Are you aware it is incorrect to say, “Koala bear?” A koala is a marsupial, not a bear. And do you know what the aborigines call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick. What does all this have to do with the 2015 Midway USA & NRA Bianchi Cup? Read on….
For the past 36 years, around the 3rd week in May, a group a people from countries around the world gather in Columbia, MO. Although they all bring their pistols to compete in the four events of the prestigious match, it is so much more. The Bianchi Cup has become a reunion, a time to get together with friends you may only see once a year.
As with any get together, we reminisce about jokes and stories from previous years. When I see my friends from Barbados I will ask them to braid my hair and play the steel drums (no, they really don’t do that.) Also, the sharing of high quality spirits and fine cigars always takes place while we celebrate birthdays, including my son’s and Mark Christopher Larwence’s. Our usual trip to Larry’s boots will take place, where we always run into one or two people from Australia. Oh, and a word of advice, never mistake an Australian for a New Zealander or visa versa.
During the evening of the western barbecue we overindulge in amazing food, to include a variety of delicious fruit pies. Most guests arrive dressed in boots, jeans, hats or some type of western shirt. Quite opposite of this event is the awards ceremony on the final evening, when everyone is dressed in their finest. Every year, Vera Koo presents each lady with a single rose. It’s a great event with cheers, giggles and applause.
So, what does all this have to do with three koala bears? Ever since my first year at the match, I received one of these adorable little guys from Clive, a gentleman from Australia. He only hands these out to the ladies, and they always come with a story. This was Clive’s final year of the Bianchi Cup, his last time traveling to the States. He will be missed and I admit, my tears flowed during the official announcement.
I guess if I had to answer what the Midway USA & NRA Bianchi Cup is to me, I would say, “A reunion of friends, from around the world, where we also shoot a little.”