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The occasion to converse with Elmer Keith came but once, leaving me with the impression of a straight-up gentleman who’d make a favorite uncle. At a trade show, or maybe an NRA convention in the early 1970s, as I was watching a friend’s booth while things wound down, Keith walked by looking like he could use a rest. “Mr. Keith, take a load off,” I invited, waving at some chairs. He paused for a second, perhaps wondering if I wanted to argue with him or sell him something, then took a seat a little out of view. We talked for quite a while, fan to guru.

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