Randy Fox http://rayfox6.tripod.com/id12.html
"Norman Kemmer's opinion of Don Mayfield" "As a Conditioner"
I have chosen today to write about the man my father considered the greatest conditioner of all times. Earl Tudor once said that conditioning was seventy percent of winning. My father and I have always believed that it was more like eighty-five percent. Daddy always said that to be a great conditioner, one must collect information from all the great conditioners of the past, combine it, and improve on it. That is what Don Mayfield did. When discussing great conditioners before Mayfield's time one name always stands out....George Saddler.
They called him the Mississippi Hawk and he was a tough one to beat because of his conditioning. One never sees his name in any pedigrees today, but he won eight out of ten against the great names you see in pedigrees today. He did not have great dogs, but he beat great dogs with mid-grade dogs because of his conditioning. He pulled his dogs good and they could last. All of the great conditioners of the seventies like Jim Taylor, Cecil Collins, and Don Mayfield learned from this man. These men went and spent entire keeps at Saddler's house being his yard boy just for an opportunity to pick the great one's brain.
Mayfield also picked the brains of a couple of great conditioners out west, Earl Tudor and Frank Fitzwater. Mayfield combined all of the information, but more importantly, he improved on it. He became a better conditioner, in my father’s eyes, than all of his mentors. I remember years ago Mayfield and Pete Sparks, or one of Pete's fans, were writing back and forth, arguing in the magazines. Daddy would hear of Sparks arguing with Mayfield and get so mad he would hit the wall. Sparks was a good writer and he saw some great dogs in his day, but that was it. As a dog man all of the real dog men considered Sparks to be a joke. Hell, he only matched one dog. As Daddy said," here was the sorriest dog man to ever gain any kind of popularity, arguing conditioning with the all knowing Master". It would be like a clumsy little four year Old girl calling Mike Tyson while Tyson was in jail and threatening to whip his ass. It never crossed Spark's mind to match Mayfield when he had the opportunity, so why talk tough now. Daddy always said that there was no need to talk tough at pit-side because real dog men judge you by what you do in the box.
Mayfield competed in a time of great dog men like Leo Kinard, Jim Taylor, Cecil Collins, Maurice Carver, Roland Fontinout, etc. and beat them all more than any of them beat him. He matched eighty dogs and won eighty-five percent of his matches. Now there are some of you out there who are boasting such a record, but what are you going into. No great dogs or great dog men are lurking around every corner today. Daddy use to talk of the old timers, and when he got to his favourites like Jim Taylor and Cecil Collins he would say, "They could compete with Mayfield". Mayfield was so good that only the top men went into him, and only with their top dogs. Mayfield went into dogs the calibre of Bullyson's sons, and the ones that escaped him fill our pedigrees today. The best tribute ever paid to Mayfield's conditioning was paid him by his fellow dog men. As a general rule, if someone didn't have him beat by the thirty minute mark they would pick up. They knew that they couldn't beat him in the distance, so they went into him with the hope getting to him early and destroying him. The way to tell if a man considers himself a conditioner or not is to see if he will use dogs in the dead heat of summer I heard someone say that a friend of theirs would use dogs as long as the leaves were off. This man apparently does not think much of his conditioning skills.
Mayfield did his best to arrange' most of his matches in the middle of summer in the Deep South. He always told Daddy that any fool could luck up and get a dog where he could breathe in the winter. It takes a skilled conditioner to bring in a dog that doesn't get hot in the humid south in one hundred degree weather. Rebel Kennels had a five dog show one time in July, in Miami. One of the matches was into Daddy. We were at Ricky's house the day of the deal and it was eleven a.m., ninety-eight degrees, and rising. Now we all know how it is to get anxious for show time the day of the deal. Well Ricky was just talking and said, "I wish we could get started right now", in front of Daddy. Daddy stood up and said, "we can....right now”. Ricky thought a few minutes and said, "No, we'll just wait". Ricky won four that night, but lost to us. Ricky used some good dogs that night, two of them being Unc and Sampson. Nine dogs got seriously hot that night, but Daddy's was smoking. Ricky lost a fine little Homer/Ruby Red bitch that night for matching Daddy in the dead of summer. If we had owned that bitch, I don't know of any her size that could have stood with her. I owe the ability to say that to Don Mayfield.
