In February 2017 just before the book, P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith came out I had a chance to visit Salt Lake City. I was there for the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. A great outdoor show I might add. My son and I were there to promote our businesses 4D Reamer Rentals LTD and Z-Hat Customs LLC respectively.
When the show was over I asked my son how he felt about a little field trip? Where?, he asked. P.O. Ackley’s old shop I told him. He was excited to check it out as I was, so off we went.
Now we just planned on stopping by and getting a quick picture. But as we were standing at the gate across the driveway snapping a quick picture a man opened the door to the house and asked if you could help us. I said, “Well we did not intend to bother you, but we know this was P.O. Ackley’s place and just wanted a quick picture.”
He introduced himself as Dustin. He smiled big and said, “I’m Ackley’s Great Grandson.” He graciously invited us in and took us back to the shop so we could get a picture in front of it.
Dustin told us he wished he remembered more about his Great Grandpa. It was obvious that he took pride in that heritage. He said when he was little he remembered his Great Grandpa was “Kind of grumpy, but on the other hand he was mostly deaf so he probably could not hear most of what us kids said.”
Not much later Jim Chappell (P.O.’s Son-in-law) came home, we introduced ourselves. Jim asked a few questions about the book and how I did my research. I had talked to his wife Jackie many years earlier in the research phase of the book. Also Jim’s nephew had provided a fair amount of material for the book. Then Jim invited us into the house to visit a bit.
Jim went to his room and came out with a couple of hammers. He said, “I rescued these from the shop a long time back because I figured they would disappear if I didn’t.” His pride in his Father-in-law was obvious. Jim and Dustin could not have been nicer to us if they had tried. Good People.