Friends and fellow Gunfighters,
I have been thinking about what I had to say about receiving this award at the World Championships in Fallon recently. I have been at a loss of words…. very humbled and honored. It means very much to me to be nominated for the award by the CFDA management and past recipients of it. All are some of the folks I admire greatly not only in Cowboy Fast Draw, but also in life.
I truly want to thank all of you for being the kind of friends that give me the drive to work for Cowboy Fast Draw and our Clubs here in the Eastern U.S. Territory. The friends made over the past 5 years of my participation in Cowboy Fast Draw is truly a treasure that can’t be measured.
Below is the letter I sent to the CFDA Management and past recipients of the award. I wanted to share it with you simply because this is a journey and effort we all share in together and I hope you feel that recognition of the efforts we have made in growing our sport here in the East is something for all of us to be proud of. I feel the award needs all of our names on it. We all work hard together and our reward is the fun we have with our best friends!!!
To my friends….
I have tried to write this email to you all for over a week now… and I am just never satisfied with the things I say. However, if you will forgive me, I want to ramble for a few moments…
It is rare when you find people in life that you truly admire. It seems that in these times we almost let ourselves get to the point where we overlook the best of the best because we can’t seem to overlook those around us that are either so negative about life or have such a dire outlook for themselves. What is even more rare sometimes is finding an organization where it is abundant of people you admire.
I have been fortunate enough to find a couple of those organizations on this journey of life that I have traveled. One is the martial arts organization I have been a member of for over 30 years. My “masters” in that art are the kinds of people that “change your life” in ways that you sometimes don’t realize their impact until many years later. And some of the people I met, trained with, and called friends and teachers are definitely some of the people I most admire. Their friendship and guidance has helped me to become the person I am today. And yet I truly believe that most of them are not aware of just how much impact they “have” made on my life. And for that, I am truly grateful to them.
The other organization that I feel so fortunate to have found and become part of is this organization we all are part of… The Cowboy Fast Draw Association. This organization is much more than just a sport. It is made up of some of the best people I have ever run across. And from the Management down to the newest members, this infectious feeling of camaraderie, family, and competiveness is so abundant and obvious! Anywhere I go for shoots, demos, or anything else for Cowboy Fast Draw, the most repeated comment from folks is always…”It’s the people” that is the biggest draw to our sport! And we all know that to be true! From monthly matches, to demos, to our bigger sanctioned matches, the most rewarding site to see is the abundance of smiling faces, handshakes, backslaps and hugs!!
Sometimes the work we do to provide these shooting venues for folks to spend their days at competing can seem overwhelming and sometimes thankless. However, what I have learned is I get all of the thanks I need from looking at so many folks having such a great time with their “new found” best friends!! And the friends you make from around the country are just a huge bonus!! Friends and acquaintances that make those impacts on our lives that can become “life changing”.
My martial arts masters have taught me to always look for what they call the “TRUTH” in things that is usually hidden unless we know how and where to look to discover it. I sincerely believe that there is a “truth” in our organization, and it is the friends we gather while enjoying our sport.
Just a little over a week ago, we were conducting a match in the middle of Vinton Virginia, one of our local Towns. We were “shooting it out” in the middle of the street to plenty of spectators during Vinton’s Annual Fall Festival. At the beginning of our match, just after the safety meeting, a few of my Cowboy Fast Draw family members who had just returned from Fallon said they needed a few minutes to “do something”. I gave them the microphone and stepped back. Then they presented me with a huge honor and a surprise… “The Sundowner Award”!! I was speechless….
Now here is where I have a tough time trying to say how I felt…. Remember when I was writing about people you find in life that are folks you truly admire. Well… to think about it and to know from where the awards nomination came from is truly a humbling feeling. The management and the previous recipients are some of the people I have truly learned to admire the most since my time in Cowboy Fast Draw. Not just for their efforts, sacrifices, and contributions they make to our sport, but to everyone’s lives connected to what we do and enjoy!! Every one of you has contributed to my desire to do all I can in our efforts here in the East for the growth of Cowboy Fast Draw. And I truly admire you and recognize the common denominator I think we all share… the love of our sport and the people in it!!
Some of you have become some of my “BEST FRIENDS”… and all of you are people that I want to know better and be honored by you calling me “your friend”! The Sundowner Award means more to me than you can imagine. And I sincerely want to thank you all for the nomination of it. I feel very humbled by it especially looking at the list of past recipients.
Words don’t seem to say all that I feel… however I hope that the next time we meet and I shake your hand or embrace in a heartfelt hug, you will see the genuine respect and admiration I have for you and the warmness I have in my heart for our friendship.
aka Jeff Duncan
“PROUD” CFDA Regulator and U.S. Marshal
Old Dominion Fast Draw