Hofkens Logo Where things are done by "The Book"

The Hunsicker Adventrue

The Hunsicker Adventure

Each year, Dave Hunsicker has a little get-together for several of his friends. This year I attended for the first time. I have known several of the attending fanciers for a number of years, so it was hardly like meeting a bunch of new people. I have written about several of the attendees in the past including Dave, Ed Lorenz and Mike Mc Connell, and I have also known Carl Loizzi for five or six years.

We all met on a Saturday in Solvang, California, which is about a mile from Daveís house. Solvang is just another extension of my Danish connection, as the town is sort of built around traditional Danish food. Because I had spent the previous day grading several hundred pigeons, and staying up late talking to Ed, I didnít get to sleep until approximately 2:00 a.m. on the night before the visit. As a result, I got up late and kind of missed out on breakfast, which left me frail, weak, and somewhat fragile. Even Ed who never gets up before noonbut got up very early on this occasion, looked more rested than I did on this particular day. As our good friend Marty Laden is so fond of saying, ďThat Book is only 49, but he is an old 49Ölike he is going on 70, so when he doesn't get his sleep, the man simply melts."

As part of the dayís events, we graded a bunch of Dave's pigeonsÖOh Boy. There is nothing I love better than grading more pigeons. You can never get enough of that I always say. I havenít had time to be right about my selections from this particular grading yet, but of course I will beÖ.or this page will quickly disappear, especially if my self-appointed side kick, Carl Loizzi (better known as the Pamphlet...sort of a subset of the Book) turns out to be more right than me. Between you and me, I wouldnít ask Carl to grade your loft, first, because I donít think he could sit still that long, and, second, because his highest grade is 3 on a scale of 10. I didnít check his hands, but he may only have that many fingers! Ed, on the other hand, is a man who likes to be right. Consequently, he graded out every pigeon he touched as a 10. With this approach how could he be wrong?

Also, for the first time, I got to spend some time with Ammed Ismail. We were very luck to have someone that was willing to take the pictures instead of just wanting to be in them. Ammed has some excellent camera equipment, even if he is only learning to use it. I am jealous! Ammed is an amazing finish carpenter who builds for the rich and famous. I have included several pictures of a wine room that he built. When you see them, you will get an idea of what I am talking about. When you are looking at him, he doesn seem very talented. It must have been the lighting. When he gets a little more experience, I may have him do my next set of nest boxes.

Because I had to leave for Arizona the following day, Ed and I decided to go back for the San Fernando Valley at about 11:00 that night. Generally, this is about a two hour drive, but on this night, it took closer to three and a half hours. It had just started to rain when we left Daveís house, and, by the time we reached the San Marcos Pass, it was raining so hard that large rocks were falling down into the road from the adjacent mountain sides. The windshield wipers couldnít keep up with the rain, and if it wasnít for the tail lights of the car in front of me, we might have died on that rainy night (A little drama for a weak story). Where I might have pulled off the road and waited for the rain to pass here in Tucson, it was pretty clear that on this occasion the storm was just beginning. The fact of the matter was that Edís famous dog, Zipper, hadnít eaten all day while Ed was away, so what choice did we have but to press on. Once again, it was 2:30 in the morning when we reached Edís house. I am not as young as Ed used to be, so these late nights were taking their toll. I had to go back to work just so I could rest up.

Well enjoy the picture and realize that several of these guys are the best in the business and that the captions are meant in fun. By the way in these pictures, I will be the good looking one so keep an eye out for me!

-Book

Breakfast without Book

They told me later that they had eaten breakfast, but none of them can read, so I know the menues are just props. Look at the silverware! Do these guys look like they use silverware?

Breakfast without Book

You ate without me. Noooo! Look at the joy that I brought Mike Mc Connell. He had never been in a picture with someone so good looking before! It was early in the day, and I will bet he thought his stock was on the rise.

Dave on the way to his loft

I think the Beatles said it best, ďHere come old flattop he come grooving up slowly...Ē Didnít Foghorn-Leghorn kind of walk like this? Our host and excellent pigeon man, Dave Hunsicker, who has lived a mile from Solvang for the past decade, yet canít seem to give Book proper directions on how to get to the restaurant so that he can have a little breakfast before Dave makes him works his fingers to the bone grading pigeons.

Office in Dave's Loft

This may look like an insane asylum with all the white walls and the disheveled crew at the other end of the room, but this is actually the office in Dave's loft, and you need to remember that these are not normal people, they are pigeon flyers. I think the one in the corner may be picking at a tick in his hair, and, judging by his hand, the Pamphlet (the one in the red jacket that is about ten times too big for him) appears to have lost something that is about four feet tall. It could be one of his breeding cocks, as I hear they are on the big side. You can see why I don't worry too much about their grading ability, as they can't even find their chairs.

Dave on the way to his loft

What do you mean a two? Why that pigeon won a 25 mile training toss, the 400, the 900 and seven other races that I can remember right now. No wonder you are still only the Pamphlet!

Dinner

Getting ready or order dinner. As you can see, Ed is still trying to compose himself after a very funny story, and as you can see by the glint in my eyes (yes, that half crazy look), at the end of the day, I am the only one that is still all pigeon. I don't know if it was the fact that I hadn't eaten anything all day (thanks to Dave) or if the food was just really good, but I had a great meal! Mike Mc Connell, on the other hand, complained all the way back to Dave's place because he ordered spaghetti and it came in a red sauce. Go figure! There was a time there when I was so hungry that I thought this group might be the next Donner party. Had that been the case, there probably would have been enough for take home.

Watching a pigeon tape after dinner

Captain, our shields are at 30% percent. We need to fire the photon torpedoes! Make it so number one! I will let you decide whose the captain and whose number one. All I can tell you is that with leadership like this, the ship was in trouble most of the day.

Watching Ed and Dave square dance

It wasn't pretty watching Dave and Ed square dance, but there wasn't much Mike and I could do but sit in amazement! They sure know how to have a good time!

Ammed is the one responsible for taking all of the pictures. You should have seen how much work I had to do to take the Pamphlet and Mike out of this picture. I think it was worth it, don't you? While Ammed looks all nice and everything, I only volunteered to take his picture so that I could use his mid-frame Nikon camera, which is something that I have always wanted but could never afford. I guess making cabinets for the stars must pay big bucks. By the way, Ammad makes a very mean photo box that you may have seen advertised in the Digest. I have seen them, and they are very nice.

As I promised, these are the pictures of one of the wine rooms that Ammed built for a distinguished customer. It is pretty similar to the den in my house in my next life.

Another view.

Return to Main Page