AS “GOODE” AS IT GETS! By Jay Goode
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who had made this trip (Philippines) possible for my wife, Lillie and myself. Your hospitality is known by all that has visited this great country. I have had, over the years, the pleasure to meet and visit with some of the finest gentlemen from the Philippines.
You know, as I, that breeding your own game fowl and seeing them grow is somewhat a mystery. By this, I mean breeding is like mixing paint. You try and test until you find that some breed will do better than others. I guess that is why I have stayed with my “Frost Grey” and Kelsos. They have done real well for me over the years so I have stayed with these two breeds. There are other great breeds that are raised by some of my dearest friends. You know variety is the spice of life.
I will treasure this trip, and add these memories to the pages of my life.
Every man needs a God he believes in, a good wife, family, friends, and good game fowl, and I know that I have been blessed with all.
I was born September 28, 1919, in Eastland, Texas, located between Abilene and Fort Worth, Texas. My parents moved to Trent, Texas when I was a baby. There I went to school and graduated from high school in 1936. My parents worked real hard as people had to do back in those days. My dad, John was a rancher, farmer and a carpenter. He taught me how to do it all. My mother, Birdie, was very religious and she raised all her children up going to church. We may have strayed at times, but with her spiritual leadership, we always returned to the love of our God.
My brother, Paul, was born August 18, 1922, in Trent, Texas. He grew up to be a land developer and builder and played a major part in the 1950’s through the 1970’s in the growth of Fort Hood, a well known military base in Killeen, Texas. He served on many committees to insure the success of this community. He was in real estate and into the banking business. He was a good judge in choosing a good rooster. He never really had a place to raise chickens or the time, but he had the relationship with many well known breeders and was able to acquire many good cocks in his lifetime. Paul passed away a few years ago and I truly miss him, not only as a brother but as a pal as well. We had many good times together.
My brother Joe, was born in Trent, Texas on January 13, 1932, and believe me his life was entirely wrapped around his love for his game fowl. I think at one time, he was the best selector of a cock on any given fight day. Joe did not do all of his breeding. He had different farms where people would raise them for him. Joe would come by home at the first of the year and would pick out some cocks and he would buy them from me. He paid me real well for these too.
I have many treasured memories from our earlier childhood together, although Joe was thirteen years younger than me. I couldn’t step backward that he was not trailing after me in the chicken yard. He was always hungry to learn more about how to feed, how to handle, and sometime I wonder if he was not part chicken.
Some day I am going to sit down and finish the book that I have started, and share my memories over the last sixty plus years. I have had a good life. At times, I hear someone say, “If only I could relive my life, I would do this and that, I tell them that once around in this world is plenty if you handle it just right. I guess the only thing that would change would be to raise and fight more chickens.
Let me tell you how I got my first gamecock. John Howell and I were having a little friendly dice game, we were shooting a penny a shot. I busted John and he said, loan me some money. I said, No, I’m not going to loan you money and let you play back at me. He said, I’ll sell you “Old Dobbin” for a dime. I said, I’ll give you a nickel (five cents) for him. He sold him to me. I won that nickel back a penny a shot.
“Old Dobbin” was an Ewing Walker Blue Falcon. It was late in August. He was naked as a jaybird with no feathers and was one-eyed. I carried him home and turned him loose at the horse barn. That fall he molted out had a tail as long as your arm and was pretty as a picture.
I bought two blue Falcon hens from Pete Howell. They were snow white. I raised a bunch of stags out of them and “Old Dobbin”. They could fight like hell, but they would run off. If they decided to stay they could win without any problem. I think the hens were white leghorn.
The next cock I owned, I bought from L.C. Murray for $5.00. Mr. Murray got him ready to fight. I picked him up on fight day and carried him to the fight. I matched him a hack fight against Arthur and Ed Bushell of Anson, Texas. I had no gaffs. Tom Burns from Colorado City, Texas, heeled him and handled him. We won this fight and I got $5.00. This paid for me buying him.
Uncle Bill Seastrunk gave me two hens and a rooster and I raised some stags out of this trio. I got Mr. O.C. “Hogg” Nations to feed them for me. He was running a brush pit at Eskota, Texas. We won three out of four fights. At the time, I thought I would do nothing but fight roosters. I won $18.00 that day. I figured I would never see another poor day.
