By Robert Garrett
Charles P. Gaylord was a “renaissance man” in the truest sense. His friends ranged from the street cop to Hollywood stars. His shop was a gathering place for spooks, gunslingers, and kings. Chic understood the art of pistol combat and the need for a quality, well designed, holster. He set the trends and made the holsters that would be copied by others for years to come. He wrote the definitive gunfighter’s book of its time, Handgunner’s Guide: Including the Art of the Quick Draw and Combat Shooting. Chic was a pistolero, a gentleman and would have enjoyed being a part of the IWR community.
In June of 1991, I found myself going to New York City as a guest of the NYPD. While there, I made arraignments to visit Chic. At the time, Chic was in an assisted living facility on Long Island and Lefty Lewis, who later went on to found Bell Charter Oak Holsters, was Chic’s caretaker at the time. On June 29, 1991, we met in the courtyard of the nursing home. Chic seemed pleased that, after all the years, someone was actually interested in his life. He reveled in the retelling of his life and talked of friends, scoundrels and crooks.
I recorded the interview and the tapes became the basis for a three-part series in Combat Handguns on the life and times of Chic Gaylord. I am honored to be able to share this series with the members of IWR. I would encourage you to seek out a copy of Chic’s book. It should be required reading for every pistolero.