That’s Wayne Rodrigue, co-principal of Baserri Shotguns. I had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with Wayne recently. His Baserri guns are very shootable Italian O/Us in the $2,300-$3,300 range formerly available in the U.S. under the Fabarm brand.

Wayne and his partner started Baserri last year. They have picked a tough economy and a difficult market to crack, so I asked Wayne what possessed him to get into the shotgun business. His answer was simple: “I love shotguns.” He is from Louisiana where he grew up hunting ducks. Later he became a competitive skeet shooter, falling into the “too good to quit, not good enough to win” category. Successfully retired, he has indulged his passion for shotguns by starting a gun company.

Then, by way of further explanation, he told me his “first gun” story. It explains a lot about him.

One day his father picked him up at school and said: “I have a surprise for you.”

Wayne said: “Is it a new shotgun?”

His father said: “No, it’s a new baby sister.”

Wayne said: “I’d rather have a shotgun.”

A few months later, in the summer, Wayne got his new gun: a 20 gauge Sears Ted Williams pump, which was made by Winchester at the time.

Wayne was thrilled. Duck season was three months away, so he couldn’t hunt with his new gun, but like any kid with a first gun, he could look at, hold it, take it apart and clean it endlessly. Wayne went most kids one better: every night he took the gun to bed with him like a teddy bear.

His mother was concerned.

His father said: “It’s a man thing. The boy will be fine.”

That’s the first I ever heard of a kid sleeping with a gun, although a friend of mine did tell me once he was so excited before his first Pop Warner football game he slept in his pads. Anyone want to confess to taking their first gun to bed?