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A Collies Online Feature: CCA Nationals Of The Past

Continuing into The ‘70s - Something Magical!

(1971 - 1975)

By Sally Futh, Starberry Collies

Photos from CCA year books 1971-1975

After Worcester we went back to Oklahoma City in 1971, with high hopes as LaVerne Walker had put up our Rajah in the NorCal futurity. We also had an unshown puppy dog which had just won the ACCONEUS match but lost out to a mature dog in the Tournament. We didn’t feel he was really ready. The singleton herpes virus survivor was unshown because he was entered under Steve Field at Collie Club of Western New York the month before. I know l’ve said this before, but the reason we wanted to get to this show was to get Steve’s opinion of our hopeful, ready or not. And as usual in the Northeast in February, an ice storm struck. So we bundled year old Stephen up at 3 a.m. and hit the road . . . tried unsuccessfully to call the show site to find out if the show was going to be delayed, as we slithered over the Taconic hills and onto the thruway. By show time we were still 100 miles from Rochester and making slow progress. The sight of those icy cliffs and the unsanded road reminded us that we would have to make the trek back at night, show or no show, so sadly we turned around and headed back home.

Of course there was another snowstorm when we packed up to leave for Oklahoma. We were not entered in the Tulsa specialty due to time constraints, and it was sunny and warm as we passed that area and drove on to Oklahoma City. Polly Warner put up Weiler’s Moonglow’s Concession Girl over 138 futurity puppies.

Our puppy was not feeling too hot overnight and where had that lovely weather gone? It was pouring, with the temperature dropping. However, the show went great. Bob Wood did the overload 6-9 classes, George Horn had an excellent entry of 140 bitches, with the points going to Shirley Dowski’s Marnus Kelly’s Blues. Raj went nowhere in the entry of 119 but Starberry St. Patrick took the points and BW. The Enterprise son, CH. Baymar’s Coming Attraction took breed over Hawk and BoS was Ch. High’s Miss Buttercup. Rough specials totaled 37, with 16 smooths in all.

Snow was coming down to beat the band, a real whiteout, by the time it was all over, so we got directions and headed out toward the motel, caravan style. In the lead we made a wrong turn at the fairground gates and the road got very bumpy. Finally we got to another gate and got out -- and off the railroad tracks! At the motel, dinner was not in the cards; the owner had sent the help home and the night shift did not make it in. Bobbee Roos went into the kitchen cupboards and doled out single packs of dry cereal; the motel people relented and we had only a semi-frozen dinner, which tasted awesome on the euphoria of the win.

Next morning we were housebound as “the” plow was making its way on the interstate WEST from OKC. So we had an impromptu seminar-talkfest-roundtable led by George Horn, one of the best ever not put on by CCA! After a few hours the sun came out and some of us decided to brave the highway. Snow had melted or never had amounted to much once we were a half hour east, so we floated home. I guess it’s a lucky name, as Patrick finished undefeated two weeks later, but that’s another story.

Louisville was the Really Big Show in 1972: extra judges for multiple overloads. 455 dogs total, with Steve Field doing most of the 179 dogs and 47 BV, Alex Gibbs had 182 bitches, except 6-9, where Roy Ayers stepped in. Jane Youngjohns did all the puppy and novice dogs, juniors and Smooths, who numbered 13-17-12. John Lindeman judged 174 puppy sweepstakes topped by the Sweeper daughter Wickmere Golden Chimes for Shelley Roos, who had a really good weekend. Anne Cross’ judged the junior sweeps and found Ch. Hi Vu Madresfield Molly.

Ch. Little Hawk of Kasan followed his sire as winners and BV with Ch. Merriacres Blue Pinafore BoS. Dokana’s Firebird was WB with her litter brother RD. In roughs Tewksbury Gentl Persuasion was BW and Random Acres Midnite Fanci, WB. Ch. Wickmere Chimney Sweep wore the BoB blanket of roses and Ch. Twin Creeks Scrube Dube Da took BoS.

Something Magical . . .

The first time I went to Disneyland was with Nancy Walker, daughter of Milt and LaVerne of San Lori. We had a great time. The next time it was for the 1973 CCA specialty show, scheduled to be held indoors in their then Convention Center, but actually held both days on a grassy lawn near the building. What I remember most about it was the ring being next to a strawberry field which was raided by many of the exhibitors in the early morning before the show began. We talked to the straw boss and he told us that the Collie people were welcome to pick BEHIND the workers, just not ahead of them. (In 1992 we were in Tampa and strawberry shortcakes were the dessert du jour, but strawberries eaten fresh from the sun in Anaheim were even better!)