I also think of Mayfield every time I hear a person making excuses for their dog’s poor performance. A thing like he swallowed a rag, his blood count was off, the moon was wrong, my friend’s cousin's uncle’s wife knew someone who had a baby, etc... Mayfield always said that the dog man gets there with the dog. A good dog man makes no excuses, deals with problems as they arise, and gets to the box with his animal in good shape we all screw one up from time to time, but one should never get comfortable with that fact. One should strive for perfection Keep in mind that you will never know how good your dogs are unless you go into good dogs. Also, you will never know how good your conditioning is unless you head south in mid-July. There are many people who think Mayfield is crazy. Many can't make heads or tails of his writings or tapes. I haven't watched them, nor read his recent publishing, so I can't comment I learned from the information that he gave my father. He may not give that information out anymore. That's fine with me. To me that kind of information should stay between a chosen few. Why should the master publish such information for his enemies to use and not give him credit for? He gave my father the real information and my father always gave him credit. So will I. He was the King. I will pass his information to my children and they will hear his name spoken with reverence in my house.
When I hear someone putting Mayfield down, I know immediately that they are uneducated or a damn fool. These people never competed with Don. Don Mayfield was the greatest conditioner of his day. My father learned from men like Mayfield, Leo Kinard, Jim Taylor, Cecil Collins, and Johnny Green. I have a book that I kept and every time my father mentioned anything that any of these greats did in their keeps, I ran and wrote it down immediately in the. Men’s chapters. I still write in this book, as I still talk to some of these great conditioners of the past like Jim Taylor and Drew Farve. To be great, one must learn from the greats. Daddy gave most of his credit to Don Mayfield. When you grew up in the house that I was raised in, it was just understood that Mayfield was the best of the best. I will raise my children with this same fact. I was at the house one night when the Cottinghams called and ask Daddy if he would sell them his keep. He told Glen that no price could be put on a keep. It could make a dog man. A great keep in my mind is more important than owning a great family of dogs. I would like to thank my father for giving me what I consider to be both. I feel that he attempted to build on his mentors keep and I will do my best to build on his. When I reach the other world and stand in front of my father once again, we will surely discuss my accomplishments of this world. I would consider it the greatest honour if my father would feel that I had became a conditioner capable of competing with Mayfield.
My battle quote for this issue goes out to all dog men or competitors of any kind. It is from our late President Theodore Roosevelt and says, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
STORY FROM ENGLAND
Let me say how much i enjoyed reading this story you wrote about your trip to Texas, and known this story was only a short clip of your time here in the Sunnyvale area. As the saying NEVER CAST ALL YOUR PEARL TO THE HOGS, one ever now and then, and you will all ways have some ham to eat. I'll point out a thing or two you got mixed up on, witch would be easy for anyone to do as to the amount of talk of the game you showed, and we did, as our eyes open and shut from dream state talking as we were there at pit side with all the one there. What you got wrong was about the match
I had when I matched into Alligator, it was not Danny Burton who worked him, it was the plumbers who worked and owned Alligator, I then used Alligator for his second match, then Donny used him for his third match. To me Englishman it was one of the highlights of my years dealen with a man of the game wile you were here under my tree. I have had many gamedog people Under my shadetree over my years, dealen, talken, seeking truth, going to school, and enjoyen a part of life few understand. In the 1960's and 1970's thir was no one in the game who was on the roads with match dogs as I was, in the last 20 years or so I have left my shadetree only a few times, ever year the trail to my shadetree has goten deeper, with the most ONE OF A KINDS bred in the world, who seek for truth about the American Bred Gamedogs. My lifestyle here is slow, yet am out of bed before the sun comes up, with ever day faster then a ARMADILLO WHEELEN AND DEALEN, and growen a large garden when I aint under the shadetree coolen. Thanks Trevor for such a interesting story, I look forword to when we do it again. One more thing it was 400 who we won with over Chivo,
it was the match i had with Don Maloney when I put lots of work into Gormor, I remember all the matches, but i don't remember the time of the matches without looken in my records.
