I want to tell you a story about a whistle lanyard. It is one of humanities silly traits that we become attached to material objects. It doesn’t have to be something big like a car, it can be something small like a watch or even a rock. I have a rock on my desk that I actually caught the first time I went black salmon fishing on the Miramichi in New Brunswick and foul hooked it. One such object for me was a whistle lanyard that I got from Larry Smith in Texas as a swap for an ad in Field Trial Magazine back in 2000. You have to understand that in an average year between training, field trialing, and bird hunting I spend some where around 200 days in the field. For all those years I usually had the Knotsmith lanyard around my neck on any day I was working dogs. It was discolored from the sweat and bug spray in the summer but still looked good. Over the ensuing years Larry and I had emailed each other once in awhile usually about important stuff like the quail hatch in Texas.
|One of Larry’s Lanyards|
That lanyard had been almost everyplace they hold grouse trials as well as Mexico and many, many times to Texas. The first time I blew it while on the back of my then young horse I almost ended up in a cactus patch, but he got used to it. And so did I. Most of the time I never even though about it. If I was running a dog it was around my neck. I wore it when Jack won the Grand National Grouse Championship and I wore it when his son LJ placed in the Grand National Puppy Classic last spring. The last time I remember having it was at the Midcoast Maine Spring Trial last year. It may sound a little foolish but I’ve thought about that missing lanyard many times since then which makes the next part of the story rather ironic.
On February 5th, I received the following PM on the Upland Journal Message Board from Larry Smith who is one of the sites advertisers:
Are you still using the lanyard I made for you, and how has it fared in use?
The ad I ran in Field Trial Magazine in the spring of 2000 resulted in many good things for me. I think I sold some lanyards from it, but more importantly it resulted in my getting to know Martin F. (Bubba) Wood. He had the cover art, received a complimentary copy, and saw my ad and called me. Wood lives in Dallas and owns Collectors Covey, but I had never met him. He was a shotgun champion and a member of the Dallas Gun Club (but I was not in that circle). He has been a lifelong dedicated quail hunter, and in thoese days, we had hunting leases not 20 miles apart in North Central Texas (south of Wichita Falls), but I had never run across him out there either. Wood mentored me such that I was able to convert a hobby into a real business. He challenged me and made suggestions that improved my lanyards. He helped me market my products by connecting me with folk from SSM and SC, and subsequent reviews and ads in those publications have made my business prosper. I figure !
without Bubba I would have quit making lanyards in 2000. I was burned out and not doing well trying to sell custom braided lanyards to field trial folk.
Nowadays, it is good to have this wee business in retirement. And I appreciate that you and Field Trial Magazine played a pivotal role in making that possible. If I may be of service to you, please contact me. Thanks!
I sent Larry a response telling him that the lanyard had served me well but that I lost it last spring. I really told Larry the story just so he’d know how much I used and enjoyed the lanyard. Fortunately he took pity on me and wrote back:
|My new Lanyard from the Knotsmith|
|A Lanyard that doubles as a lead with all the “bells and whistles.”|