This weekend, I put down a down payment of (choke) $3500. Good thing I put up my earnest money, because someone was prowling around looking for that "big cannon Woodie had for sale" wanting to buy it, and I and the unit said "Sorry, she's bespoken."
I literally kicked the tires before I made the commitment. He'd replaced the entire axel and put brand new steel tires around the wheels, tightened them up nicely. Said the original iron tire (probably not original) was actually too narrow for the wheel, and that had been part of the problem. These are proper military wheels that come up to my shoulder, and he's done a great job with them. Said he's made bearings for them out of lead sheeting, similar to what Phil and I did with ABS for Goliath's wheels. I might consider something similar for these, later, since I'd really prefer something less...toxic. I think the lead is breakdown-prone, too. However, it's a huge improvement on the carriage. I told Woody the story of how the car ended up with two wheels in Ed's trailer with the cannon when a guy lost control on Highway 17. Suddenly, he understood why there was an odd cant to the the carriage, back before he redid it. The trailer comes with it, and actually has a smaller footprint than the one for Goliath, even with a couple equipment boxes mounted on it. And a solar-rechargable electric winch! This is a cool little toy that Woody installed when he got fed up with the manual winch. Park the trailer in the sun, recharge the winch battery. And there are some nice repro demo ammo, including grapeshot, an explosive shell, and solid shot with powder bag attached. Fun stuff.
And then he said that since he's going out of the country anyway, he'll throw in some other cool stuff as bonuses. So I get a couple more dutch ovens (always useful!), a Union and Confederate flag (used for school demos, he said), a couple of boxes for gear that he made (always useful!), and (best of all) an A-frame tent, that's BIGGER than mine. He says it sleeps two in cots comfortably. Says his wife will be happy to get all the space in the garage back, so she can park her car in there again, until they leave for Thailand. Our commanding officer has already made me an offer on the tent. I said "I may be keeping it," but told him to check back in case I decide to sell off my old tent. (He wants it for his son.) And I've already had Rob check in saying "hmm, what are you doing with Goliath?" I told him I hadn't decided yet. But he dropped some hints that if I decide to sell off Goliath, he might be interested. And I'll have to do something to pay off the convenience check I intend to write on the balance still due. (But at the price, I can't afford NOT to get this cannon.) But we'll see.
So, it looks like next month, I bring home the new baby. Some baby! I've been toying with a new name for her, since Renegade really doesn't suit. Definitely female. I thought about Babe, since she's just a wee babe, but I think she's going to be Long Meg. There was a famous British cannon by that name, and a Parrott really is LONG, as I noticed when I was working the front of the gun, this last event.