I would like to start out by thanking Wiljen for all his efforts he has put into " CastPics".

Wiljen and I  have talked on the phone and I find Will to be a very pleasant fellow . We should all consider ourselves fortunate to have him here in a leadership role on the forum.

My name is Ben Hays, I'm 65 yrs. old and live in Cleveland, AL.   My mother said that the 1st Christmas that I could talk , I asked for a gun for Christmas.  She told my father, OK ...maybe he will eventually outgrow this " gun thing." ? ? ?

My mother is now 95, she says now that I have obviously not outgrown my interest in guns.

I have been an avid shooter since my Dad's gift of a Winchester Model 74, .22 auto at age 10.

My grandfather had an 80 acre farm with plenty of hunting for a young boy.  I was fortunate to grow up with access to plenty of guns and hunting opportunities.

After graduation from High School, I attended Auburn University where I majored in Biological Science.  I was an education major and after graduation became a Biology teacher in a town about 35 miles north of Birmingham.  In 1984, I earned a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. I was in the classroom for 11 years and moved to the ranks of Asst. Principal of the school and 4 years later became the Principal of the school and served in that position for 10 years until my retirement.

I retired in July of 2,000 and plunged myself deeper ( finally with some free time of my own ) into my love of hunting, shooting, bullet casting, and reloading.

I cast my first bullets in 1968.  Bullet casting was a ' love affair ' that was to grow and flourish.  I now have well over 100 molds, about 35-40 center-fire rifles and a myriad of auto pistols, revolvers, and single shot T/C Contenders.

People ask me if a have other hobbies other than hunting, bullet casting and shooting.  I tell them that I don't have any time for anything else right now.


Ben Hays

Cleveland, AL