After I graduated from high school at Trent, I moved to Waco, Texas where I get a job as a carpenter. Then I went to fighting roosters at the “Dripping Springs” pit. At the time Dripping Springs Pit was the largest pit in the south. I was fighting with and against some of the toughest cockers in the world. I will name some that come to my mind: Henry Wortham, Sweater McGinnis, J.D. Perry, Jack Walton, Harold Brown, Curtis Blackwell, Bobby Manziel and Sam Bigham. Jack Walton told me and brother Paul, I can see that you two kids are not going to quit so I am going to give you some chickens that you can win with, and he did just that. He gave us a brood yard, four hens and cock (Walton Red). He said, “Boys listen to me, don’t fight these chickens as stags, let them make cocks.” The year that they were cocks, he brought us a brand new pair of “Orr gaffs” and gave them to us. They were made off a pattern from Cantell in England. They were skeleton gaffs. I still have the original pair in my possession.
The next good chickens that I had were out of my Frost Grey hens and a Hatch Claret cock that J.D. Perry gave me.
I was always trying to learn as much as I could and I asked a northern feeder that fed for Mr. Madigan if he used eggs in his keep. He replied to me. I have two every morning for breakfast.
I saw Mr. Madigan fight a Claret cock at Dripping Springs Pit. He fought this rooster and got them hurt pretty bad. Joe Bowlin was feeding for Mr. Madigan at this time. He told Joe to destroy the cock. I started out that day with $10.00 in my pocket and with luck ran it up to $100.00. After I head Mr. Madigan tell Joe what he did, I said Mr. Madigan, I will give you $100.00 for that rooster. That was all the money I had in my name. Mr. Madigan looked up at me with his little beaded eyes and replied, “Son, I wouldn’t sell you a feather off this rooster for $100.00.” I thought at the time, I will whip one of your cocks one of these days, and I did.
Sweater McGinnis was feeding for Mr. Madigan. I had a show of Sam Bigham Reds. I met Mr. Madigan and Sweater for their money fight. They came in with the prettiest, green legged grey that you ever saw. Mr. Madigan was a 100 to 65 the favorite. Bob Basham was the referee. We billed them up, they went together and when they hit the pit floor, his grey had a broken leg. My rooster whipped him easy. My rooster never got his tail dusty. After the fight I wanted to go and tell Mr. Madigan, “you old rascal, I got even with you”, but I didn’t.
When Mr. Millo Frost quit fighting, he called Bobby Manziel on the phone back when money was scarce. He told Bobby he was going to quit and that he could have all his chickens for $10,000. Bobby said, “I’ll take them”. Bobby called Johnny Dodd in Waco (as good a friend as I have ever had in this world) and told him to bring his truck and pick him up in Tyler. They went to Houston and picked up all the chickens.
I asked Johnny when they got back if they got all of the chickens. He said, “Jay, we got the sitting hens and the eggs that were under them.”
About two years later, Bobby fought an entry in Dripping Springs Pit and he got one of the grey cock hurt pretty bad. He did win the fight though. I asked him for this cock and he gave him to me. That was the last fight of the season.
The next fall, the first derby Mr. Clay had at Dripping Springs, there was a bunch of us sitting at the table having coffee, Mr. Clay, Jake Engle, Sweater, and myself. A fellow came up to me and asked me if the cock that Bobby gave me had lived? I said, “Yes, he lived.” Sweater asked me if he was one of the Frost Grey cocks. I said I didn’t know. He told me if he was a Frost Grey he will have a “F” tattooed in the web of his left wing cause I put it there when I worked for Mr. Frost. If it is one of these cocks, he is a “damn good one.”
When I got home that night after the fights, I grabbed a flashlight and hurried to the fly pens, stumbling over everything that got in my way. I didn’t pull the feathers apart, I just went to picking him and I found the prettiest little “F” just where Sweater told me it would be.
Bobby Manziel gave me another Frost Grey cock. One he called the Squirrel cock because he climbed his opponent.
When we started fighting at Oaklawn, Mr. Walter Kelso fought a rooster. I asked him if I could have him and he gave the cock to me. Lun Gilmore had told me that I should get one of these from Mr. Kelso. Next year, Mr. Kelso gave me a present of another cock. I bred one over the other one’s daughter until I got them down to 15/16. This is how I came up with the two families that I still have today.