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
ITS A FACT THAT DON MAYFIELD, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU LIKE HIM OR DISLIKE HIM, UNDERSTAND IRS STORIES OR DON'T UNDERSTAND THEM WAS A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE GAME BACK IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF THE SIXTIES/SEVENTIES. HIS RECORD OF WINS AGAINST QUALITY OPPOSITION AT THE MAJOR SHOWS OF THAT PERIOD WERE TO SAY THE LEAST EXCEPTIONAL WITH DOGS SUCH AS CH GOMER, CH 400, CH ALLIGATOR, PIT GENERAL, CH RANGER (LITTERMATE TO JIMMY BOOTS) TOMBSTONE, WITH HIM BEATINGT HE LIKES OF CH CHIVO, GRCH POOL HALL RED, CH BULLYSON JR, PLUSMANY MORE IT WAS WITH INTEREST THAT I PLANNED A VISIT TO AS JERRYCLEMMONS ONCE CALLED HIM THE DALLAS GURU. I FIRST CORRESPONDED WITH DON MAYFIELD IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES WHEN I WAS LOOKING TO PURCHASE DOGS FROM HIM BUT WITH ONE THING OR ANOTHER WE NEVER GOT ROUND TO DEALING FOR ANY DOGS MUCH TO MY DISMAY. IT WAS IN THE LATE EIGHTIES THAT I BEGAN TO DEAL WITH HIM MORE OFTEN AND WE TALKED MAINLY ABOUT CONDITIONING, I ALWAYS HAD A UNDERSTANDING
OF HOW TO EXERCISE A DOG HAVING HAD COURSING DOGS ALL MY LIFE BUT THOUGH I WAS ABLE TO BRING MY DOGS TO THE PIT VERY FINE THEY STILLL ACKED THAT LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA. IN NEARLY EVERY MATCH I HAVE FOUGHT I'VE GIVEN WEIGHT AWAY YET AT THE SAME TIME MY DOGS WERE ALWAYS BIGGER THAN MY OPPONENT'S WERE, MY DOGS WERE ALWAYS SHOWN IN TOP SHAPE HAD VERY GOOD WIND OR STAMINA BUT STILL I COULDN'T PUT MY FINGER ON WHAT WAS MISSING. I SPOKE WITH DON ABOUT THIS AND HE STARTED TO EXPLAIN TO ME HOW TO FEED MY DOGS FOR A MATCH, NOW I ALREADY KNEW WHAT TO FEED BUT TI-IE PROBLEM I WAS HAVING WAS I WASN'T FEEDING ENOUGH. I BEGAN TO EXPERIMENT WITH THE FEED PAN AND BY SIMPLY FEEDING MORE FEED IN A KEEP, TO MY DOGS WITH CERTAIN FEEDS BEING FED AT CERTAIN PARTS OF THE KEEP. THE FIRST DOG I WORKED USING THIS DIFFERENT FEEDING SCHEDULE I MATCHED AT 341b AND GAVE AWAY TWO POUNDS WITH MY BITCH COMING OF THE BOTTOM TO WIN IN OVER TWO HOURS, ON HER PEAK WORK DAY THIS BITCH WAS DOING OVER SIX HOURS OF WORK AND EAT NEAR FOUR POUNDS OF FEED. THE FEED THAT I WAS FEEDING CONSISTED OF A LOT OF LEAN MINCED BEEF WITH SOME CEREALS AND MIXED GRAINS, LOTS OF FRESH VEGETABLES WITH A QUALITY MINERAL VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT WITH PLAIN NATURAL CARBOHYDRATES. WHEN THE BITCH WAS EATING SHE WOULD BLOW UP LIKE SHE WAS READY TO WHELP WITH HER BELLY NEAR TO BURSTING POINT, AT TIMES SHED LIFT HER HEAD AND BELCH REAL LOUD IN ORDER TO MAKE MORE ROOM FOR THE FEED. WITH THE CONDITIONING
KNOWLEDGE I ALREADY HAD ALONG WITH A LOT OF HELP FROM DON MAYFIELD I BEGAN TO WORK DOGS USING A NEW SYSTEM AND FOUGHT TWELVE MATCHES IN A ROW WORKING DOGS FOR MYSELF AND OTHER WELL KNOWN KENNELS IN ENGLAND, IN EACH MATCH I GAVE WEIGHT TRAVELED AWAY AND MY DOG SCRATCHED TO WIN.
