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Category: Hap’s Corner

Shooters and the Search for the Philosopher’s Stone

by Hap Rocketto When I was a working man I earned my daily bread, and my ammunition money, as a high school science teacher. One thing that seemed to be a reoccurring theme, when teaching general science to ninth graders, was that there was always a great confusion in their young minds as they transitioned […]

A Rose by any Other Name….

by Hap Rocketto For War of the Roses aficionados, and particularly the Richard III Society, 2015 was a banner year, no longer a winter of their discontent it was made glorious summer by the sun of science. Six hundred years earlier two great royal dynasties, York and Lancaster, fought for control of England. Each belligerent […]

Gunpowder or Gruyère, It is all the same…

by Hap Rocketto Late one recent autumn afternoon the family was gathered to quietly celebrate the 85th birthday of our patriarch, Uncle Frank, when an explosion startled us, rattled the windows, knocked a few pictures askew, and otherwise disturbed the relaxed atmosphere. One of our politically well connected relatives whipped out his cell phone and […]

A Quartering Wind

by Hap Rocketto I was desperate to get out of the infantry. It is not that I ever been to the field in the ten years I was a member of “The Queen of Battle.” I had been attached to Company C, 1st Battalion, 169th Infantry in Middletown, Connecticut-the famous “Middletown Charlie for administrative purposes […]

James Fenimore Cooper and NRA Rule 16.1

by Hap Rocketto One of the defining activities of my youth was my participation in the Scouting movement. It neatly tied into my preoccupation with rifle shooting allowing me to spend a handful of carefree and pleasant teenaged summers running rifle ranges at several Scout camps, my first and favorite being Camp Wakenah in Salem, […]

A Legion of Targets

by Hap Rocketto An appreciation of good marksmanship is prehistoric and can be traced back, via archeological finds, to all corners of the earth. For example, the oldest archery artifacts in Europe date from the late Paleolithic Era, about 9000-8000 BC. In Biblical times Genesis 21-20 speaks of Abraham’s son Hagar living in the desert and becoming […]

When I am dead and opened…

by Hap Rocketto Calais lies just 21 miles across la Manche from the White Cliffs of Dover. The closest French territory to England, it was annexed by Edward III in 1347, and would remain an important English economic entity for the next two centuries for it gave the “Sceptered Isle” entry to Europe and its important wool, […]

Jacksonville and Bristol

by Hap Rocketto Being a New Englander one can never be far from some of the nation’s greatest philosophers and writers. Not only because Bay State author John Cheever once proclaimed that all literary men are Red Sox fans, but because the Boston area is a hotbed of philosophy and literature that began with the […]

The Emperor’s New Clothes…

by Hap Rocketto It has been more than six decades since I wiled away lazy days in the cradle of my education, Mrs. Levinson’s kindergarten class, at Harbor School. The boxy three story red brick building, known to its inhabitants as ‘The Old Brick Jail,’ had the usual elementary school fixtures, baseball fields, asphalt basketball […]

Imponderable Questions

by Hap Rocketto For over a half of a century I have been involved in various shooting sports and from time to time I have come across things that seem imponderable. By definition that means a question or situation that is either difficult or impossible to be assessed. We are all familiar with some of […]

Tunes of Glory

by Hap Rocketto Smallbore rifle shooters, particularly prone ones, actually all shooters, are always on the hunt for something that will reduce group size. The quest for the Holy Grail of a ten shot 0.50 inch group at 100 yards usually begins with testing lots and lots, of lots of ammunition. This quest can reach […]

Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Me

by Hap Rocketto Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Me As both a pilot and Boston Red Sox fan the New York Yankees draw my attention. From an aviator’s point of view Red Sox left fielder and the “Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” Ted Williams and Yankee second baseman Jerry Coleman stand out. Both served in […]

Because it is there….

by Hap Rocketto Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor of General of India, had not been able to enter either Nepal or Tibet because they were closed nations and, therefore, could have had no idea that Peak XV was known to the natives as “Mother Goddess of Earth,” Chomolungma in Tibetan.  He just wanted to honor […]

Boxers or…

by Hap Rocketto  As I was maintaining my shooting gear one Saturday morning the local sports network’s personality was musing on the little thoughts in sports and life that beg to be resolved. Over the faint crackle of my workshop radio I heard him say, “For example, why are the tall poles installed as vertical […]

Jebediah Nightlinger On The Veracity Of Hap’s Corners

From time to time I am asked about the sources and, in particular, the veracity of the many anecdotes, incidents, and occurrences that form the basis for Hap’s Corners. In my half century of competitive shooting I have met a good deal of people, done a good deal of things, seen a good deal of […]

Generally Speaking He was the Worst

by Hap Rocketto The young lieutenant was at his first posting. Fresh from West Point he firmly believed that troop training ranked as his priority. Being well trained and spruce was the hallmark of a professional soldier and professionalism mattered. He rapidly won the respect of his subordinates and superiors for his successful pursuit of […]

I love the discipline of sitting…

by Hap Rocketto “There sighs, lamentations and loud wailings resounded through the starless air, so that at first it made me weep; strange tongues, horrible language, words of pain, tones of anger, voices loud and hoarse, and with these the sound of hands, made a tumult which is whirling through that air forever dark…” wrote […]

Shooting at a Mark: An American Tradition

by Hap Rocketto The study of United States history is one of my great pleasures and the more obscure and mysteriously obscure the greater my enjoyment. I revel in the trivial minutiae of our nation’s rich past. For example do you know that the USS Merrimack and the CSS Virginia were the same ship? How […]

Target, not just a department store…

by Hap Rocketto From time to time I wonder what course my shooting career might have taken if I were born a few years later. When I began shooting the Army Marksmanship Unit was just five years old and only beginning develop the seminal training methods and great shooters which would dominate the international scene […]

A Juxtaposition of Passions

by Hap Rocketto After my bride and two daughters my passions are shooting, and then, in no particular order, aviation and baseball. The America’s Cup used to be up there but since the grand days of the statuesque J Boats and thoroughbred 12 meter yachts have degenerated into soulless corporate financed multihull boats I fear […]

Wind: Another Four Letter Word

by Hap Rocketto I don’t play golf but it seems to me that it is a game that, in many respects, is very much like shooting. They both have long history filled tradition, are practiced on similar outdoor venues, have participants from all strata of society, are a gadget lover’s dream, membership in a private […]