The “Frost Greys” are excellent cutters. This is their best asset. The “Kelso’s” have a tremendous amount of fight and are real strong. I cross these for my battle cocks. These are the only two families that I have. I don’t need anymore.
Before I close, I was asked to explain how I met my wife. So here it is. Back in the early seventies, I had gone to a fight down at Brenham, Texas. This was the going pit at this time. A lot of name cockers came here to fight. One Sunday in March I had fought a cock and he got killed real quick in the main pit. I didn’t really know where he got hit or when. After the fight I took him out to the car and was on my knees doing an autopsy on him. All of a sudden someone said to me, “Excuse me, but are you one of the Goode brothers?” I looked and the first thing I saw was a pair of small western boots in front of me. I then looked up and there she was. I got to my feet and said, yes, I am Jay Goode, just who are you? She replied telling me her name which at the time my mind went blank and I couldn’t remember her name. I asked her if her husband fought roosters. She said, “I don’t have a husband.” Then I told her as pretty as she was that she should have two husbands.
We dated for quite sometime, and then got married. At this time, we have been blessed with six children between the two of us and have thirteen wonderful grandchildren. I did not know that life was going to be so good to me.
I would like to add, this is only my personal opinion. I think that J.D. Perry was the best all around cocker in my lifetime. The reason I say this is because he was a dedicated breeder, super feeder, and a very talented handler in the pit. He always kept a sober head and he was a true gentleman.
You fight these cocks a lifetime and it’s not how many you have won or lost, what really counts is the way you played the game.
Writer’s Note: I would sincerely like to dedicate this to the great people of the Philippine Islands, who by their love, devotion and support have kept this sport alive and active. May you always have the freedom to enjoy this great sport of cock fighting.
The Gamecock Magazine, January 2001.
by Johnny Jumper
One of the breeds of gamefowl most in demand today are the “Sweaters”. There are several versions of how they originated. The following account of their origin is “straight from the horse's mouth”. It comes from Johnny Jumper and another respected cocker who knew the parent fowl; when, where and by whom they were bred. The following is their version how the Sweaters originated. Sweater McGinnis gave Walter Kelso a yellow legged Hatch cock whose bloodlines are thought to trace back to Harold Browns McLean Hatch. Mr. Kelso bred this cock to his Kelso hens and the offspring from the mating proved to be outstanding pit cocks. Cecil Davis, who was a friend of Mr. Kelso, walked cocks for him and had access to Mr. Kelso’s best fowl. Cecil got one of the cocks which Mr. Kelso raised from the Sweater McGinnis Hatch cock and his own hens. Cecil got this cock from Doc Robinson, who also walked cocks for Mr. Kelso. The cock was yellow legged and pea combed. Cecil bred him to five of his out-and-out Kelso hens. The offspring from this mating were the foundation of the Sweaters. They were called Sweaters because the Hatch cock from Sweater McGinnis was their grandfather. As the above indicates, in breeding, they would be ¾ Kelso-¼ yellow legged Hatch. The original Sweaters were bred by Ira Parks, who was Johnny Jumper's brother-in-law, a very fine man and an excellent breeder of gamefowl. Ira, Johnny and Cecil were at the hub of a group of cockers in northern Mississippi and Tennessee who were friends and cocking partners. Several of this group got Sweaters from the original mating. Some of these friends have bred the Sweaters without addition of outside blood and have them in their purity today. Other breeders have added infusions of other blood to their Sweaters. The line of Sweaters which is bringing the breed such popularity today came from Roy Brady, who got some of the first mating of Sweaters, to Sonny Ware, to Odis Chappell, to Carol Nesmith and the Browns of Mississippi. Odis Chappell let a number of friends in addition to Carol, have his Sweaters, so the blood has been distributed rather widely in central Alabama in recent years. It has been excellent blood for all who got it. This line of Sweaters produces occasional green legged offspring, usually pullets. When asked about his, Roy Brady said that at one time some Hatch was bred into this line. This line is said also to carry small amount of Radio blood. The Sweaters described in this article are typically orange-red to light red in color, with yellow legs and pea combs. Of interest, however, Dolan Owens of Booneville, Mississippi, acquired some of the early Sweaters and has bred them to come uniformly dark, wine red in color, straight comb and white legged. In looks, these two lines of Sweaters show almost no resemblance. This is an example of how a family of fowl can be bred toward different standards by different breeders and In a few generations the two lines will be like two different breeds. Sonny Ware bred some Radio into the Sweaters making them pumpkin in color. Most people like this color better and breed to that end.
