Good morning, friends, and welcome to “Advice for Everyone.” We’re glad to have Brian Mason with us today. Brian, can you tell us what you do for a living?
How old are you, and where do you live?
Dirty 30s, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Where can we find you on the internet?
The most interesting place you’ve visited?
I would have to say Edinburgh, Scotland for so many reasons I can’t even count.
Can you tell us something interesting about Edinburgh?
It is a tremendous city and so much to see but you need to take your time doing it in order to take in the vast culture around you, like the wandering bagpipe bands. But by far the best part is Edinburgh Castle. Take a full day to do it otherwise you will miss something. There is so much history and culture in that castle that you cannot possibly be let down.
Thanks! Your favorite meal would be?
Beef Stroganoff by a long shot.
People with wet shoes who grind and squeak their shoes on the floor.
Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
Does my own book count? Other than that, Band of Brothers by far.
Can you tell us a little about your book? Where could people find a copy?
The book is Biscuits and Gravy, Southern Comforts for the Heart and Soul. Currently available on Amazon. The book features a compilation of true short stories from my family’s oral tradition of the odd stories that happen in the south as well as a few of my own antics. They are all written to give some enjoyment and some serious stories to the reader but to also give some motivation and inspiration at the end of the day. Kind of like a southern version of Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul.
If people want to pray for you, they could pray for …..?
Focus, clarity and ease of mind.
Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets?
I’ve been married almost two years now. My pets (cats) are demanding for attention every day but hey, that’s ok, it eases any frustration in the day.
If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I do a mixture of things. I’ll read, tinker with artifacts or go out into the wilderness on long hikes. Anything to keep my mind engaged or put a physical strain on the muscles.
Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I do enjoy writing, anything from nonfiction to short stories to science fiction. I have an immense passion for history and as such operate a living history association. I love the outdoors and being away from civilization. I’m an avid historic gun collector and target shooter. My past career was as an archaeologist so I do enjoy old things, artifacts, antiques, anything with a story behind it really. I have been a part of many things. I used to be a part of Rotary International and with that have met her highness the Queen Noor of Jordan and entertained the ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire to Canada. I’ve stood as part of the honor guard to unveil monuments and been decorated by the 7th US Special Forces.
Can you tell us a little about your living history association?
The First Special Service Force Living History Association was founded in 2012 by myself and a gentleman in St Albert, Alberta, Canada. It was meant to bolster the living history program for the Canadian Forces in hopes of bringing better education and understanding to the public on the Second World War as well as veteran awareness. We focus on the First Special Service Force as our main allied representation, which was a special forces unit that operated from 1942 to 1944; comprised of half Americans and half Canadians, it became one of the most respected and feared units in the Italian Campaign. We also have a German contingent to show both aspects of the war but the hope is to educate folks on this era and veterans in general rather than them gaining their perspective from video games and Hollywood.
Thanks, Brian! Can I ask you to give some advice to historic gun collectors?
The first thing that comes to mind is plan and prepare. Otherwise you end up with a hodgepodge collection immediately that reproduces like rabbits in your gun cabinet. But outside of this, do your research, look at what is out there first and avoid those impulse buys. Think of where your main interests may lie, such as what era or type of combat you are interested in; this will affect what direction you might ultimately lean when collecting. If you know your stuff ahead of the game then you will know better what you are looking for and will avoid getting sucked into a void of either fakes, mislabeled pieces or the elusive ‘good deal’ that ends up burning a hole in your pocket so deep that it would make a miner blush. Once you know what you want, look around, don’t jump at the first deal like a schoolboy on prom night.
So you know your sources, you know your material. Take your time looking and look for those unusual markings, those rare configurations. Then, make your buy and then take care of the blasted thing. You toss it in the closet like those brand new gym shoes covered in cobwebs and you’ve wasted your money. Oil, lube, and the like are your friend. I suggest Frog Lube for your outer metal bits, no internal working parts–bad idea. Short and sweet, love it like you would a girl on your wedding day. Take care of it and you will be glad you did.
Brian, thanks for letting us get to know you a little, and good luck with your various interests and obligations. Take care and God bless.