Award of Success
Haines began to have an interest in throwing
about the same time that his mother noticed her butcher
knife handles weren't made the way they used to be.
His dad figured it out when he noticed his favorite
cherry tree was leaking. Dick had seen Sylvester
and Barbara Braun on tour with a very impressive act.
Dick's show experience includes producing many coliseum
shows as The Haines Family Circus. Their show
included The Sky Merchants High Wire with Mr. Haines
in the back of the pyramid, his magic act, fire eating,
whips, and of course, knife throwing. Mr. Haines'
show was the very first circus show in the convention
complex in Columbus, Ohio, with his talents as well
as his sons' unicycle show, jugglers, and animal acts,
etc. Having studied and practiced several different
professional throwing styles he is able to coach whichever
technique seems to be best suited to each student;
whether it is McEvoy's thumb on top, Bob Karp's blade
shift, Joe "Brokenfeather" Darrah's low
crouching throw and his "dart" throw, as
well as other great throwers. Years ago Dick
was sending some of his better throwers to the late,
great, Harry McEvoy, for throwing knives and some
free lessons. In the previous year, Dick has
given lessons to over 130 different people, most of
whom were Boy Scouts. Dick uses the Wheel of
Death, throws from a rola-bola, and throws his own
lariat loop, and sometimes all three at the same time.
He has also thrown for "The Great Throwdini"
to practice his blade catch. Dick says that
his visit with Pat Minter may have made him the most
stubborn thrower that Adamovich has ever seen.
McEvoy and Burl Carl have had a great influence on
his designing knives, and Che Che Whitecloud has him
convinced that there is not time to ever give up.
Dick would like to thank "Brokenfeather"
for the nomination, and the IKTHOF for this great
American Patriarch of Knife Throwing
"Che Che Whitecloud" Pierce is known
nationwide as a true pioneer of knife throwing, with
over 68 years of professional performances including
throwing in early film, stage performances, the "birth"
of Las Vegas, and before thousands of audiences.
"Che Che Whitecloud" is a third generation
professional impalement artist who began throwing before
the age of 10. A guiding force in the world of
knife throwing, Mr. Pierce has donated his time, money,
and energies into his commitment that the art of knife
throwing should be preserved and taught and the sport-at
his expense-for the preservation of the art. Kenneth
Pierce is also a distinguished citizen in the state
of New York, receiving the special "KNIFE1"
license plate from the governor of New York. Even
at the age of 77, "Che Che Whitecloud" is
still a professional impalement artist.
Life Achievement Award
"Chief Thundercloud" Waldorff was
a charismatic leader who influenced tens of thousands
of admirers in several different fields. Whether
lecturing to an audience of university professors
about Indians, performing on stage, or telling a story
to a group of kids around a campfire, Waldorff took
center stage with enthusiasm, authority, and dignity.
As he spoke, he put the listeners into the midst of
the action with a voice that was deep, strong, and
clear as a bell. His attention to detail was
amazing, his accuracy of facts was impeccable, and
his concern for Indians and environmental issues ran
very deep. Here was a man who knew where he
was coming from, where he was going, and if you didn't
hold onto your seat, you'd get swept along, too.
Doug Waldorff rose to national prominence in the 1960's
as "Chief Thundercloud," one of the nation's
top Wild West Show performers, right up there with
Lash La Rue, Chief A.J., and Che Che Whitecloud.
He stunned audiences with his knife throwing, bull
whip tricks, trick shooting with both bow and arrow
and guns, and other feats. Waldorff was also
a superior knife thrower, performing all the standard
tricks, including outlining his cute Indian assistant
while she stood with arms outstretched against a circle
of wood. After the throwing, she would step
away completely unhurt and the audiences would go
wild. He never had a mishap. Doug also
threw multiple blades. He'd start out with one,
showing his accuracy, then throw 2, then 3, 4, and
finally 5 all at once, all sticking. Few throwers
can do that today. In addition to his work as
"Chief Thundercloud," Doug Waldorff also
wore various hats of firefighter, a conductor of concert
orchestra, a rodeo trick rider, a radio and TV announcer,
a minister, a High Priest, a scoutmaster, an archeologist,
an actor, the director of two living Indian Village/Museums,
an author, and later, a multi-media technician
Che Che Whitecloud Native American Achievement Award
"Brokenfeather" Darrah was born
in 1957 in Bryn Mawr, PA., and was introduced to knife
throwing at the age of 5 by his father, who as an
ex-Airborne Ranger with the 101st Airborne was pretty
good with his M-4 trench knife. At the age of
7, his brother-in-law gave him a set of 3 throwing
knives and I was off to the races with throwing.