By: Bluff Creek from Harold Brown,Marvin Anderson
Marvin Anderson was born 1878 and died in 1976.while servin in the army he became acquainted with Mr. Sanford hatch from New York.they both were cockers and became friends at this time. this was during WW1 he fought birds in Alabama and Goergia. during these times people that fought birds traveled by wagon trains to southern towns where cockfighting was a week long event.they fought their fowl and mains was on there way out.the decided to weigh at fight them in order till one fought his birds out,almost like ten cock hack fights.they served food and stayed all week in the towns and always had someone stay with there birds. MR. McGinnis had fowl as well, Harold Brown told me that he had a family of the left nose hatch,given to him by Mr. Mike kearney,and he crossed them on 1/2 ew law grey,1/2 Madigan clarets,they was as good of fowl that he had. after meeting a young cocker from alabama named Harold Brown they became acquainted he gave him some fowl known as his sweater left nose greys.Harold said in the early 40s and early 30s they were greys and bred back to the brother and sister mating they became red,being 1/2 hatch blood 1/4 claret blood and 1/4 grey the law birds was a dark legged grey blood to start with.I know for a fact i seen some in the early 70s that threw a grey every now and then. Harold also said he gave some of this blood to MR. Walter Kelso for the orlando tournament and to meet some persons in a derby at the agusta tournament. they were the sweaters blood. in turn they won both tournaments. Mr. Gilbert Coutua was the feeder from Louisianna,a friend of Harolds and Marvins. Marvin was breedin' the yeller legged birds from Sanford and Harold kept the ones that was crossed on the kearney blood and where green legged he got from Theodore McLean,the green legged fowl was more plumage and thats the ones Harold could sell. Marvin and Harold decided to keep the yeller legged fowl in alabama,only letting them out to just the locals -runt camp+scott house-barnetts.in the 60s Harold Brown was beating a young cocker from Texas named Joe Goode and his brother.then became acquainted with a young cocker named Johnny Jumper,he was fascinated with the fowl. Harold talked to Walter and told him to let this young man have some of them birds because he knew he was pretty much a up and coming cocker and Harold and Curtis liked him.they beat him a lot but he had a good show of birds and always took care of the ones that was fought.through the years breeding of this cross fowl they all became the color of red roosters light red in color with white in the tails,being a breeder and selecting fowl Harold sold some of these fowl, Carol later obtained some of the yeller legged blood from Buddy Barnett,Bruces older brother. Dink Fair got some from Johnny ,and some from Carol MARVIN ANDERSON TOLD ME THE MAKE UP OF THOSE SWEATERS WERE AND I BELIEVE TILL THIS DAY ARE MOSTLY THE 1/2 YELLER not yellow LEGGED HATCH.1/4 MADIGAN CLARET 1/4 EW LAW DARK LEG GREY. BRED BACK TO THE YELLER SIDE WHICH WOULD BE DOMINENT LINE AND INBREEDEDING like all the old timers done to keep their birds.most sweaters being a battle cross are a little mean unless handled at early stages of there life...... jus wanted to say in short the sabong is a flip web site and mostly the guys there are filipino ,one thing i might add is Doc Robsinson was a builder and material supplier and he fought birds against Walter Kelso,Walter also was a builder and most all were masons,true fact- when doc was fighting the pine albanys he won a few fights and when he crossed 'em on kelsos they wasn't even half good- doc got popular when he crossed the yellow legged hatch from Ray Hoskins of Texas and the Clearence Stuart green leg from Texas where he went 16 straight at sunset.i was there.thats was his best birds Doc had, Walter bought cocks all over and anything that could fight he would buy,especialy winners in quick fights-and those guys you mentioned way behind on there facts-Walter Kelso would love to have his blood make up the sweaters but in fact Walter only had 6 or 7 different breeds in his fowl sweater always had greys till he got whipped or shut out by Mike Kearney /Sanford hatch birds from McLean,then Lun Gilmore was smokin' Walters clarets from madigan -same birds McLean got- jus thought you might want to know 'bout docs fowl......... your friend Robert , i d like to say up front i am not any authority on chickens and do not know everything,I can't even spell properly and don't use spell check.i love game fowl and been around them all my life. my older brothers had 'em ,uncles ,grandfather ,his father and seen some of the worlds best i think personally fight birds. being from Alabama and helping my granfather with his birds i got to go to pits at a young age,jus like they do at the cajun pits.i have letters and tape