Ninety & Still in a Class of His Own

By Robert G. Segel

The dean of the class 3 world of classic machine guns, Dolf Goldsmith, celebrated his 90th Birthday on Saturday, August 18, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas, with a wonderful surprise party arranged by Dolf’s daughters Jennifer and Cathy along with Troy Edhlund. Dolf has been at the center of the machine gun world for more than 70 years and has authored the definitive reference books on the Vickers, Maxim and Browning machine guns. We are all truly fortunate that he has shared those decades of acquired practical knowledge and in-depth research in his books for the benefit of shooters, collectors, museums and researchers and thus readily available for future generations.

So that Dolf wasn’t out of town shooting machine guns someplace with his friends, as he is spontaneously wont to do, his daughters Jennifer and Cathy told Dolf they were going to have a small family get together at a local restaurant in downtown San Antonio called the Saltgrass Steak House along the famous San Antonio Riverwalk on his birthday on August 18. No big deal, just a small family get together.

In the meantime, Jennifer and Cathy contacted a large portion of Dolf’s extended family from across the country and around the world to come in for the party as a surprise. Concurrently, Troy Edhlund worked with Jennifer and Cathy to put the word out within the class 3 community for Dolf’s machine gun friends and peers to come to San Antonio to join in the surprise birthday party. Approximately 30 machine gun friends and associates representing the who’s who of collectors, shooters, dealers and researchers from all over the country responded that they would attend.

Getting the word out, making sure it was a secret with nobody spilling the beans about the party to Dolf, getting a head count for the restaurant, working out a complete wonderful ribeye dinner menu and cost with an open bar was truly like herding cats for Dolf’s daughters and Troy. But they did a great job in working together to make the number of...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N10 (December 2018)
and was posted online on October 26, 2018


10-27-2018 6:56 PM

Happy belated birthday!

A few months late, but Best Wishes anyway!

I'm also thrilled to hear about the re-release of your Vickers book.

I recall asking if a second edition was possible when I met you at an SAR writers event several years ago.




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