Another fond memory of mine from childhood: Boys' Life Magazine. I would wait with bated breath for each monthly issue to arrive so I could pore over each and every page, imagining myself as a Boy Scout from the confines of my bedroom. Alas, the Old Man was always so protective of us kids that we were never even allowed out into our back yard. My sister got married when I was 9 and she and her husband started a subscription for me to Boys' Life that they renewed for years, giving me at least a vicarious glimpse into the joys of scouting. Much of what I learn has mostly been self-taught from books, magazines and any other sources that I could tap. (Fortunately, my son got to join Boy Scouts and my daughter enjoyed Girl Guides -- gotta love those cookies! -- for several years.) Me, I'd sit in my bedroom for hours trying to learn knot tying one day and making my own pinewood derby car another day.
I also enjoyed comic books a lot too as I was growing up, feasting on a wide range of goodies from Superman all the way to the entire Marvel comics like Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk. In fact, that's how I first taught myself to draw and paint.
In any event, what's all this leading up to? Well, Leif Peng (from Hamilton, Ont. Canada of all places) follows comic book illustrations from the 50's on his blog, Today's Inspiration. One of his recent posts talks about the Winchester Rifle ads from Boys' Life Magazines that extolled the virtues of guns to young scouts. One of the comic-style ads shows a couple of sharp young scouts shooting a hawk with a 22-cal. rifle. Check out the post here.