Newcomer to the National
by Gary Tom

First published in the PAS newsletter volume 5, number 1, January 1998.

I'd long been told the "National" was the show of the year. So it was with great anticipation that I set off on November 20, 1997 bound for Denver. The "mile-high" city, home of Coors beer and Molly Brown (the unsinkable).

I was pleased to find (finally) a spacious and well laid out bird show filled with, to my knowledge, over 2000 birds of the finest quality and of infinite variety. There were a few retail booths and also some specialty club booths.

American Singers enjoyed a location in the main building of the hotel off of the atrium. The holding area was roomy and masterfully controlled by Jessie Durkin. The judging room was of an equal size with adequate seating and great acoustics and a fine lighting set-up by Bill Summers. Judge Judy Snider very efficiently judged the entry of approximately 160 birds from far and near. Best-in-Show went to Bob McGuire. I only wish all our shows could be in such "cushy" surroundings.

Happily, for me and Pacific American Singers, I discovered first-hand what had been stated before: Our birds are on a par with those in other parts of the country. I did hear a really lovely flute note delivered in a "fluttering" fashion which was very delightful and soon to be heard here also, I hope.

The biggest thrill for me was the showing of our birds and especially the time spent with some of the newcomers to American Singers. Their thirst for knowledge was, I hope, partly quelled by the long visits we shared. I hope they will embark upon a long-lived hobby with great excitement and anticipation for the birds whose beauty and song we've decided to dedicate ourselves to and love.

As a judge for the ASC, it really was a pleasure to act as a goodwill ambassador and to inspire new fanciers to our hobby. I only hope it was so.

In closing, I don't want to forget saying how very thrilled I was to meet some of the "old guard" of the ASC as well as judges, officers, and breeders whose names are behind the pedigrees of our birds out west. It truly was a bird keeper's trip to "Mecca".

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