WHEN DON MAYFIELD TOLD ME ABOUT THE TEXAS REDNECK HICK BARBECUE THAT HE WAS PUTTING TOGETHER I KNEW T14AT ID HAVE TO GET MYSELF INVITED, THEN AS SOON AS ID MADE MY MIND UP TO GO, DON SENT ME A LETTER INVITING ME TO THE REUNION. OVER THE YEARS IVE HAD DOZENS OF INVITES TO THE USA FROM WELL KNOWN DOGMEN AND BEEN INVITED TO BIG SHOWS/CONVENTIONS BUT DUE TO A HOLE IN MY POCKET ITS ALWAYS BEEN OUT OF MY LEAGUE AS I HAVE TO WORK FOR A LIVING IM NOT A DRUG DEALER OR CRIMINAL OR BANK ROBBER AND HAVE A MORTGAGE WITH THREE CHILDREN TO FEED AND CLOTHE, STILL I WAS DETERMINED TO GET TO TEXAS FOR THIS SO CALLED REDNECK HICK REUNION. WELL I STARTED WORKING TWO JOBS, ONE PAID THE BILLS THE OTHER WENT IN MY MONEY BOX TO PAY FOR THE TRIP TO TEXAS, AT ONE TIME DURING THIS PERIOD I WAS WORKING EIGHTEEN HOURS EACH DAY IN ORDER TO GET THE CASH TOGETHER.
WELL NOW TO SOME OF YOU HARDENED CHAPPIES FROM THE BIG CITIES THE PROSPECT OF FLYING MIGHT NOT BE TO INTIMIDATING BUT TO ME A COUNTRY BOY FROM THIS RED ROSE COUNTY OF LANCASHIRE THE NEAREST ID GOTTEN TO FLYING WAS FALLING FROM A TREE TRYING TO COLLECT BIRDS EGGS, TO BE HONEST THE PROSPECT OF A TEN HOUR FLIGHT 30,000 FEET ABOVE GODS EARTH HAD MY ASS UP AROUND MY EARS, I GET VERTIGO IF IVE GOT TO GO UP A STAIRWAY OF MORE THAN SIX STEPS BUT HEY IF THEM SOUTHERN SOFTIE COCKNEYS COULD GO INTERNATIONAL THEN I CERTAINLY COULD. THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT CAME AND TO BE HONEST I SAT AS CLOSE TO THE DOOR AS POSSIBLE BUT THEY NEVER MENTIONED PARACIFUTES, SO I SAT THE FIRST FEW HOURS WITH MY EYES CLOSED READY TO PUT MY HEAD BETWEEN MY LEGS AND KISS MY ASS GOODBYE. WE GOT INTO DALLAS ABOUT TEATIME OR 4PM AND I WAS QUICKLY MOVED THROUGH CUSTOMS AND I MOVED TOWARDS THE AIRPORT LOUNGE WERE I SEEN WHAT COULD ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS POSSIBLY THE ONLY TWO TEXANS IN THE AIRPORT, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BUSIEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD WERE TWO REAL TEXAS REDNECK HICKS STANDING OUT LIKE THE LONE STAR FLAG IN A SEA OF MIXED RACES, THE FIRST PEOPLE I SAW OUT OF ABOUT A HUNDRED PEOPLE WAS A COUPLE OF GUYS WEARING HIGH DOLLAR COWBOY BOOTS AND STETSONS, I WALKED OVER TO THEM AND DON MAYFIELD HELD OUT HIS HAND AND TOLD ME, WELCOME TO TEXAS TREVOR. WE THEN JOURNEYED FROM DALLAS AIRPORT
