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When I was young, I went to a friend's house (circa 1969) who had Birmingham Rollers. He had a beautiful looking bird which didn't look anything like the others. It looked like a bald eagle with feathers on it's feet. He told me it was a West of England Tumbler and I could have it if I wanted it. I didn't have a loft but I took him up on his offer anyway. This was my very first bird, as it turns out, it was a Creambar West of England Tumbler (cock). So, here I was with one bird, who would fly and tumble a few times in the air. I wanted to get more of these amazing birds.
I found out there was another pigeon breeder in the area who also had Wests. So, as you can imagine, I was so excited and never thought the first bird I got actually belonged to this gentlemen. I went to his house with my West, and when he saw it, he never let on it was one of his birds that had gotten out of his loft. Not only that, he gave me another West to mate to my prized possession and invited me to attend a pigeon show with my birds.
This was the start of my involvement with the pigeon hobbly and the San Diego Metro Pigeon Club. Of course the gentleman was none other than Elmer Urich, one of the founding fathers of the SDMPC.
Thank you Elmer for getting me started with pigeons!