Actually I DO remember the great contest among The Gladiator, who won, Chimney Sweep and MacD for BoV, and having fun in the ring with our class winning puppy, Banshee, and Gimle. The dogs also loved their private patio outside our room in the condo-style DL motel. All the exhibitors and spectators enjoyed being outdoors in the sun and seeing the dogs in the open as Collies should be seen. There were 104 rough dogs and 24 total specials for Floyd "Pete" Peterson to judge and 116 bitches by John Honig. Ch. Robet’s Precious Gem was BoS, White’s Sir No No was WD and Wind-Calls Waxwing WB. Best Puppy was Lick Creek’s Bluebeard. It was our first time meeting a very young Janine Walker (-Keith), who handled Tartanside Japada Jasmine to RB. MacD and Sweeper went home empty-handed; In those days there were no merit awards or selects. The trophies were ornate glass and metal candlestands and bowls, too fragile and hard to pack for the flight back to Connecticut so we left ours on the San Lori piano and mantel as mementos.

For the next few years the show rotated around the country over its usual six zones, mostly in hotel ballrooms, but also armories or convention centers -- in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Rochester (NY), Dallas, Louisville again, San Diego, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Detroit.

1974, Pittsburgh with Doc Greathouse judging dogs and intersex (158 and 35, 20 and 17) and Alice Wharton’s first time in the big ring for bitches, 168 and 17. The Gladiator repeated his win with Bertha Frank garnering BoS with Ch. Bandor’s Twila’s Twilight. BW was North Country Bunker Hill Bob. WB was Marnus Night Traces. RD and Best Puppy went to Cinderella’s Thrillseeker.

In Smooths, Les Canavan piloted Ch. Lindy’s Coming Attraction to BoV with Ch. Scandia Bayberry Night Hawk BoS; BW to his son Kismet’s Black Knight and WB to Storm’s Rain Dance. Two personal memories from that show weekend were our 2-year-old Jenny falling asleep on the hallway couch in the middle of the welcome party, oblivious to the uproar around her . . . and in the winners class a handler who shall be nameless, piloting a dog whose identity is equally shrouded in antiquity: Doc told her he would like to see her dog move again. “No, you wouldn’t,” she promptly replied. He insisted, she moved the dog, and on their return he said, “You were right!” Those were truly the days when dog shows were FUN!

St. Louis in ’75 was fun, too. Not so much when Stephen and Drew (Kefeli) found the escalator switch and caused all sorts of havoc, or the elevator control to stop it between floors -- while they were in it. Fortunately, George K. found some entertainment for two bored little boys. We met up with Milt and LaVerne Walker before the show and went up in the Arch and then into the dark, dark hotel ballroom where Bob and Milt found the electrician to add some lighting so we could begin to see the dogs. There were 370 roughs, 152-178 and 33; 44 smooths, 11-12 and 19. LaVerne judged dogs and intersex with Edith Catney’s Lee Aire Flambeau Monobo BoB, Schwed’s Ch. Tel Star’s Celestial Glory BoS. Tamarack Asterisk was BW and my choice for WB was the Sweeper daughter Whiggamor Wonder Why, shown by Sandy Tuttle for herself and Jo Affeld. Isabel Chamberlin's Champion, Coronation Tawny Trinket was BoS to her grandsire, Hawk. Alice Jones had WD in smooths, Wintara’s Midnight Streaker, Lee Hall bred Judy Park’s WB Collairine Armaugh o’Kimberee.

Next day roles were reversed as Bob did dogs and intersex and Milt the bitches for St. Louis Collie Club. Ch. Tel’s Bold Bit of Blue was BoB and Ch. Hope’s Own Gladiator BoS. Hanover’s Follow the Sun was WD and Lee Aires Amazing Grace, litter sister to LaVerne’s BoB, was WB. Bob still remembers seeing LaVerne at ringside twisting her hands as he deliberated and bursting into tears when Bob pointed to Bruce McIlvoy and the MacD son for the points to finish.

These memories are still fresh after forty years . . .

Related features previously published on COL:

> Back in the Day: CCA National Specialties of the Past, Part 2, (1960 - 1970)

> A Word from Dickens: CCA National Specialties of the Past, Part I, (1954-1959)

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