and John grew, they helped their mom with target practice. Outside on the chopping block were cuts made by an ax to cut the wood for the stove and the fireplace. The boys would stick kitchen matches in the cuts, and Lois would light them by firing a bullet that grazed the tip of the matches.
Lois was a woman of many talents. I admired her. This photo of her as a teenager certainly gives no inkling of the marksman she would become, does it?