Howard "Porky" Cutter tells of the trouble he stirred up with his childhood BB gun.

Courtesy of Daisy Outdoor Products
As a youngster of about eight, my uncle Billy gave me a BB gun. My uncle worked for my father (Porky Sr.) doing exploratory drilling for Standard Oil Co. We traveled all over the United States.

We were living in south Florida when my uncle gave me the gun. I was usually at the rig with my dad. Many times when I would enter the doghouse, one of the crew would take my BB gun away from me and shoot the derrick hand in the butt, then immediately hand me the gun. Of course, I would be looking up the derrick at the derrick hand, with gun in hand. He would turn around, look down at me and shout, "I'll get you when I get down."

The drill crews were always putting me up to something. Once they put me up to jacking up the back wheels of my dad's pickup at the job site. When Dad drove off, his wheels just spun. He came back in the doghouse, asking who did it; the crew all pointed to me.

There was a large orange tree on the property where we were drilling. Before moving from the drill site, the drill crew climbed the tree and picked all the oranges. They placed them in a box in the doghouse to eat when they wanted. Occasionally while eating an orange, they would bite into a BB. They could not understand how BB's had gotten into the oranges.

The answer was simple. Before they removed all the oranges from the tree, I would try to shoot the oranges down since I was too small too climb the tree. Most of the time I would miss the stem and hit the orange.

Once while visiting my grandparents on their farm, my grandmother caught, killed and prepared a chicken for dinner. While plucking the feathers, she noticed the chicken had several black & blue spots on it. I had been shooting her chickens.

Another time while visiting my grandparents on the farm, Grandmother went to the cellar to get some canned meat, vegetables and fruit to prepare for dinner. She found several jars were broken and spilled on the floor. In her further investigation, she found someone had removed the pot (cover over the storm cellar vent) and apparently dropped something through the vent and broke the jars. When cleaning up the broken jars, she found very small steel balls . . . BB's. Uh-oh, Porky and the BB gun again. I had thought that when I removed the steel pot from the pipe sticking out of the ground and shot into the pipe, I was shooting down a well. It made a funny sound - like glass breaking.

At the age of eight, I was taught to be careful with a gun. However, that BB gun got me into a lot of trouble while I was growing up.

While staying with my grandparents for a time while my parents were traveling, my dad sent me an army foxhole shovel. After digging up my grandmother's flower beds and digging in her rock garden, I lost my shovel and couldn't find it for some time . . . but that's another story for another time!

Congratulations to Porky for being honored with lifetime membership in the National Ground Water Association!