He took the knives everywhere and when sleeping they
weren't very far away. Joseph Darrah has been
throwing ever since. At the age of 19 he was
hired as a Knife Thrower and Bullwhip artist with
a small traveling circus. "This was also
about the time I contacted and stayed in touch with
Harry McEvoy, who helped me design the first knife
I had marketed," related Darrah. "I
also became the area director of the AKTA with a charter
for my knife throwing club (True Flite Knife Throwing
Team) granted by Harry McEvoy. I had never competed
in a knife throwing tournament until visiting with
John Bailey and David Adamovich. Both of them
said I was a good thrower and that I should compete.
I went to my first tournament up in Maine in September
of 2002 where I took several first places in different
events and since then I have traveled all over the
country competing in tournaments and doing pretty
well with mostly 2nd or 1st places." "Brokenfeather"
started making his own line of knives and has enjoyed
the opportunity to have made some lifelong friends
and met some of the nicest folks in the world.
"I am honored by being nominated for IKTHOF and
I would like to thank everyone who I've ever thrown
with and all of the people present for this historic
Maker of the Year
Tate is a pioneer knife thrower, throwing and
competing for well over 20 years. He has won more
competitions than can be listed, an indication of his
finely honed ability. Mr. Tate is a driving force
behind knife throwing and is responsible for keeping
the Rocky Mountain Championship throw alive. He
is also a knife and hawk maker in his own right.
He truly has kept the spirit of throwing alive for many
a Mountain Man reenactor and rendezvouers.
Dennehy Mountain Man Award
"Moses" Neal has been involved in
knife throwing for 4 years, but his love for the history
of the knife has gone on for many more than that.
He has yearned to know the history and lifestyle of
the early pioneers of our nation. His expertise
centers around the Mountain Man era and rendezvous'
of this time period. He loves teaching and passing
on the traditions of the pioneers of knife and hawk
competition. Roy has been actively competing in
knife throwing for 4 years, participating in area, state,
and national competitions. Among his accomplishments
is the title of 2001 Rocky Mountain Challenge Champion.
Also in 2001, he won top honors at the Thanksgiving
Challenge held in Fredericksburg, TX. The year
2002 brought several new titles, including Texas State
Knife/Hawk Champion, first place in the Central USA
Hawk competition, and second place knife in the Central
USA Knife Throwing Championships.
Knife Throwing Champion of the Year
"Sourdough" Pyle started throwing
in 1995. First competed in the Rocky Mountain
National Championship held in Alpine, WY., and placed
1997 Rocky Mountain Overall Champion
2001 Texas Champion-Hawk
Rocky Mountain Champion-Knife
2002 Texas Champion-Hawk
Rocky Mountain Champion-Knife
2003 Fort Scott, Texas Champion-Overall
Rocky Mountain Champion
2004 Rocky Mountain Champion-Knife
2006 International Knife Throwing Champion
Award of Success
"Throwzini" Gracia is the proprietor
of "The Great Throwzini" website as well
as editor of "The Great Throwzini" newsletter.
Mr. Gracia says, "I was first introduced to throwing
when I was about 10 years old. I used to love
watching the old karate movies with the bad acting
and dubbed voices! Quite a few years later when
the Internet took off. I found tons of other
people, just like me, that loved to throw! After
soaking up as much knowledge as I could, I decided
to start a website of my own about the sport to share
all the things I was learning. Soon I was getting
so much information I had to find another way to share
it so I started an online newsletter. Upcoming
events, new clubs, tips, tricks, techniques and games
are some of the topics covered. Since all of
this began I have met some of the best people in the
world! Knife throwers are a rare bunch of folks
who are always willing to share information and advice.
Thank you ALL for everything! Knife Throwing
is good for the soul!!!" Scott Gracia's
role as an outstanding instructor, retailer and publisher
has made him the recipient of the 2003 "Knife
Promoter of the Year." 101 Free Knife Throwing
Knife Throwing Entertainer of the Year
"Jack Dagger" Abrams-Growing up in
Baton Rouge, LA., Todd made a backyard hobby out of
throwing screwdrivers into the dirt. Eventually,
he obtained his first real throwing knife from the master
designer Harry McEvoy in 1990. As a recreational
backyard thrower, Todd has organized both the Baton
Rouge Knife and Axe Throwers Club and the LA Daggers.
