Bethel Pond Racing Pigeons
The name "Bethel Pond": My wife and I moved to this location in 1967as a couple of happy newlyweds. The previous owner, Ross Truax, was also our neighbor until he passed a few years ago. He would come over daily when the weather permitted and bring in our mail , then read our newspaper and commiserate about the events of the day. He was a retired engineer and a veteran of WWII and a Gideon.... and a wonderful neighbor. He built the pond in 1950. It is about and acre in size. It is stocked with large mouth bass and blue gills. Once in a great while, a fishing friend will catch a catfish. I have no idea where they come from. The pond is in our 'back yard" and has provided many hours of contentment. We chose to name it Bethel Pond because it is the only pond on our road...yep, Bethel Road. I also like the Bethel Pond because its initials are BP. I was a Scoutmaster for 25 years and BP is significant in Scouting... Baden Powell the founder, and Be Prepared, the motto... and a good motto for living and flying pigeons!
Our Racing Pigeons: I flew from about 2005 until I took on elected office with our county.. and time was limited. I still raised pigeons and had some very nice birds.In the Spring of this year (2016) I experienced a nightmare in raising pigeons. In April and then following about monthly, I would find what appeared to be the devastation of a weasel.. Several birds with heads off in a night time raid. I did everything I could think of.. checking for entry spots.... just everything. However, the losses continued. In Late May on a single night I lost nearly all my birds.. in five different lofts. I frankly was at a loss.. and very down hearted as any pigeon breeder/flyer would understand. nevertheless less, I rewired one loft with 1/2 inch by 1 inch wire. I rebuilt the door.. wired it and put plywood on the bottom to keep any racoon from getting in. A mouse could not get in that loft. Mike Radkovic gifted me 7 pair the finest birds I had ever had including some YB's to fly. Mike Maloney, our club president gifted some YB's and was planning to contribute some fine breeding birds. One morning in June I went out to feed and there it was.. it was not a weasel.. it was a very very sick person. He or she.. likely a he.. had cut the wire, crawled through top of the door and literally stomped to death 11 of the 14 irreplaceable birds Mike Radkovic had gifted me plus five newly hatched YBs. I was numb. The only saving grace was that the marauder had not touched the YB's. Of course we had the Sheriff investigate.. no strong clues nor suspects were ever located. About two years ago before this, I had received an abusive 2 o'clock in the morning phone call (left on the answering machine). It was from a man that I had as a boy in my troop some 30 years before. He was under the influence and ranting about the fact that he did not get his Eagle Scout. I discovered later that other leaders in the troop at that time had also received similar inebriated calls. Fortunately, I still had three of Mike Radkovic's birds remaining and had not received the gifted birds from Mike Maloney. Those birds and several that I purchased in our club auction have placed me back into the sport. I did fly train and fly the young birds and although not at the top of the sheet, I did respectably well. I also will fly the yearlings in old birds in 2017,
One does a great deal of wondering after an experience like this.. lots of whys. The most significant leftover from this experience was the appreciation of supportive friendships of the members of the club... and for that matter my friends and neighbors. I do hope that whoever was the perpetrator finds some sort of peace for his tormented and angry and demented mine. My new breeders are from the lofts of Mike Radkovic.. a wonderful flyer, who was recognized this year as " A Legend of the Sport," Mike Maloney, retired Butler University professor and our club president, and lofts of Happyco, Ron Deischer, Eddie Abramoski, and Gabe Retecki. I am so looking forward to the breeding racing this coming season... oh, and I have a security system.. on both the lofts and home...and sleep so much better. I also learned another lesson about insurance companies. The loss by the murauder alone was somehere around $3500. I did contact the insurance company... and got a letter that said "birds" were excluded from loss couse by theft or criminal activity. It is unlikely that any of you will be ever facing such an event. Nevertheless, you might consider taking a look at your insurance policy "exclusions."
I am a member of the American Racing Pigeon Union. I am looking forward to an exciting and enjoyable year of training and racing pigeons. I have met so many fine people in this pigeon racing sport.. it is more than a sport.. it is a fellowship ..a world wide fellowship
For Sale: I don't have any pigeons for sale...for two reasons. ..I don't have any I want to part with and two, I think they're good birds, but I don't know how good until the racing begins.... and as you experienced flyers know, it takes more than just good birds to win a race.
Me and my family: I am a retired high school teacher/webmaster and my wife is a retired elementary teacher. I served a couple of terms as County Commissioner, but opted not to run this term so that I could spend more time with my four wonderful grandchildren. We have two children, Jed who works hard at maintaining our cattle heard.. and supplements several jobs to make ends meet and Meg, an assistant librarian in a High school and working to complete her degree in Library Science student. I am going to return to the classroom for one night a week teaching history at the our local community college this coming semester wish they had a course in pigeons. I also am going to go back to the dove release business.. that is so enjoyable in that one sees joy at weddings and peace at funerals...