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Song about Garnish leads Gander resident to gun from father's youth

After posting an original song about Garnish where his family's roots are, a viewer reached out to Gander resident Wayne Lorenzen about a long-lost pistol from his father's youth.
After posting an original song about Garnish where his family's roots are, a viewer reached out to Gander resident Wayne Lorenzen about a long-lost pistol from his father's youth. - Submitted

GANDER, NL - Wayne Lorenzen still can't believe it.

After uploading a song about Garnish - where his family's roots are - to social media, a viewer reached out to tell him about a unique find.

The viewer of the original song "Maybe Home" was Fred Dodge and in his possession was a .22 caliber pistol that once belonged to Lorenzen's father, Jim, during his youth - a pistol lost more than 70 years ago in a meadow in Garnish back in the 1940s.

Lorenzen is unsure how it first came into his father's possession, but speculates it may have been a gift from his uncle, a war veteran.

The history of the gun has been pieced together by Dodge, who has been in possession of the handgun for the past 30 years.

A friend gave the firearm to him. It was disassembled for safety, with both the hammer and trigger removed.

"(My friend's) father had found it when mowing his meadow one day - this was probably 20-30 years before I ended up with it. He laid his drink bottle down where he always did behind a rock and he heard the clink of glass striking metal," Dodge said.

There was always a fair amount of speculation about how the handgun ended up in the meadow, but living in a time without internet made research difficult.

Dodge placed the pistol pieces in a desk drawer and pretty much forgot about it.

The mystery would be solved after Lorenzen's father passed in 2015.

"My father-in-law - Don Marsh - was at the house, saying he couldn't believe his old childhood friend Jim had passed," recounted Dodge. "He started telling us stories about when they were boys, mentioning he had a little pistol he would use, never loaded, when playing cowboys and Indians."

Dodge followed up the conversation by asking for a description of the gun.

A little .22 caliber pistol, silver, with an octagon-shaped barrel - a pistol that Jim had lost as a child, was the reply.

It was a lightbulb moment.

"I went to the desk, brought it out, and he said, 'oh my God that's Jim's gun'," the Garnish resident said.

At that moment Dodge decided the gun belonged with its rightful owner's family.

"As soon as I realized this gun had a home, I knew what I had to do," said Dodge. "I said to my wife that night, 'Jim's boys are getting their father's gun back.'"

Last week he saw Lorenzen's video post and decided to reach out.

Lorenzen said the news made for an emotional experience.

"It hit me like a tonne of bricks," he said.

"I've had a lot of loss in my life over the last four years, losing Dad being one of them, so I took this as a message from my father, don't get down - everything is going to be ok.

"And I see this as a very positive thing in my life right now."

Lorenzen will make the trip to Garnish to retrieve the gun after consulting the authorities about whether he'll need a restricted firearms license to transport the antique.

He's unsure what he'll do with the it just yet. It will either become a restoration project or a box-mounted display.

Either way, there'll be another song.

"The first thing that came to my mind is, I want to write a song about it," he said. "Based on the perspective of him losing the gun as a young boy and how it returned to me."

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