Many of his students are very young, and he teaches
knife throwing as a fun, safe, confidence building exercise.
Since he moved to Los Angeles in January 2003, Todd
has performed in hundreds of shows, made several international
television appearances, won several national championships,
and holds the current record high score in both the
tomahawk event and speed knife throwing. Watch
Todd throw an array of pointed implements within a hair's
breadth of his beautiful assistant, finishing with his
signature flower-cut. The legendary Carol Ballantine,
after seeing Todd perform at the Steve Allen Theater
in 2005, turned to the resident director, Amit Ittleman,
and said, "Now THAT's Vaudville!"
Award of Success
"Master of the Blade" Karp began his
love of knife throwing at a very early age. His
first knives were actually bayonets that his father
had accumulated from different countries after WWII.
The bayonets were all different lengths, weights, and
shapes, which accounts for his ability to accurately
throw with a blade, including axes and tomahawks.
Over four decades later, Bob has earned the respect
of his peers for his knowledge in the art of the blade.
He is well admired throughout the martial arts industry,
in which he also teaches and performs. His students
are as different and unique as his throwing. They
range from judges to cowboys and children to movie and
television personalities. In Bob's opinion, there
is nothing more gratifying than teaching others the
art of knife throwing. Bob has spent many years
designing a line of knives that, in his opinion, are
the ultimate in throwing knives. Bob Karp is a
director of the International Alliance of Knife Throwing,
a member of the Arizona Knife Collectors Association
of Phoenix, Arizona, and a member of the Wild West Arts
Club in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mountain Man Competitor of the Year Award
"Hogback" Poole-"With the purchase
of an old log cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, I had
the good fortune to cross the path of Mike "Ironpost"
Kolisch in 1994. With my own respect for the Mountain
Man era, it wasn't long before he had me throwing knives
and tomahawks. From his helpful hints, I've been
able to be in the money in every throw since 1999, topping
it off with:"
Overall-Rocky Mountain Challenge 2000
Overall-Texas State Champion 2004
Overall-Rocky Mountain Challenge 2002, 2004
Knife Maker of the Year
Schenk began forging Damascus steel in his
garage in 1993. His business produces the largest
supply of hand finished Damascus steel blades in the
country. Schenk's passion for knife making began
at Brigham Young University in 1973 while working
on his B.S. degree. During his college years,
he had the opportunity to work with some of the top
knife makers in the world. These knife makers
strongly influenced his knife making passion.
In 1992, he was mentored by Ed Fowler of Riverton,
WY., who is the current field editor of Blade Magazine,
a prestigious publication in the industry. Additional
mentoring was given to Schenk by Devin Thomas of Nevada,
the top Damascus smith in the world at the time, according
to Schenk. For Schenck, a life of training by
some of the best custom knife smiths and makers, has
sharpened his edge in his industry. In 1992,
Schenk began setting up the company by collecting
all the old blacksmithing equipment he could find,
steel, and the necessary forge tools. Currently,
Two Finger Knife is the world leader in finished Damascus
blades. Schenk recently partnered with Wayne
Campbell, a local businessman and they moved into
a new building in early April. Annually, Schenk
says they produce between 10 and 15 thousand blades.
In 2003, they won an award at the International Cutlery
Show in Atlanta, GA. The "Best Sword of
Show" is a prestigious international award.
Two Finger Knife has 12 associates with plans to expand
production after moving into the new spacious manufacturing
plant. Two Finger Knife does more than make
knife blades. Orders for sword blades, salt-bath
heat treating services, knife sharpening, knife repairs
and free advice are given out daily. They also
sharpen jointer and shearer blades on their new automatic
Competitor of the Year
"Walking Eagle" Weems has been throwing
for about 7 years, working primarily in the Mountain
Man style and participating in primitive rendezvous.
Over the past 5 years, he has began promoting, teaching,
and demonstrating the art of knife throwing.
