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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a phone call from our dear friend Joe Pilar, "You want all the issues from the last 36 years of Retriever Field Trial News for free?" He laughed out loud at the nonsense of even having to ask the question, already knowing the answer.

"Where? How?" I said.

"Does it matter?" He replied.

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This afternoon Sherri and I drove down to Dyer, Indiana to meet Cai Trzepacz, widow of John. John and Cai were the original owners of FC-2xNAFC River Oaks Corky. With over 500 points Corky is the high point dog of all-time (up until Auggie passes him sometime soon). John won the National Derby Championship with Corky, and put an AFC on him before selling him to Mike Flannery.

When we arrived Cai had all the RFTNs on the coffee table, almost all stored neatly in binders. John had died several years ago, but Cai did not want to break the collection so kept the subscription, lamenting that she doesn't know any of the people in them anymore. She also was giving me a box full of over 500 hand-written pedigrees of the old Labs going back to the 1930s. All in order, all indexed. As is the usual case, her kids weren't interested in them, so it was best to find someone who was.

I was everything Joe told her I am and would be -- a true fan of the sport, a lover of the dog work, and insatiable for history. This put a smile on Cai's face. She patted me on the shoulder, "It is nice to know that some people remember John's name."

John, Joe, and Terri Veach were the "three Amigos." They trained together. They traveled together. They competed together. At their zenith they had fourteen titled dogs in a row.

Joe met John at work, and was looking for a dog to hunt with. He wasn't sure about buying the pup John wanted to sell him, until he saw the pup retrieving bumpers out of the freezing waves of Lake Michigan with ice sticking to his coat. That pup became FC-NAFC River Oaks Rascal. Like his dad Corky, Rascal became the National Derby Champion, and the National Amateur Champion.

I had a hundred questions about the dogs, about the people, about the game, about the times. And the more answers they gave me, the more questions I had. Cai got out two folders packed full to overflowing of hand-written records she used to keep for the club members of Midwest Field Trial Club and American Amateur Retriever Club. There was Earl Dillow. There was Sig Vilagi. There was Harold Bruninga. Along with the Ammarells, the Pattersons, the Andersons, and the Giermans. Just to name a few.

Cai was doing her best to keep up with me, running back and forth from other rooms to me in the living room, but seemed happy to be doing so. Showing us portraits, trophies, anything she thought I would be interested in, and that would bring me to an even greater understanding.

Then the pictures. God, the pictures! Corky as a puppy. Corky retrieving. Corky posing. Corky playing with her kids. And not just Corky, but all of her wonderful dogs. Litters, puppies, adults, and grey-muzzled seniors. I wanted to see them all! There was Rascal, and another of Rascal, and another of Rascal. And pictures of John, John and Cai, John and Joe, John and Terri. At the National, at trials, out training. Newspaper articles, magazine articles. I was in heaven.

Then she dropped the bomb on me -- I have videotapes. Old grainy films of Corky and other dogs from the '70s working and trialing, that she had professionally transferred to VHS. I promised I would take them home and convert them to DVD for her, and they sit here next to me as I type this.

All too soon it was time to leave. I gave Cai a hug, feeling a little like family now. And a big handshake of thanks to Joe, and we left for home.

So now I have some videos to go convert to DVD, and to take back to Cai and John and Corky and Joe and Rascal. I have another hundred questions.

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Joe, I know you are reading this. Let me answer your question "Does it matter" who I got these from?

Yes, yes it does.
 

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Kevin-

I have NO background in FTs, but your post isn't lost on me. Goosebumps! Thanks for posting that.

M
 

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Kevin,

You were put in that position for a reason, friend. :wink:

Couldn't happen to a more appropriate person. Enjoy yourself....and feel free to share ANY of the info at your convenience....
8)

Congratulations!

kg
 

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What an honor to become the custodian of truely historical items! WOW ! With Rascal on both side of my dogs pedigree it would be so sweet to see those old pics and videos. Hope you will someday post up some of those Rascal and Corky pics for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
2Blackdogs! said:
Hope you will someday post up some of those Rascal and Corky pics for us.
Trust me, I am already trying to figure out how to get a scanner over to her house.

With her permission of course.
 

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Amazing story -- thanks for sharing -- can't wait to hear more
 

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I envy speding a day like that, could you have someone like ybs or someone copy the to DVD and possible make copies to sell to recover the costs. I can't speak fo the Retriever Museum at the bird dog hall in Grand Junction, but what a piece of history to preserve.
 

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AmiableLabs said:
2Blackdogs! said:
Hope you will someday post up some of those Rascal and Corky pics for us.
Trust me, I am already trying to figure out how to get a scanner over to her house.

With her permission of course.
I have a friend who just told me about a stand alone photo scanner printer that HP has come out with.... she's got one. I was just going to start researching it. Sounds like it could be the ticket here.
 

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A laptop and flat bed scanner would certaily do the trick. Some all in one printer/scanners also have a mem card slot that the images can be sent to. But if there are lots of pics-and it sounds like there may be. and to do it at a decent res this might take a lot of mem cards-so back to the laptop and flatbed scanner as probably being best. I have a VHS/DVD combo deck that makes direct copys if ya need any help there. It works quite well. I am sure that I do not truely comprehend the treasure you had your eyes on today!
 

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Kevin, she knew to trust those things with you because you, in turn, would share them with others who care about that history.
What a wonderful walk down memory lane you had today!
I certainly looking forward to hearing more.
 

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Kevin,
Talk to Earl Dillow, and Jim Morgan(Original Buckshot retrievers-0wner of FC-AFC Sunfire's XX Buckshot, FDHF) as well.
Sorry guys your knowledge and memmories are priceless. 8)
Sue
 

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I have often heard that Bill Rook, Bigstone Kennels, often raised litters for some of the traveling pros. Lornie Martens owner of Martens Mister Nifty had a friend from theK9-Corps days raise litters. One of these was supposed to have been Corky. Problems with a late winter storm prevented Corky from being shipped until later. If this could all be substantiated it woud pove these stories.

Lornie Martens breedings gave rise to the Corky line and a bitch from his lines was the mother of Super Powder. Aother think that adds to the story are Bill Rooks children remember Lornie as a guest. Sue told me that being a bachelor he always stayed for Mom's good cooking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If I cannot get a scanner to her place, I will try to talk her into letting me take the albums to the local Kinkos.

Naturally I will share anything I can get, that she will allow.
 

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All I can say is WOW.

Sounds like a very sweet lady.

Congrats Kevin.
 
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