IN ONE OF THOSE DODGE PICKUPS EVERYONE IN TEXAS SEEMS TO DRIVE AS THE DRIVER CRAZY LARRY WHO WAS A REAL TALENTED SONGWRITER SANG A SONG AS WE DROVE THROUGH THE HOT TEXAS SUN. WE ARRIVED AT DONS PLACE AND THE FIRST THING WE DID WAS SIT OUT UNDER THE SHADE TREE TO ESCAPE FROM THE HOT TEXAS HEAT, AS THEY INTRODUCED ME TO A LADY FROM MEXICO CALLED HONEY THAT SIMPLY BLEW MY MIND. WE SAT AND TALKED WELL ON INTO THE EARLY HOURS MOST EVENINGS WITH THE CONVERSATIONS BEING ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM GAME DOGS TO GOD OR CONDITIONING TO CHERRY PIE. MY SELF AND DON WERE TO SLEEP UNDER CANVASS FOR THE DURATION OF THE REUNION AND WE GOT TO OUR COTS AROUND 2AM WERE WE LAY AWAKE TALKING ABOUT DOGS AND DON WAS TELLING ME ABOUT SUCH DOGMEN AS LEO KINARD, MAURICE CARVER, FRANK FITZWATER AND THE BIG SHOWS THEY PUT TOGETHER IN THE PAST THROUGHOUT THE TEXAS AREA. I REMEM13ER ASKING HIM ONE EVENING AS WE SAT OUT UNDER THE SHADE TREE WHAT HE THOUGHT OF THE CH BUTCHER BOY DOG, HE TOLD ME THAT HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR NORMAN HOOTEN GETTING BUTCHER BOY OF FRANK FITZWATER AS A PUPPY, HOW FRANK HAD PHONED HIM TO ASK ABOUT NORMAN, THEN HOW NORMAN NEVER PAID FRANK FOR T14E PUPPY. THEN EVERY TIME DON WOULD SEE FRANK AT THE SHOWS OR HEAR FROM HIM FRANK WOULD ALWAYS TELL DON THAT NORMAN STILL OWED HIM FOR TI-IE DOG, DON THOUGHT VERY HIGHLY OF FRANK 14AVING CONDITIONED HIS GOLDIE DOG FOR HIM AND WINNING. LATER WELDON STOCTON BOUGHT BIG LIZ THE DAM OF BUTCHER BOY FROM FRANK, DON MATCHED HER ON ONE
OF LEO KINARDS SHOWS IN MISSISSIPPI WINNING WITH HER, THE BUTCHER BOY DOG WAS A BELLY MATE TO ED WEAVER MIKE DOG. BE TOLD ME MANY TIMES THAT BUTCHER BOY WAS A REAL GOOD DOG AND THAT HIS LAST AND HARDEST MATCH WAS AGAINST THE SAMSON DOG THAT WAS OUT OF NIGGER, I THEN ASKED HIM WHAT BE THOUGHT THE OUTCOME OF A CH ALLIGATOR/CH BUTCHER BOY MATCH WOULD HAVE BEEN AND WITHOUT HESITATION HE TOLD ME CH ALLIGATOR WOULD HAVE WON BUT THAT BUTCHER BOY WAS STILL A GREAT DOG, THE REUNION CAME AROUND AND I MET MANY OF THE OLD ORIGINAL FAMILIES FROM THE SUNNYVALE AREA, WE EAT FOOD THAT WAS FIT FOR KINGS FROM HOG, DEER, STEAKS AS BIG AS A TEN GALLON HAT, CHILLI HOTTER THAN THE FIRES OF BELL, AND THOSE BANNANA PUDDINGS AND PEACH COBBLER, STRAWBERRY CAKES ALL HOME MADE, THOSE TEXAS GIRLS SURE KNOW HOW TO COOK. I WAS SITTING ON THE PORCH AT DONS ONE MORNING WHEN A COWBOY CAME STROLLING IN AND IT WAS PLAIN TO SEE THAT HE WAS A OUTLAW, THIS GUY WAS A EX BULLRIDER THAT PLAYED A MEAN SWINETTE 14E WENT BY THE NAME OF TRICKY RICKY. HE WAS TELLING ME ABOUT THE SHOWS BACK IN THE SEVENTIES AND HOW ONE TIME HE TRAVELED TO A BIG SHOW WITH DON AND HE HAD TWO 1\4ATCHES ON THE SAME SHOW AND HOW AFTER THEY HAD ARRIVED AT THE SHOW ALL THEY HAD WAS TI-IE STAKE MONEY, IF THEY HAD LOST THEY WERE WALKING BACK HOME TO TEXAS. WELL THEY WEIGHED IN THE DOGS AND DON WAS MATCHED INTO DON DEVINE WITH MALES AND DEVINE CAME IN OVER SO DON COLLECTED THE FORFEIT TOLD HIM THE MATCH WAS STILL ON AND HE'D GIVE HIM THE