Chuck Weems organized the Texas State Knife and Tomahawk
Championship in Canton, Texas. He is now the
current President of the Cedar Creek Knife and Hawk
Club (CCKH) and coordinates and promotes the State
Championship in Malakoff, Texas. Since his beginning
as tournament promoter, the State championship has
escalated into one of the finest in the nation.
The CCKH does various demonstrations for service groups
and organizations. Chuck Weems has also done
demonstrations for places like Traders Village in
Houston, Texas and Grand Prairie, Texas. "Walking
Eagle" enjoys teaching and introducing new members
to the sport of knife throwing. He enjoys knife
throwing in general because it is something that you
can do at home in your backyard, and because it is
a family sport that can be enjoyed by anyone.
In fact, his daughter, Erica Weems, is the two-time
Texas State Champion and the current Texas State Champion
and the Fort Martin Scott Champion of Fredericksburg,
Life Achievement Award
John Painter, Ph.D. is one of the pioneers
of Chinese internal martial arts in the United States.
He has been learning and practicing Jiulong Baguazhang,
Taijiquan and Xingyiquan from the Li family's system
as far as back as 1953. That is long before
the general public had heard of karate or judo.
Chinese martial arts were almost totally unknown except
to a select few Chinese living on both coasts.
There were few, if any, books written on oriental
martial arts of any kind in the United States when
young John began training with his instructor, Master
Li Longdao. John Painter was born in East Texas
during the 1940's. He almost died at birth from
serious medical complications. Until the age
of 13, John suffered a series of one illness after
another. As a weak, sickly child, he was unable
to participate in many of the sports that other boys
engaged in. Shortly after his 13th birthday,
John was introduced to the teachings of an elderly
Chinese gentleman. It turned out that this gentleman
was a Chinese internal martial arts master.
His family had moved in next to the Painters.
Mr. Frank Li (Li Longdao) had been well respected
in China's Sichuan province as a scholar and martial
arts bodyguard before the Communist revolution.
Lifetime Achievement Award
E. Vaughan-George was a Cherokee born in Tennessee.
He lived and worked as a lumber jack, hunter, guide,
actor, stunt man, and as a Sergeant of the famed "Moccasin
Raiders" in WWII. In the years after the
war, he worked in a very successful construction business
with his knife and tomahawk act as a side line.
He finally went on to work full time as a very successful
knife thrower. George's Native American name
was "Grey Otter" but everyone called him
"Skeeter." When he was 12, he was
already working as a lumber jack in Oregon.
One day, a 225 pound foreman held back a 10 dollar
bill from the 110 pound George, telling him to come
and take it if he was man enough. George turned
and started to walk away, but turned back and threw
his belt knife into a tree-just 3 inches from the
foreman's head. As the foreman pulled the knife
from the tree, George pulled his boot knife.
The frightened foreman threw the 10 dollar bill on
the ground and left. One of the other lumber
jacks who had seen the whole encounter laughed and
said, "For a little Skeeter, he sure carries
a big stinger." "Skeeter's" roll
in WWII earned him the honor of the longest successful
combat knife throw ever recorded. His job was
to take out a German bunker sentry. It was do
or die, and he did it! His team walked each
bunker, pulled the pins from their grenades, and gently
knocked on the door of each bunker. The soldiers
inside opened their doors only to find their rooms
full of exploding grenades. His throw was measured
the next day as a miraculous 87 feet! As a result
of his heroic action, thousands of American lives
were spared. He became Chief of the Federated
Indian Tribes. He died on March 8, 1989.
He has been inducted into the "Stuntman's Hall
of Fame." We are proud to honor him with
induction into the International Knife Throwers Hall
Performing Arts Family of the Year
Kim, and Cody Mink-The Rhinestone Roper Show
features the Mink family (Dan, Kimberly, and 9 year
old Cody) from Jerome, Idaho. The Minks have thrilled
audiences from coast to coast with their award winning
trick roping, bullwhip cracking, knife throwing, gun
spinning, and quick draw shooting. The show also
includes amazing tricks by Lucky Joe the Trick Horse.
Some of the Minks' notable achievements include Kimberly's
three-time World Championship and current Guiness World
Record in the Women's Big Loop and featured appearance
on Ripley's Believe It or Not! spinning a big loop around
15 steers at one time. Nine year old Cody was
named Most Promising Young Roper at the 2003 International
Wild West Arts Competition in Las Vegas. Dan was
chosen by the Fox Network to appear on the TV show 30
Seconds to Fame in Hollywood, CA.