recordings from well known cockers from Alabama .i think you will love to hear there on voices telling of the great fights and the gentlemen that participated.i don't like to sell chickens cause most people think they're gold.and most will fight you over there birds.i as well don't look at linerage when selectin brood fowl ,but i do like to know who and how they was bred. it was just a hobby at first talkin' to the old cockers and listening to their stories.In fact i done a reaserch and article in 1974 with Curtis Blackwells birds for school essay on the game cock.NONE of the kids in school even knew birds would fight til death and that there was history on breeding game fowl.like i said was jus a hobby and one day i might have it all put together for my sons to know.i have gave away more game fowl in my life than most people ever seen at one place.i believe that we all should one day get together and keep the truth and the old breeders time and there way of breeding to be open and honest.i will have game fowl as long as i live and i believe personally if a man spends his life breeding fowl,it should be respected and credited where it may fall.I know there are great fowl out there today ,and a lot of fowl carries differet blood to due to different infusions,where im from i have 1/2 my blood and 1/2 Roberts blood- or 1/4 my blood 1/4 dales blood and 1/2 Richard R. blood -never using the term pure kelso or pure hatch,,,,,,if you breed it and make an infusion it becomes your breed and any flaw or quality becomes your own. Sweaters
article courtesy of One of the breeds of gamefowl most in demand today are the “Sweaters”. There are several versions of how they originated. The following acccount of their origin is “straight from the horse’s mouth”. It comes from Johnny Jumper and another respected cocker who knew the parent fowl; when, where and by whom they were bred. The following is their version how the Sweaters originated. Sweater McGinnis gave Walter Kelso a yellow legged Hatch cock whose bloodlines are thought to trace back to Harold Brown’s McLean Hatch. Mr. Kelso bred this cock to his Kelso hens and the offspring from the mating proved to be outstanding pit cocks. Cecil Davis, who was a friend of Mr. Kelso, walked cocks for him and had access to Mr. Kelso’s best fowl. Cecil got one of the cocks which Mr. Kelso raised from the Sweater McGinnis Hatch cock and his own hens. Cecil got this cock from Doc Robinson, who also walked cocks for Mr. Kelso. The cock was yellow legged and pea combed. Cecil bred him to five of his out-and-out Kelso hens. The offspring from this mating were the foundation of the Sweaters. They were called Sweaters because the Hatch cock from Sweater McGinnis was their grandfather. As the above indicates, in breeding, they would be ¾ Kelso-¼ yellow legged Hatch. The original Sweaters were bred by Ira Parks, who was Johnny Jumper’s brother-in-law, a very fine man and an excellent breeder of gamefowl. Ira, Johnny and Cecil were at the hub of a group of cockers in northern Mississippi and Tennessee who were friends and cocking partners. Several of this group got Sweaters from the original mating. Some of these friends have bred the Sweaters without addition of outside blood and have them in their purity today. Other breeders have added infusions of other blood to their Sweaters. The line of Sweaters which is bringing the breed such popularity today came from Roy Brady, who got some of the first mating of Sweaters, to Sonny Ware, to Odis Chappell, to Carol Nesmith and the Browns of Mississippi. Odis Chappell let a number of friends in addition to Carol, have his Sweaters, so the blood has been distributed rather widely in central Alabama in recent years. It has been excellent blood for all who got it. This line of Sweaters produces occasional green legged offspring, usually pullets. When asked about this, Roy Brady said that at one time some Hatch was bred into this line. This line is said also to carry small amount of Radio blood. The Sweaters described in this article are typically orange-red to light red in color, with yellow legs and pea combs. Of interest, however, Dolan Owens of Booneville, Mississippi, acquired some of the early Sweaters and has bred them to come uniformly dark, wine red in color, straight comb and white legged. In looks, these two lines of Sweaters show almost no resemblance. This is an example of how a family of fowl can be bred toward different standards by different breeders and In a few generations the two lines will be like two different breeds. Sonny Ware bred some Radio into the Sweaters making them pumpkin in color. Most people like this color better and breed to that end.
Lun Gilmore was a cocker and a good friend of Ben Ford, they fought birds with and against each other for over 60 years. Lun Gilmore acquired his birds direct from Sanford Hatch and Mike Kearney.