WEIGHT, THEY AGREED TO LET DON MATCH A BITCH FIRST AND WHILST DON WAS IN THE PIT WITH THE BITCH MATCH, TRICKY RICKY CALLED OVER TO DON FROM THE BLEACI-IERS AND POINTED TO DON DEVINE WHO WAS HIGHTAILING IT OUT OF THE SHOW HAVING PAID THE FORFEIT AND NOT WANTING THE MATCH EVEN AFTER BEING GIVEN WEIGHT. THE MATCH THAT DON HAD THAT DAY HE WON EASILY MAKING HIS BITCH A TWO TIME WINNER AND FROM "AT I CAN GATHER THEM TEXANS PARTIED LONG INTO THE NIGHT WITH TRICKY RICKY ENTERTAINING EVERYONE BY PLAYING HIS SWINNETE. ONE EVENING AS MYSELF AND DON WERE SAT OUT IN HIS YARD OVERLOOKING THE CREEK LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF THE CRICKETS AND FROGS CALLING, SHARING SOME OF MOTHER NATURES BEST WE GOT TO TALKING ABOUT THE CH ALLIGATOR DOG, AND DON WAS TELLING ME HOW HE CONDITIONED AND HANDLED HIM IN A MATCH WITH SOME RICH FOLK OUT OF DALLAS, THE MATCH WAS MADE AT CATCH WEIGHT AND CH ALLIGATOR CAME IN AT 631b WITH HIS OPPONENT COMING IN AT 751b, T141S WAS A BIG MONEY MATCH THAT ALLIGATOR WON, BE ALSO TOLD ME ABOUT WHEN HE MATCHED INTO ALLIGATOR USING HIS HALF BROTHER A DOG SIRED BY NIGGER, FOR TI-HS MATCH ALLIGATOR WAS CONDITIONED AND HANDLED BY DANNY BURTON, CH ALLIGATOR WON THIS MATCH WITH DONS DOG LOSING DEEP GAME, HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT THIS WAS ALLIGATORS HARDEST MATCH AND THAT HE'D MADE THE MISTAKE OF MATCHING HIS DOG TO YOUNG BUT T14AT IT WAS A STANDOUT MATCH AND YOU JUST CANT MATCH INTO DANNY BURTON UNLESS YOUR DOG IS READY AS HE TOLD ME MANY TIMES WHILST I WAS AT HIS PLACE THAT DANNY IS A
GOOD CONDITIONER AND ONE OF THE FEW DOGMEN AROUND TODAY THAT REALLY UNDERSTANDS THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE GAME. WERE TALKING ONE EVENING FROM AROUND 4PM TILL GONE 4AM IN THE MORNING ABOUT THE DOGS THAT DON SAW MATCHED AND MATCHED HIMSELF, HE TOLD ME ABOUT THE MATCH WITH CH CHIVO OWNED BY BAKER DAVIES HOW CHIVO WAS A GREAT DOG HAVING WON THREE TIMES EACH TIME GETTING BEST IN SHOW AND OF THE AMOUNT OF WORK HE PUT INTO CH GOMER FOR THIS MATCH, THE CONDITIONING HE HAD ON HIS DOGS WAS AND IS SUPERIOR TO ANYONE IVE DEALT WITH BEFORE AND EVEN TODAY I KNOW OF NO DOGMAN THAT PUTS AS MUCH WORK INTO A DOG FOR A SHOW. FOR THE SECOND WEEK OF MY VISIT DON ARRANGED FOR ME TO HAVE MY OWN PERSONNEL TOUR GUIDE AND THIS WAS THE SAME GUY THAT HAD PICKED ME UP AT THE AIRPORT WITH DON, THIS GUY WAS A GUITAR PLAYING