Ed" Imperatore-Ed Imperatore has been
throwing knives since he was a kid growing up in South
Jersey. At a young age, he-like many other throwers
and would be throwers-had gotten into trouble by taking
Mom's kitchen knives out and destroying them by throwing
them at any piece of wood that wasn't nailed down
and some that were! Mr. Imperatore also spent
alot of time as a team member in both Pool leagues
and Dart teams, excelling in his inimitable style
as his exceptional eye-hand coordination set him apart
from the average player. Ed has been throwing
competitively now for the last few years and has distinguised
himself as an excellent thrower and an integral part
of the knife throwing community as well as a very
active member of the Board of Directors of the International
Knife Throwers Hall of Fame Association as well as
the Director of the N.J. SATE IKTHOF Knife Throw held
in Netcong, N.J. More recently, Ed turned his
talents towards design and manufacture of some really
fine designs in throwing knives. His Jersey
Bowie is a true state of the art Mountain Man style
thrower worthy of the name Bowie. He is also
working on some other designs and is going to be an
influential part of the IKTHOF moving well into the
Knife Maker of the Year
Enos was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,
where he graduated from the University of Tampa.
He earned his B.S. degree in Mathematics, Chemistry,
and Physics and went to work in the Aerospace Industry
at Cape Canaveral in the early 1960's. He worked
on the Saturn Rocket Engine and later the Moon Launch
Project. He also worked for: Martin Orlando,
TCA, Chrysler, STL, and ILS. One day, while
on a break from an overseas project, he stopped in
at Randall Made Knives in Orlando to purchase a Randall
knife. His old friend, Pete Hamilton, who was
the shop foreman, invited Tom to come to work for
Randall, the requirement being that Tom would be able
to grind a straight line on a round wheel. It
took Tom a few weeks but he finally learned the art
and worked at Randall Made Knives for about a year
then decided to give knife making a try on his own.
Tom converted his airplane hangar into a metal-working
shop. In 1973, he began marketing his own knives
under his trademark: his name inside a Bowie
outline. He considers knife making an art form;
he likes creating unique designs and making everything
from throwing knives to swords, and miniatures to
hunting and kitchen knives. Over 1760 knives
of every type have been made and sold under his trademark.
This trademark, the year, the steel type and serial
lifetime guarantee are acid etched on the right side
of all his work. He has never had any returns
except for repairs which he is happy to do for his
customers. Now he only does a lmited number
of special requests as he has slowed down on knife
production to enjoy his other hobbies.
LaCross was billed as the "World's Fastest,
Fanciest Gunslinger, Knife and Tomahawk Thrower."
Paul's interest in knife and hatchet throwing and
sharp shooting began in the Boy Scouts. His
turning point came when his father took him to a sportsmen's
show. There was an act with a cowboy showing
his skills with guns and knives. Paul told his
father, "I'm just as good as he is, Pa."
His dad replied, "You're better, Son," and
Paul was on his way to an exciting, profitable life
that took him to many countries all over the world.
Paul's television credits include: The Merv
Griffin Show, Thrill Seekers with Chuck Connors, The
Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line, To Tell The Truth,
and Circus of Stars, in which movie actress Linda
Blair was his assistant/target. Paul's act is
the only one of its kind ever to perform in Carnegie
Hall in New York City and Massy Hall in Toronto, Canada.
Paul's major foreign performances included:
Russia with the United States Circus under the Cultural
Exchange Program between the United States and U.S.S.R.,
Expo 70 in Japan, The Major Arena attraction at the
1977 Auckland, New Zealand Easter show, and numerous
locations throughout Canada. Paul was also a
strong advocate of getting people to learn the art
of knife throwing. In the 1965 special issue
of The Knife Thrower, the Tru-Flite Knife Thrower
of America official bi-monthly newsletter, he wrote
an informative article on the basic fundamentals to
become a proficient knife thrower. Paul LaCross
passed away in August 1993 at the age of 78.
"Cetan Mani" Ruffley was born in
Liverpool, England on December 22, 1944 into a fifth
generation family of performers with roots in the
Buffalo Bill Wild West show. Known to his friends
as Jay, he has been in show biz since the age of three.