When Mike crossed the Kearney Brown Reds on the Hatch birds they were awesome as any ever bred until this day.
Sanford wanted to breed them back to the yellow legged side but Mike insisted on breeding them one more time to the Kearney Brown Red side and produced them to fight and fight they did and won some derbies against everyone at that time. He wanted to breed a cock of his fathers breeding, which was the Kearney Whitehackle to the Sanford/Kearney and Kearney breedings.
From this breeding he had 17 black birds with white specs in them and over 40 Brown Red looking birds, he then crossed these back on the Brown Reds having the Kearney Whitehackle in them and Hatch blood. They came all dark fowl with green legs. Mike gave Lun Glimore 6 hens and one dark red cock to breed over them. This was the origin of the Gilmore Hatch fowl and the Ben Ford fowl.
These birds were given and sold to Gilmore from Mr. Hatch and Mike Kearney. It did have Mike Kearney's fathers Whitehackle blood in them and still till this day they will come spangle or dark!
The next breeding that was the Brown Red and Kearney Out and Out became the 42 Hatch that J.D. Perry dominated with the same fowl from same people except did not have the Kearney Whitehackle in them yet mostly yellow leg, and the black legs made em all come odd green legged. Believe it or not, I knew Colonel Givens for over 40 years and he got his fowl from Lun Gilmore in the early 40s and also got some of Mike Kearney Jr.'s Whitehackles that were dark red and spangled, and fought the Kearney Whitehackle crosses at Sunset and all over North Alabama.
Colonel Givens and Jimmy East were the handlers for John Ovilan Fowler from Huntsville Ala. When John Fowler died Jimmy kept his Hatch fowl and Colonel Givens kept the Whitehackles. So the Gilmore's are 1/4 Kearney Whitehackle-1/4 Hatch- 1/2 Brown Red bred back to the 1/2 Hatch 1/2 Brown Red and kept that way until he passed on. Still to this day all Gilmore's will throw a spangle every other year or so. It depends on how they are bred and where you got them. So there is your facts believe it or not, but if ya didn't get em from Gilmore they're yours Mr. Kelso, Madigin, Law, Kearney, Morgan, O'Connor, there your birds.
Before I forget, the Mike Kearney Brown Reds and the Sanford Duryeas crossed were very good fowl and after they bred them back making the 42s the breeding back to the pea combed Hatch side was the ones they gave Ted McLean and Theodore McLean (two seperate men) and the ones that were 3/4 Hatch-Duryeas and 1/4 Kearney were the left nose Hatch of the late Sweater McGuiness. Marvin Anderson was in WW1 with Sanford Hatch and become friends in 1910 where they fought in North Alabama in long heel mains which was all new to the short heelers. Marvin's father had the Kelcy Patts from Ireland and Sanford Hatch fell in love with the long heel roosters.
Sanford gave birds to Marvin untill his death and Marvin gave the Patties to Sanford upon any request of these men and they whipped all roundhead fowl those days which was dominating the early years. Judge Lacy was makin a statement at this time and was winning more than average in Alabama and at the Agusta tournaments. The Kelcy Patts were brought from Ireland by Marvin's grandfather well before the civil war, no one knew there originality. Straight combed, lemon hackled, big thighs and wide backs and spangles came dark red with lemon around the bottom of the shaw.
The photographs are all black and white, Marvin lost them over the years do to hawks and eagles in the mountain areas of North East Alabama. He owned the Ranburne pit which was shut down in '73 due to his health. Lun Gilmore was the insperation of establishing the Hatch name in the south, Ted McLean routed the Hatch name when he was dominating with the Hatch fowl, Sweater came famous in the mid section of the country, J.D. Perry and Blondy Roland, Harold Brown, Ben Ford, Frank Steel and Curtis Blackwell made the Hatch name in the south east.
The fowl that Gilmore aquired were the one that won the Orlando tournament from Mr. Hatch and would have payed any price for those fowl and was a very sharp eyed man that could recognise an ace cock, that made him a true breeder and respected in the gamecock fraternity. Sanford Hatch told Marvin Anderson that Lun had the best fowl of the dark breedings anywhere and he would do well with them and at that time Lun whipped Leiper in a fight that lasted 6 hrs and 10 minutes, both men strived on deep game fowl, as did all long heel men of the south at the turn of the century, untill there deaths.