COWBOY THAT HAD SPENT A WHILE IN VIETNAM HE WENT BY THE NAME OF CRAZY LARRY. TI-IE WEEK THAT I SPENT WITH LARRY WAS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING TIMES OF MY LIFE, THE STORIES BE TOLD ME ABOUT NAM WERE FASCINATING AND WHEN HE AND HIS BROTHER SLICK HICK LEN GOT TO PLAYING THEM GUITARS SAT UNDER THE SHADE TREE AT DON & PHYLLIS PLACE THEN IT MADE MY TRIP, I WAS PRESENT WHEN CRAZY LARRY AND SLICK HICK LEN PLAYED FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW AT THE REUNION AND THIS IS THE DAY WE GAVE THEM THE NAME "THE SUNNYVALE HICK PICKERS". I WAS SAT TALKING WITH DONS WIFE PHYLISS AT THE REUNION, I WAS EATING MY THIRD BOWL OF PEACH COBBLER SHE WAS SMOKING A CIGARETTE WHILST TELLING ME HOW THE REUNION REMINDED HER OF THE BIG SHOWS DON AND ED WEAVER USED TO PUT ON BACK IN THE SEVENTIES ALONG WITH GEORGE GILMAN, I COULD TELL PHYLISS REALLY ENJOYED THOSE GOOD OLD DAYS, I WAS AMAZED AT THE MEMORY DON MAYFIELD HAS FOR THE OLD MATCHES AND SHOWS OR THE TRUE BREEDING OF DOGS, HIS COLLECTION OF GAMEDOG MATERIAL IS THE BEST I'VE EVER SEEN . HE HAS THOUSANDS OF QUALITY PHOTOS OF THE GREAT DOGS OF THE PAST ALONG WITH THOSE WHO OWNED OR MATCHED THESE DOGS. WHAT I FOUND AMAZING WAS HIS COLLECTION OF LETTERS THAT GO BACK TO THE LATE FIFTIES WITH LETTERS FROM EARL TUDOR, LEO KINARD, GEORGE SADDLER, PETE SPARKS AND OTHER LEGENDS OF THE GAME. HE ALSO HAS HUNDREDS OF AUDIO'S MADE FROM PHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH SUCH AS MAURICE CARVER, EARL TUDOR, PLUS AUDIO'S MADE RIGHT AT PIT SIDE THAT ARE FASCINATING TO I-]EAR WITH FAMOUS DOG MEN GIVING THERE VIEWS ON THE MATCHES THEY WERE WATCHING AND THE VIDEOS OF VARIOUS YARDS GOING BACK TO THE LATE FIFTIES ARE RARE PRECIOUS JEWELS THAT EVERY DOG MAN SHOULD SEE. ITS HARD WHEN YOUR SAT OUT UNDER THE SHADE TREE IN 100 DEGREE HEAT TO REMEMBER ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU WANTED TO ASK EVEN MORE SO WHEN YOU'VE EATEN TO MUCH PEACH COBBLER OR FRIED CHICKEN BUT I ASKED HUNDREDS OF QUESTIONS ABOUT AMERICAN GAME DOGS AND DON ANSWERED EACH ONE, TAKING THE TIME TO EXPLAIN CERTAIN THINGS ABOUT FEEDING DOGS AND HOW CERTAIN DOGS WERE BRED. I FOUND IT AMAZING THAT SOME SO CALLED DOG MEN TALK ABOUT DON BEING NO LONGER IN THE GAME WHEN HE'S TALKING DAILY ON THE PHONE WITH DOG MEN FROM AFRICA TO AUSTRALIA OR JAPAN, HIS PHONE JUST NEVER STOPS RINGING FROM SUN UP TO SUN DOWN. WHEN YOU ADD TO THIS TI-FE DOZENS OF LETTERS HE GETS EACH WEEK AND NOW HAVING A WEB PAGE THEN I WOULD SAY THAT FAR FROM BEING FINISHED IN THE GAME THAT HICK HAS NOT EVEN GOT HIS SECOND WIND.
