SURPRISE, AZ - A priceless family heirloom is back home in Brooklyn after a man from Arizona discovered a gun with a name “Leo Farley” carved on the bottom.
“It was just heartwarming to be able to see them reconnected with something that’s super important to them,” said Andrew Zukewyzz.
Zukewyzz, who lives in Surprise, was cleaning his gun one day when he removed the bottom and found the name “Leo Farley” carved on it.
“I thought it’d be cool to see if there’s some history to the name,” he said.
Sure enough, he was right.
The story goes Leo Farley was in his early twenties when he died in a car accident in 1978.
Zukewyzz’s dad lived in the same New York neighborhood as Farley back then and at some point had purchased Farley’s 22 caliber Remington rifle, passing it down to Zukewyzz when he was seven years old.
“I had planned to keep this gun in the family and pass it down to my son and then when I found the name I thought it’d be cool to see if there’s some history to the name,” Zukewyzz said. “The heartbreaking part is that the guy was just trying to provide for his family and selling off his possessions because he was 22 to 23 years old and had five kids.”
Zukewyzz went online and found a Leo Farley Jr. based out of Brooklyn and sent him a message on Facebook. The two spoke and arranged to return the gun to Farley’s family.
“I would want the same done to me,” said Zukewyzz.
The next day he was out in Brooklyn meeting with Farley’s family.
“I feel like I’ve always searched for something of my dad,” said Leo Farley Junior. “Now, I’ll be able to have a conversation with my dad and it just makes me feel so connected to him.”
He was only four years old when his dad died. Growing up all he had of his dad were a few pictures and a small box of trinkets.
“We were so young and the memories that we had of our dad are so scarce,” he said.
Zukewyzz is just happy he can help Farley’s family make new memories with him 40 years after his death.
“It was just heartwarming to be able to see them reconnect with something that’s super important to them,” he said.
To thank him, the family gifted Zukewyzz a Cabella’s gift card. He plans to use it to buy a gun, carve his name on the bottom, and pass it down to his son to keep the tradition alive.