I made a find any Mainer can appreciate today at the Augusta Civic Center. Even if you aren't a fan of guns, you can appreciate this as a part of Maine history.

When I walked into the gun show, I didn't expect to find anything I'd feel the need to buy but it's always fun to look. And this show wasn't NEARLY as packed as the last one was. In fact, there was no wait at all to get in!

I went up one row and down the next looking at guns, ammunition, accessories and knives. Most of it was priced OVER what you could get it for at the local gun store. Some of it was priced competitively but nothing jumped out at me as any kind of deal (which you'd expect to find at a "gun show"). Insofar as ammo was concerned, Wal*Mart sells it for a third of the price that I could find it at the gun show. No great deals that I could see.

Before I left, I figured I'd check the one section I'd missed...along the wall at the front of the auditorium. There, I found retired warden, Bob Carter. He had a Beretta 92fs (9mm) with the Maine State Police emblem on the grips and "Maine State Police," written on the slide in gold plated lettering. It had never been fired. This was the standard issue for the State Police back when this was introduced in 1995. Only 300 were ever produced. He even offered it at a good deal less than what I paid for another collectors item I own, a Sig Sauer 45 caliber 1911.

I looked and handled and tried to sell myself. I was an easy sell but I wasn't going to make the purchase without advice. So I called the boss, Marie Anne, another gun enthusiast and my wife. "Get it," she said. That's all it took before I had the checkbook out. Now, it's in my safe, inside a Maine State Police emblemed box. I'm a very happy and very lucky boy. I think this may even impress my pal, former Warden and author John Ford.

Look...but don't touch. I just oiled it up so it's shiny and purty!