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My great long-term, dear old friend and fellow gun collector, James J. Manser died May 12, 2012, way too young at age 69.

Jim and I shared many common interests, including both being long-time pilots and aircraft owners, gun owners and wine lovers. I like to drink wine. Jim owned a wine and beverage store. We shared countless long lunches, dinners, gunshows, shooting outings, airplane trips and rides, and he encouraged me to hunt deer on his acreage. Yes, of course he made fun of me whenever I missed a shot and, in turn, I would claim equipment failure. We would both laugh. He always fixed us dinner after the hunt. I normally brought a bottle of wine to drink with Jim with dinner, after the days' hunt was over.

We attended many, many gun shows together, and we enjoyed each and every one. We went shooting together, cleaned our guns together, and generally enjoyed spending time with one another.

Jim was an advanced gun collector, owning a very wide variety of firearms, which he loved to buy (but only if it was a good deal), trade (but only if he traded up) and shoot. Of course, I always referred to his substantial gun collection as a pretty good "beginner's collection," as we loved to joke around with one another. Yes, of course he owned some beautiful Colts. The age of his guns ranged from Civil War vintage to modern, and everything in between, including revolvers, semi-automatics, rifles, carbines and shotguns. His survivors, two adult daughters, will likely sell the guns, maybe keep a few, not really knowing what they are selling, their values, their provenance, or Jim's history with the guns. Jim retained no gun records.

Jim loved to skillfully disassemble, clean, putter with, and reassemble guns, gas motors, tractors, and lots of other things. He estimated time to complete jobs in beers. "This looks like a 3-beer job." Then he would proceed to do the job and consume 3 beers as he did so, getting better at the task as he consumed more beer.

Without Jim, I have no ability to finish the last step of reassembling a Colt M1903 Hammerless, as Jim did that for me, so I shall never again detail strip one.

RIP James J. Manser. No finer man ever walked the face of God's green Earth.
 

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Sorry to hear your loss of a great friend and great man. It sounds like he enjoyed his life which was a blessing.

John Fugate
 

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collects, i'm sorry to hear about your friend's passing.
you wrote a fine tribute to him.
 

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Collects, I am very sorry for the loss of your great friend...the way you put your thoughts and feelings in writing, profoundly got to me ( my father passed away on a May 12th also). After reading your post for the 5th time, not only I can imagine how much of a good man he was but I can also sense what a true and devoted friend you were..... are, to him! The last paragraph (M1903) makes me sad....it shows he was more than a friend!

OK
 

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Sorry for your loss Collects.. I never got to meet or talk to your friend Jim, but thru your writings I wish I would have. Sory for the loss of your good friend.
Rest in Peace Jim; Tom
 

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Yep....... A fine and beautiful tribute to your friend James Manser. I can only hope you, Collects, personally wrote Jim's obituary for his family, the papers and other news media. In my 59 years of age I have only one friend that I would call this close, thick or thin, rain or shine, no matter what. At the moment we are both the same age and overall rather healthy for a pair of 59-year-old farts, so, God willing, we will have a few more years together.

Wish I could have known Jim myself. I share in your loss.

Ed
Major Dad
 

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Collects,
My heart goes out to you and Jim's family. What a blessing Jim was to you and them. I lost my mom on April 11th of this year and reflecting back on that while reading your post. I realized how very lucky we all are to have people in our lives that enrich us so much by just being a part of our daily existence. I know you will miss your friend, but smile when you remember the good times that you were so fortunate to have spent with Jim. Peace my friend, and God bless.

Blade
 

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May the pain of loss be overshadowed by the wonderful memories, tall tales and the shared bond you had with your dear friend. We don't physically leave this earthly plane but the spirit and soul of Jim will be with you forever. On bended knee I pray for family and friends of Jim and wish them and you peace in dealing with this difficult time. God Bless.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for your very kind and comforting words.

I am truly blessed, an incredibly lucky man to have had such a wonderful person as Jim in my life for 24 years.

I remain extremely fortunate, as I have two other wonderful, fine quality long term friends who are still alive and well.

The gratifying relationships are what make life wonderful, fun, exciting and worth living, not what type of car we drive, how fancy our house is, how much money is in out wallets, or even how many great old Colts we own.

My great friends make me a very rich man.
 
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