ONE SUBJECT WE DID DISCUSS AT LENGTH IN GREAT DETAIL WAS THE USE OF SHOTS IN CONDITIONING, MY KNOWLEDGE OF THEM WAS MINOR AS FAR AS USING THEM IN A KEEP WAS CONCERNED BUT I HAD CORRESPONDED WITH TOP SPORTS NUTRITIONIST FROM AROUND THE WORLD AS WELL AS MANY TOP CONDITIONERS IN BOTH DOGS ROOSTERS AND HORSES FOR OVER A DECADE. I WAS TOLD BY DON HOW BE HAD TRIED THEM BACK IN THE LATE SIXTIES EARLY SEVENTIES WITH SUCCESS BUT HE FOUND THAT HE PERSONALLY COULD PUT HIS DOGS IN BETTER SHAPE WITHOUT THEM, THIS HE PROVED IN THE MATCHES HE WON AGAINST SOME OF TI-IE ALL TIME GREAT CONDITIONERS THAT WERE USING SHOTS TO CONDITION. MANY OF THOSE WHO BECAME GREAT CONDITIONERS SPENT NOT JUST DAYS BUT WEEKS WORKING THEIR OWN DOGS AT DONS PLACE LEARNING ALL THEY COULD ABOUT CONDITIONING WITH SHOTS, SOME LATER MATCHED INTO HIM THEN WERE BEATEN WITH DOGS CONDITIONED NATURALLY. I WAS SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT THE PISTOL DOG THAT MADE GR CH GOING LIGHT BARNEY QUIT COLD WAS CONDITIONED AT DONS PLACE BY WILLIE BROWN WITH DON DOING MOST OF THE CONDITIONING. THE PISTOL/GR CH BARNEY MATCH TOOK PLACE THE SAME SHOW THAT BULLYSON QUIT TO HIS SON BENNY BOB, DON CONDITIONED BENNY BOB HAD MOST OF THE STAKE THEN AFTER THE SHOW RICK HALLIBURTON BECAME TI-IE OWNER OF BENNY BOB. AS I TOLD YAWL EARLIER THE TALKS WE HAD SOMETIMES LASTED LONG INTO THE NIGHT WITH A FEW LASTING INTO THE NEXT DAY , ID BE SAT LISTENING TO DON TALKING ABOUT CH ALLIGATOR OR MAURICE CARVER AND BOBBY HALL WORKING BULLYSON AND THE THING I FOUND MOST PLEASING ABOUT THESE LONG TALKS WAS THAT HE ALWAYS TOLD THE TRUTH EVEN WHEN TALKING ABOUT HIS LOSSES. IT WAS VERY HOT UNDER THE TEXAS SUN BUT I WAS TREATED LIKE A KING AND EVERYONE I MET WAS GOING OUT OF THERE WAY TO MAKE ME FEEL WELCOME, I WENT CATFISH FISHING CAUGHT A MESS OF CATS, THEN DON SK D AND CLEANED THEM, WE COATED THEM IN SOME HERBS/SPICES THEN PHYLISS DADDY WHO MANY CLAIMED TO BE THE BEST FISH FRYER IN TEXAS COOKED THEM FOR US WITH SOME FRESH OKRA AND FRIES WHILST DON TOLD ME TALES ABOUT MAURICE CARVER AND EARL TUDOR, NOW PRAY TELL ME WHAT MORE COULD A MAN WANT THAN TO BE TALKING GAME DOGS EATING GOOD HOME COOKED FOOD SAT UNDER A SHADE TREE IN TEXAS. THE VISIT SEEMED TO LAST FOREVER YET WAS OVER IN NO TIME AT ALL, MY TIME IN TEXAS WAS AMAZING, THE PACE OF LIFE THERE I FOUND REAL SLOW BUT SOON ADAPTED TO IT. I SHALL BE VISITING TEXAS AGAIN IN THE FUTURE AND PLAN TO CATCH ONE OF THEM BIG 60LB CATFISH ON LAKE RAY HUBBARD. I'VE BEEN AROUND DOGS ALL MY LIFE AND HAVE MET AND CORRESPONDED WITH SOME OF THE BEST OF THEM BUT BY FAR WHEN IT COMES TO CONDITIONING/BREEDING AND FACTS DON MAYFIELD IS WAY WAY AHEAD OF ANYONE I'VE MET IN THE GAME AND I FOR ONE FEEL THAT WE SHOULD PAY A LITTLE MORE ATTENTION TO WHAT HE WRITES ABOUT THE GAME AS UNLIKE MOST HE CERTAINLY HAS BEEN INVOLVED AT THE VERY CORE AS, HE LIKES TO CALL IT, THE VERY FACT THAT HE TELLS YOU THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DOGS THAT QUIT ABOUT THE DOGS THAT HAD FALSE PAPERS OUGHT TO BE SOMETHING WE ADMIRE. I WILL CLOSE BY WISHING EVERYONE I KNOW AROUND THE WORLD THE VERY BEST FOR THE FUTURE, MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU ALL AND YOUR LOVED ONES.
OPEN TO THE WORLD
SPRINGVIEW BULLDOGS (UK)