By Lou Elliott (Nov. 1974)
Walter Kelso, who died in 1964, fought his cocks under the entry name of Oleander-a type of flowering shrub that grows profusely in the semi-tropical climate of his home on Galveston Island, Texas. In the heyday of the pure old-time strains Kelso was a maverick. His Oleander cocks were simply a succession of battle crosses. For example, when John Madigin died in 1942, Kelso and Bill Japhet inherited all of his Clarets, Madigin Grays, and Texas Rangers.
Most any breeder would do anything in his power to keep the stock pure. However, Kelso wrote, "I immediately began infusing new blood in the Madigin hens." Kelso obtained his brood cocks from other breeders after he saw the cock fight. He was more interested in performance than he was the name of the strain. He would mate the new cock to a sister of his best pit cocks. If the cross was successful, he would add other sisters to the pen.
More often than not, the pen produced worthless offspring and the cock was discarded. At any rate, that was the method used to produce the Out-and-Out Kelso family that is still the foundation stock for many of the best winning cocks fought in the major pits today. The Out-and-Out Kelso family was so-called because they were marked in the outside web of both feet. The cocks are generally black breasted reds (ranging from a deep mahogany to light reds) with their white or yellow legs and pea or straight comb.
About 1940, during the Orlando Tournament, Judge Ed Wilkins of San Antonio, Texas, fought a beautiful light blue Typewriter cock that won his first fight easily and was repeated to win a second fight on the same day. Kelso asked for and received this cock. The typewriters are a great family of game fowl made by crossing a Marsh Butcher cock over two Irish Blue hens from James G.Oakley of Alabama. The Butcher family is a cross of Grove Whitehackle (Lawman and Gilkerson) and the Marsh Gray Speeders, which are reported to be a combination of the old Santo Domingo Grays from the West Indies island of that name and Burnell Shelton's old Knob comb Blues.
The Typewriter cocks were placed on a walk with some of Hill McClanahan's Claret Roundhead hens. A blue cock from this mating was bred in 1942 to two straight comb hens from Tom Murphy of Long Island, New York. Most of the cocks were Yankee Clippers that Bobby Schlesigner of Charolottesville, Virginia, had obtained from E.W. Law of Thomasville, Georgia. Duke offered to let Kelso have any of the Clipper cocks he liked. Kelso with Sweater McGinnis handling had met Schlesigner in his deciding fight at 1942 Orlando Tournament. Kelso won the fight and the Tournament but had been impressed with the quality of the Schlesinger cocks.
Kelso passed up several of Duke's easy winners and finally selected a cock that won against a Hatch cock after 58 fighting over an hour in the drag pit with the odds 100 to 40 against him. E.W. Law started these Yankee Clippers by crossing his Clarets with Dan O'Connell's Albany fowl. This Albany family was made by mating some hens that were Hatch, Foley's Ginger, Roundhead, and maybe some Pine Whitehackle (Stryker, mostly), with a Hardy Mahogany cock (Jim Thompson Mahogany and Kearney cross). The Yankee Clipper cock was mated to two of the Left-Out Kelso hens to produce the original Out-and-Out cocks that won 85 percent of their fights in major competition over a six-year period (1947 to 1953). These cocks were 1/2 Yankee Clipper, 1/4 Murphy, 1/8 Typewriter, 1/8 McClanahan.
In 1951, Oleander won the Oaklawn Derby at Hot Springs, Arkansas, with a ten and two score. One of the Out-and-Out cocks won a quick battle and then was repeated to also win the deciding fight. In his second win, the cock broke the tip of his wing. This was the Broke wing cock that was mated back to three Murphy cross hens (probably from the Left-Out yards). In 1955, cocks from this Broke wing yard were fought in the Oaklawn Derby and Oleander won ten, lost two to split first money.
At the Oaklawn Derby in 1956, Oleander won four lost four the first two days of fighting and then on the last, they had a full show of the pea-comb cocks from the Broke wing yard. They won four straight to tie for first money with the Van Horne entry of Kentucky. It just so happened that the Van Horne entry was using cocks bred by Curtis Blackwell out of a full brother to the four final Oleander winners. In 1957 Kelso advertised all of his fowl for sale except the cock he needed for the events he had promised to enter. In the ad, his bloodlines are listed as Murphy, McClanahan, Claret and Albany. It was rumored that the Broke wing yard went to a major cocker for $500.00.