His interest in knife throwing grew after a trip to
the circus at the age of eight. As soon as he
returned home, he acquired a set of fish knives and
began to throw them at cardboard targets his father
made. Jay also became a master of the English
Long bow and went on to win many championships including
an acknowledgement by the Guinness Book of World Records
in 1983. Jay found a way to incorporate knife
throwing, archery, and comedy into his impalement
act, which he has performed all over the world from
England to Europe to the Middle East. The English
Entertainers Stage newspaper once described his act
as the Charlie Chaplin of knife throwing. He
has also appeared in numerous television shows and
movies. Jay and his family moved to Florida
in 1990, where he still resides, to perform in the
Wild Bill's Wild West Dinner show where he performed
seven nights a week for ten years throwing knives
and shooting arrows at his children Wayne, James,
and Sian Alexandra. In the year 2000, Jay became
the president of the Kissimmee Old Timers Rodeo Ropers
Association and in April 2006, he was awarded the
Lifetime Achievement Award by the Wild West Arts Club.
Today, Jay shares his skills and knowledge with many
up and coming performers and works hard to preserve
the art of knife throwing.
Throwing Promoter of the Year
"Geronimo" Bass first started throwing
knives about 1985 when he was 14. He saw his
brother Tim throw his knife and wanted to do it, too.
As soon as he was old enough he got his own knife
and started throwing at the shed wall. His dad
was very happy with all the little holes in the shed.
He wasn't very good and other things soon started
taking up his time. He didn't pick up a knife
again until the WWAC convention in Oklahoma in 2005.
Again, it was his brother Tim who lead the way.
He had been cracking whips for a few years and decided
to go to Oklahoma with Tim. Tim said he was
going to throw knives and Kirk still wanted to do
it so he borrowed Tim's knives and entered the contests
and he was hooked all over again. Not long after
Oklahoma he was given a set of knives from Joe Darrah
and started throwing all the more. He set up
a range in his backyard, much to his wife's annoyance
at first, and that was it. While working with
a friend, Gery Deer, on the 2005 Ohio WWAC event,
we realized we didn't have anyone to run the knife
throw so Kirk told him he would do it. He took
down his range and put it up again in Greenville.
There were about 15 throwers that year and he had
a great time. It was right after that event
that Kirk joined IKTHOF. He claims it felt like
family right away. The following year he was
able to have the Ohio event sanctioned by the Hall
Knife Maker of the Year
Moeller-With formal training in tool and die
making in his native Germany, Harald brings a total
of over 40 years of advanced metal work to his current
efforts. He is forever striving for the highest
degree of craftsmanship. He has also been making
knives for over 25 years. This skill and training
was not forgotten when his long standing infatuation
with knives drew him away from his more secure machinist
trade. He attacks his knife projects with the
same careful planning as he did his tool and die projects-researching
what he wants to achieve in a particular knife when
planning its execution. His desire to elevate
his craft to an art form has been assisted by his
careful precision. This allows him to offer,
even in a working knife, a finely crafted tool that
is a thing of beauty while still being able to accept
all the tasks it was designed for. His one of a kind
pieces become a testament to his skill in overcoming
unusual design problems and difficult materials which
he has selected to make them truly unique. Articles
on Harald's craft have been featured in many knife
magazines over the years, as well as being featured
on a few television programs. Harald continues
to be one of Canada's more successful custom knife
makers with a product mix that ranges from matched
precision presentation daggers to bowies, battle axes,
swords, survival and hunting/skinning knives and lately
he elevated his skill into the very fine folding knives
that he enjoys making today. Harald has won
a total of six major awards, usually "Best Art
Piece of Show" and "Best Overall of Show."
It's no wonder some of his pieces are to be found
all over the world.
Slim and Montana Nell" Robert and Pearl
Collins-"Robert Walter Collins was born
and raised on a ranch in Texas and from childhood
he developed a specialty when he picked up a knife
and a whip. He started throwing knives in shows
by 1900 and in 1910 he was on the payroll of Buffalo
Bill Cody's Wild West Show. In 1915, Robert
was with the 101 Ranch Rodeo and the Wild West Show.
Pearl Kathern Miller was born and raised on a farm
in Ohio and from an early age enjoyed riding horses
in every spare moment. She married Seamor Russell
in 1923. They had a daughter named Doris in
1924. Seamor died of an illness in 1925.
In 1928, Pearl met Robert and were married on January
21, 1929. This began the traveling act in which
they went by the show names of "Texas Slim and
Montana Nell"-Slim and PR to their friends.
