When I was young I didn't pay attention. I got an email from my mom about the Kar 98 rifle I posted about a little while back. I will include the whole email as it is applicable.
I finally got to read up on your blog, and loved, loved the video of Eli, and also the hang drums!
But I wanted to correct your information about the origin of the German Mauser. Larry Cooke (my mom's brother) was born in the mid to late 30s, so he was just a young child when WWII was going on. His dad/my grandfather who raised me (Byrne Cooke), known as Papa to me, was the one who was given the gun. A friend of his, who was over in Germany during the war, brought the gun home, and for some reason, gave it to him. He was an American soldier, of course, and Papa told me he picked it up off the battlefield, I think. Anyway, Papa always told me he wanted you and Chris (a.k.a. Bo & Luke) to have it. He had a German helmet, too, but it was accidentally sold in the estate sale.
Anyway. Sorry about that (losing the helmet).
Uncle Larry did serve in the Navy, and was stationed in Okinawa at some point. His first child (Dan Cooke) was actually born in Japan. I remember wedding pictures with him wearing his white Navy uniform. I actually think I have those somewhere. Old timey slides, at least. He didn't marry until he was out of medical school, I don't think. Maybe a resident, but out of med school, so that would have been the early 60s maybe? He was at EHS in the 50s, and then Notre Dame (played football there), and then med school in Dallas. Where the navy fit into the timeline, I'm not sure. I need to ask his boys. Anyway. He was actually an interesting person.
Sorry for the boring history. But that German Mauser has traveled a lotta miles across the years to end up in your hands.
So there you have it. And as a clarification, my Great Ganddad, Papa as we called him, always called my brother Chris and I Bo and Luke, after the Dukes of Hazzard. We loved that show too much.