They tell one on Sam that was supposed to have taken place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, during the time that we were doing the original construction on the Sawyer Air Force Base. I was not a witness to the event so can only repeat the tale as it was told to me by the other participants.
One Saturday afternoon, in the Fall of 1955, after a couple hours of beer, three or four of the regulars decided to go Pat hunting. It was legal as far as the time of year was concerned, but the method was a little questionable, as far as the law was concerned. It was, however, accepted practice among most of the residents of the area.
The procedure was to put two or three men, with shot guns, in the bed of a pickup truck and then have someone drive them over the forest trails. Sam owned the pickup so he did the driving. That method was usually quite productive because the Pats like to dust themselves, in the sand of the trails, in the late afternoon. There was, however, a problem and that was, the men in the bed of the pickup were not familiar with Sam’s method of driving.
Sam would go tearing down one of the trails until he saw a Pat, then he would slam on the brakes and yell “SHOOT”. This sudden stop would throw the gunmen forward, against the back of the truck cab and the disturbance would frighten the bird, or birds, and they would take off. Sam would also take off at about the same rate of speed as birds, still yelling “SHOOT”. This sudden start would propel the gunmen to the back of the truck box. The way the story was told to me, was that the hunt was not a great success and was not repeated with Sam driving.
I have every reason to believe that the above is an accurate description of the hunt, but if you should ever happen to be in the Village of Little Lake, Michigan, you might stop at Brown’s Tavern and ask Ettri Sardoni if he remembers it. Ettri operated the Tavern which was the headquarters for most of the characters that populated that area, during those times.