His attentive eyes watched movement and shortly he rolled over, crawled, stood, and walked before his peers. His physical fitness and competitive nature drove him to excel at all competition with others. Leadership and Teamwork became readily apparent during Bird's early years.
'Bird', as he was called as a child, in lieu of his given name of Anthony, was tutored by his mothers sister. By the age of four, it became apparent that young 'Bird' could handle small problems easily. The Academy life away from home, as was common for the privileged, would be in his future.
By the age of ten, proficient in the use of words, mathematics and penmanship, as was expected after several years, living life away from home at the Academy, his father heard of an opportunity for an experience that would further train him for a life in the Gunnar family business, the management of others wealth. The Commodore dealing with young Birds father, was in need of a cabin boy for his heavily cannoned 'Ship of the Line'.
Setting sail for the open sea brought a new and exciting aspect to young Birds life. His abilities were immediately noticed and put to use. The Commodore would no longer have to oversee the Daily Log. Bird Gunnar's perfect penmanship put it in order promptly.
The attention to the navigation skills came early on, as well. His ability to know exactly the position of the ship, through the use and mastery of the timepiece, compass, astrolabe and log line, instilled confidence in everyone aboard the ship.
Young Bird's natural physical and coordination abilities came to be appreciated, as he could run up the lines to the highest mast, faster than the 'Able Seaman' with their years of experience.
His clear eyesight, uncommon in the 1800's due to birthing and sanitary conditions, was an appreciated asset. His ability to stand watch in the 'Top Mast' during poor visibility, saved the ship from embarrassment and disaster.
The ship became his playground. Learning each and every single aspect of his new found home, brought the realization that never again would he be satisfied working in his fathers business.
A life at sea was his future. Years of acquiring the skills required for survival at sea included battles and the complex ritual of firing a cannon became easy for him.
His natural ability to figure out trajectory, windage, and hit the target within crucial seconds, proved him an asset over and over again. The name 'Bird' was dropped forever and 'Gunner' took the place of his given name of Gunnar. Within years he aquired a reputation of competence.
Recognising his value to the Crown, the climb in rank and responsibility came fast. Soon a commission and his own command were rewarded. Many years of sea travel honed his skills to perfection. 'Gunner' learned each trade necessary to guaranty survival of a ship at sea, as everything else in his life.
The construction knowledge, and maintenance of his ship formed the basis for a trade in the future. Accurately measuring, cutting and replacement of timbers showed the others around him that he was more than their equal at everything needed to complete the voyage on his ship.
This ability allowed him to give orders without question by those under him in rank and was sometimes even accepted by those above. Gunner showed an uncommon trait of harsh critical orders when needed, and rewarding words when the immediate task was done well. These abilities gave him the unquestioned loyalty of his crew.
Years later when it became apparent that higher rank would never come, due to the system of Bloodlines having priority over ability, now aging, 'Captain Gunner' set out for another voyage around the 'Horn' of South America. Fortune have it to be, one last time on a mission for 'The Crown', He was able to acquire only the rank of Captain, in spite of his life's accomplishments at sea, in the service of his beloved Britannia.
The storms during that voyage were of such intensity, as only happens in cycles of hundreds of years. Weeks were spent trying to just stay afloat. The precious cannon were jettisoned to prevent sinking. The waves were easily coming over any free board. all of the crew thought that this time, they would meet their 'maker'.
Driven back by the wind, sometimes farther than they had progressed westward, depression set in with the relentless fatigue brought on by the endless battle to stay afloat. When the last strength of the crew was waning, a ray of sunlight came on the horizon.
The completion of the voyage to the, newly settled, West coast of the American Continent was now attainable.
The harbor of San Francisco was welcome but Gunners loss of the 24 cannon was not. Disgraced by the British Admiralty, Captain Gunner went into depression and hard drink became his refuge.
His story being told around the port, then heard by an old friend from his years at sea, Lt Diggle soon located Captain Gunner in a shanty on the docks of San Francisco. Cleaned up and sobered up, gunner was taken to meet a famous wealthy Robert Dunsmuir, coal mining magnate of British columbia.
The men formed a bond, sharing in the profits, and Captain Gunner was rewarded with the command of a freighter moving supplies from San Francisco to British Columbia where it was loaded with coal for the energy hungry, San Francisco. Within a short time, now financially secure, Captain Gunner found the rigors of life at sea were a physical hardship.
Resigning his command, Captain Gunner headed to shore as a 'landsman' for the remainder of his life. Now over 60 years of age, eyesight somewhat fading, leaving the dampness of a life at sea behind. Captain Gunner headed inland, with his skills and his memories of his years of unequaled service to 'The Crown'.
Captain Gunner's journey led deeper into the harshness of the raw, lawless, western interior and found temporary respite in a little town in the New Mexican Territory, called Appaloosa.
Racked by destruction from devastating Indian raids, Gunner found his minor skill as a 'ships Carpenter' come into appreciation in the little town called Appaloosa. The citizens of Appaloosa had little of monetary value, but were generous with trade for living needs.
Captain Gunner's 'carpentry' skills, learned while working feverishly along side his crew, to keep his ships afloat during warfare and heavy seas, were more than welcome to help in the resurrection of Appaloosa.
The story gets interesting as the eloquence of Abner Raines in the Appaloosa town meeting, brings attention to the latest scientific discovery of the century. With the forthcoming reopening of the copper mines by the young couple from Chicago, prosperity starts to come to appaloosa.
As in life, prosperity comes at a cost. Force is finally required to restore order in the little, beaten down town. The arrival of Cole and Hitch drastically changes the future for Appaloosa.
When the new Marshall decided that he would settle down in this little town to a life he desperately wanted, a proper home needed to be built. Who else but the local Carpenter, with his legendary skills and eye for perfection....
See, I told you we had vivid imaginations. My 'Avitar' gets to actually, physically act out his part while in wardrobe. No 'virtual' anything for this 'Captain'.