NEWSLETTER FROM THE FOUNDER
of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of the U.S.A.
September 15, 1971 #6
Rags to riches: not too long ago Rossisle Merely A Monarch (Butch) was merely a three-legged dog without a home, and now he has the "lead" in the Omaha Playhouse production OLIVER! as Bill Sikes's "Bullseye". Thus Butch follows in the tradition of Relyon Jake The Rake who "starred" in the 1948 English movie Oliver Twist along with co~stars Alec Guiness and Robert Newton. Playhouse director Fritz Congden had despaired of finding any canine capable of performing the complex and exacting penultimate scene called for in the script. Now, however, he not only has such a dog but moreover precisely the "original Bill Sikes dog" wearing an "original Bill Sikes metal collar." Butch makes two entrances on the leash, led by Bill Sikes, before his final scene which he must perform by himself all alone. In it, he crosses the stage, ascends an extremely steep and rickety flight of stairs, makes a 180-degree turn to his left, crosses a simulated London bridge twelve feet above the stage past a group of actors, turns to the right, descends an easy flight of stairs, makes a fast 180-degree turn to the left, descends another easy flight of stairs, and winds up at Bill Sikes's door. That is quite a maneuver for any dog, much less for a two-year-old dog with no stage training and without his left hind leg. Even more remarkable is the fact that Butch learned the entire "bit" in only four one-half hour practice sessions and has executed his part to perfection in every rehearsal. The cast of OLIVER! is enthralled, and John Johnston, playing the part of Bill Sikes, seems to have expressed the general feeling with: 'Man, that Is some kind of far-out dog!" The production will begin scheduled performances on September 18 and will run every night except Mondays for a month.
John F. Gordon writes that he is revising and reissuing his first book on the Breed, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Handbook, and is looking for good quality photographs. In particular, he is looking for photographs on the theme of the Stafford being the foremost all-purpose dog: guarding children, herding sheep, retrieving, hunting moose, and the like - any of the many things a Stafford does superlatively well. Preferably these photos should be more than just snapshots, and if you will send them to me I will be most pleased to forward them to Mr. Gordon for you.
Mr. Gordon also says that autographed copies for all book orders have been sent to Members with the exception of the Foyles ($2.00) book which has just sold out of its third printing. The fourth press run is being conducted now, and autographed copies will be in the mail practically as soon as they are off the press.
Tragic news from Frank McNolty in Sunnyvale, California: the accidental poisoning of his fine young imported stud dog Bandits Game Hector (Brindle). I am recounting it here only because it may serve as a warning and example to other Stafford owners. The NcNolty's put out some poison snail bait in their yard, which they had done before with no ill effects, but this time Brindle apparently rolled his favorite saliva-covered tennis ball in or near the poison bait, and before long he died. It is a measure of the man that Frank McNolty is getting another Stafford right away.
Two items of interest from England: 1) Towans Hobby Boy owned by George Smith has just added to his three Reserve CC's by winning his first fall Challenge Certificate from all-arounder and Stafford specialist Herbert Essam at the Dumfries Championship Show. Two more CC's will make Hobby Boy an English Champion and will also make him the eighth successive generation of Champions in his tail-male line. Towans Hobby Boy is the sire of Towans Red Knave, owned by Jack Crowther in Reseda, California, and Towans Lady Penelope, owned by my brother Doug Stone in Dallas, Texas. Red has produced two litters and Penny one, and now their offspring are beginning to produce litters of their own, so that this news about Hobby Boy's successes should be interesting to a number of American fanciers. 2) Jo Wylie's famous stud dog Bankhead Bullet, active to the last, has just died from a heart attack. Although not a Champion himself Bullet sired a number of first- class dogs, the most prominent of them being Ch. Jolihem El Toro, who in turn has sired quite a number of Staffords imported into this country, among them being Bandits Girl Patsy owned by Jack Crowther and Wild Boy owned by Barry Crowe in Huntington Beach, California. Curiously enough, Ch. Jolihem El Toro's full litter brother was imported into his country by Joe Orday some years ago. His name was Bandits Black Furnace, and he accomplished some remarkable things at stud. Black Furnace, for instance, was the sire of Ringo, Cockney Charlie, Tiger, and Dragon Lady, one or the other of whom appears somewhere in virtually all the pedigrees of American-bred Staffords.
There is little "official" news right now, at the tail-end of summer, so we must wait a few weeks, perhaps until October, for the next Bulletin. In the meantime, don't hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do for you in Staffords. We keep a permanent open house for Stafford folk!