Doris was back home on the farm being raised by her
grandmother Mabel Miller. She quickly developed
a love of horses. At age 16, Doris was on the
road with her parents as a horse trick rider and sharp
shooter using the show name of "Little Miss Peggy."
Slim and PR continued to perform up until about 1950
when they retired to their 68 acre farm in Hilda,
Missouri. they have a Wild West display in the
Ralph Foster Museum next to Buffalo Bill Cody's display
at the College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri.
Texas Slim and Montana Nell are resting in peace at
the Ozark Memorial Park in Branson.
Board Member of the Year
Jay Dunbar-Dr. Jay is the founder and director
of The Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School. He began
Taijiquan studies with Ruby Blaurock. In 1976
he traveled to San Francisco to study with W.T.R.
Chung and Kuo, Lien Ying and met Henry Look, his primary
Yiquan teacher. In 1978, he began a discipleship
with Jou, Tsung Hwa for the next 20 years, until Master
Jou's tragic death in an automobile accident.
Dr. Jay has also studied with Dr. John Painter, and
taken workshops with many other teachers. He
graduated summa cum laude from Colgate, received an
M.A. in English Literature from Duke, and a Ph.D.
in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1991, with a
dissertation entitled "Let A Hundred Flowers
Bloom: A Profile of Taijiquan Instruction in
America." In 1982, with Almanzo Lamoureux, Pat
Rice, Steve Rhodes, Cas Overton, Kim Ragland, and
others he founded the Southeastern Taijiquan Society
to promote sharing among players from all schools,
and served as editor of its newsletter, "Changes,"
for six years. In 2001, he established the Jou,
Tsung Hwa Memorial Dantian Challenge in honor of his
teacher of 20 years, and designed and produced the
bronze medallions which are awarded to those who meet
the challenge. He has served as judge and referee
in numerous tournaments including ATOC, USWKF, USCKF,
and the Taiji Legacy since 1989, and has developed
tournament rules for form competitions. He was
technical editor of Tai Chi for Dummies, and contributed
the foreword to Exploring Tai Chi by John Loupos.
He has presented courses or workshops at the Kripalu
Center for Yoga and Health, the NY Open Center, the
American Dance Festival, the Guang Ping Annual Conventions,
etc., teaching knee safety, qigong, Yi Jing divination,
straight sword, and Chen and Wu/Hao styles of taijiquan.
"Little John" Taylor devoted thirty
years of his life to law enforcement in the United Kingdom
as a police officer. Upon retirement, he became
involved with paintball and knife throwing. Upon
arrival in America, John was introduced to many different
facets of the sport of throwing weapons. Knife
and tomahawk throwing is not a widely or well known
sport in the UK, but John has taken time to visit the
United States to learn about, study, and embrace the
rules and regulations of the IKTHOF Association to take
home and introduce to his fellow countrymen. Since
his arrival, Little John, as he is known by his American
knife throwing friends, has proven to be an apt student
of all aspects of knife and tomahawk throwing and has
plans to throw in his first ever Bob "Master of
the Blade" Karp Gold Cup Challenge along with all
the other contests being held at IKTHOF headquarters.
We are sure "Little John" will be taking all
he learns back to the UK with him. He will certainly
miss the time spent and friendships made in the US.
Recognition for Promotion of Mountain Man Events
Joe" Blackwell- Born in North Texas in
1928, Billy Joe Blackwell is a true native-born son
of the great state of Texas. A polio survivor,
he went on to box in the Golden Gloves, where he went
from the state fights to the nationals. After
school, he went into his apprenticeship doing electrical
work in IBEW Local Union 116 in Fort Worth, Texas.
He married Ruth Yoder in 1950 and they raised three
children. Due to health problems, Papa Joe moved
to the Cedar Creek Lake area in 70's, where he continues
to live today. He is active in the community and
in the Mountain Man club he belongs to. Even though
his eyesight is failing, he still participates in several
knife and tomahawk throwing events every year.
Arts Promoter of the Year
Allen is not only an extraordinary performer,
accomplished gun spinner, trick roper, trick rider,
and whip cracker-he's dedicated to keeping western
arena arts alive. Director of the Wild West
Arts Club, Mark was instrumental in bringing the WWAC
convention-international competition to Claremore
last year and in the return here this April.
"On behalf of the members and staff of the Wild
West Arts Club, I would like to say we are thrilled
to be back in Claremore. The Claremore Expo
Center is a great facility and the people of Claremore
have opened their doors and hearts to this event.
We are looking forward to another great year in Claremore."
The first convention was held at the Will Rogers Ranch
State Park in California. Organized by Allen
and a staff of volunteers, it has grown to more than
600 members from 26 countries, all the United States
and four Guiness Book records. The convention-competition
was in Las Vegas until moving to Claremore.
Allen's wife, Jo Benson, a whip cracker and trick
roper, is also key to the program of events scheduled
in Claremore. Mark is president of Western Stage
Props, a mail order company with an inventory of props
from guns to blank ammo, whips, trick riding saddles,
knives and tomahawks and all types of ropes.
His customers include movie and television studios,
theme parks, stuntmen and individuals from all over
the world. Mark and Jo came to Claremore for
the November 2005 Will Rogers Days and have made several
trips to Oklahoma in preparation for the Will Rogers
Wild West International Expo.
D. Lothe is a world renowned tool and knife
designer of the Firestone Sport Axe, the Condor Throwing
Axe, two sizes of the Condor Wing Throwing Knife,
and has another model in the works. He is also
more well known for his design of the Ginsu line of
knives that were sold world wide through various television
promo programs. He is one of the few designers
out there getting some higher quality throwing knives
commercially made and the designs are legal in competition
use. Arlan has been instrumental in the development
of many types of commercially used cutlery as well
as new and better ways of marketing several products.
His new line of commercially manufactured throwing
knives and tomahawks will soon be available through
Condor Knives. His new line of tomahawks was
given a real workout this past June at the Atlanta
Blade Show by World Champion knife throwers Mike "Alamo"
Bainton and Joe "Brokenfeather" Darrah.
His hawks and knives are some of the toughest around
and his Firestone Hawks have been used to win several
competitions and continue to be used in tournaments
today. We are not only proud to call Arlan friend,
but also admire and respect him for the innovative
knife designer he has become.
Arts Promoter of the Year
Mulligan holds the record for speed and accuracy
in the Wild West Arts Club whip cracking competition.
He will crack his whip down Will Rogers Boulevard
during the upcoming Will Rogers Days Parade and will
be back in town for the 2006 Will Rogers Wild West
International Expo. "I just love Claremore
for what they did for us last year. We owe Claremore
a lot," he said. Mulligan became involved
in WWAC shortly after it formed, competing in the
trick roping, whip cracking, and later, knife throwing.
He has held the whip cracking record since 2000-in
which he competed using tin cups spaced two feet apart
at different heights while being timed. He bested
his 12.15 second record recently with a score of 7.38
seconds. Having earned the record, Mulligan
is ready to take on a new challenge and is involved
in knife throwing. "They tell me I'm pretty
good, but I can't know until I win." He
said knife throwing has become a strong event and
more people are "expanding their talents, adding
to their repertoire...There were 18 competing in Texas
this year. Previous years there have been one
or two." Mulligan has traveled extensively
in the United States and Australia as a whip cracker
and trick roper and with his wife, Carole, hosts
the Texas Regional WWAC Convention at their Cleburne
ranch. Australian born, he came to the United
States in 1999 as a horse trainer. He trains
horses for show or under saddle and trick riding horses.
He is working with a horse for Anita Withers of Colorado,
who will bring her horse to Claremore in April.
Third Place Knife, Annie Oakley Days, Greenville,
Knife, Central US
Tomahawk, Central US
Third Place-Expert Knife, Annie Oakley Days,
Annie Oakley Days, Greenville, Ohio
Knife, Che Che Whitecloud World
Che Che Whitecloud World
Third Place Knife, Vick Russell Mountain Man
Third Place Tomahawk,
Vick Russell Mountain Man Throw
Second Place Intermediate
Knife, Southern US Championship
Third Place Expert
Tomahawk, Southern US Championship
First Place Expert
Second Place Expert
Knife, Annie Oakley Days, Greenville, OH
Second Place Knife,
Fredericksburg Thanksgiving Throw
Second Place Expert Knife, Northeastern
Frontiersman, Northeastern US Championship
Frontiersman at the Alamo