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TOPIC: Members who dont know the history of the AFA

Members who dont know the history of the AFA 13 Dec 2006 15:09 #1

  • vthorseshoe
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Danvers, Rick, and anyone else

I often see refrence's (spelling ?) of members who don't have a clear view or knowledge of the histry of the AFA being a hinderence when it comes to making decisions or voting or choosing a leader or candidate.

Has anyone considered taking on the task of writing the history of the AFA ?

It would make some very interesting reading and would provide a source of knowledge for the members of old and members of new.

All the major founding fathers are still around and available for interviewing.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing to have accomplished before the demise of the origonators ?

Can anyone think of a better possible selling book next to Doug Butlers Principles of horseshoeing or Hickman's Farriery ?

The members would have it on their list as a need to have book.

Would it not help for a clearer understanding of where the AFA has come from and needs to go ?
Would it not also help members get more involved if they have a sense of history of the association they belong to ???

just my thoughts :rolleyes:
"you may not like what I say" !
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"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 13 Dec 2006 16:30 #2

  • franjurga
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Hi Bruce, you are sooooo right! (as usual) I have offered to at least create a time line but there doesn't seem to be much interest. I am one of several de facto "go to" sources around the country, much because I don't throw anything away and have good filing systems. Unfortunately I also know the location of many bodies buried back there so I doubt that anyone would want me to write an official history. I think there would be a lot of resistence to dredging up the political history, particularly of the struggles to hire and keep an administrative staff and the power struggle over the move to Kentucky. If one is objective, it's not a very pretty story, but the good times were very good.

I also don't think you can really separate out the history of the AFA in the past 35 years from the massive changes in the farrier profession sparked by 1) the proliferation of independent farrier schools around the country, for better or worse, 2) the setup of regional supply stores, which is a quite recent development, and 3) the launch and desemination of information through the American Farriers Journal. Those things all occured in the same 20 years or so. It's a chicken-and-the-egg scenario. And, in turn, farriery as we now know it probably wouldn't have happened without the explosion of the horse show industry and skyrocket in value of horses.

I also would like to see the AFA (or someone) create an archive to safely store records, photographs, etc. for posterity. I have a lot of papers I would turn over (maybe). Perhaps one of the candidates would add that to their to-do list, if elected.

Scott Simpson has some good perspectives on late 20th century farriery as a profession in his new book. New farriers today take a lot for granted when they enter the profession and you are absolutely right that they have no idea whose backs they are walking on. I believe that a lot of the good things that happened in the early years of the AFA were for exactly that reason: to help create a new generation of farriers who would have respect and be able to prosper. We all owe a lot of thanks to those people.

Fran Jurga
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 13 Dec 2006 17:54 #3

  • jseyffer
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Fran - I have a collection of AFJs that go back to Henry's era and the "flyer" format. Also a mostly complete set of Anvil magazines. I would cheerfuly donate these especially if they made it to CD or something I could drop into the computer when I wanted to look up something old.


Jack Seyffer
AFA 477 (still not counting)
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 13 Dec 2006 20:31 #4

  • J.H. shoeing
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Hey Fran

I found a 10 mega pixel camera, so I should be able to start getting you some photos soon. It was nice to meet you at the AAEP convention.
Jeff Holder

Some people are like Slinky’s, pretty much useless but make you smile when you push them down the stairs.
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 00:16 #5

Fran,

I would love to see a true history, bodies and all. It is often how we get to a place that explains the place that we are in. In this case there is a lot of history that would be of benefit to everyone and would help us to correct a few of the problems created in that history.

I am also a bit concerned about there not being a repository of information and such. I was very happy to meet Lee Liles at AAEP and would love to know how his museum will fair after his tenure as the caretaker. It seems to me that preserving the past would be a great gift to the future, especially in this industry. So I’ll bite and take your challenge by committing to putting the issue of historical preservation and development before the Board of Directors if I am elected.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to structure the effort and to fund it in a way that will insure its survival?
Ronald E. Kramedjian, RJF

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"What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always popular." Unknown

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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 01:31 #6

  • jvzieger
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Well, I actually have to agree with Ron here :eek:

I'd really LOVE to have a complete history.

In my opinion, it should be complete with all the controversies, all the battles and wars, and all the ups and downs. I’d also like a description of how the certifications have changed over time, and how certification came to be. I'd like to see chronological history of the membership roles (if we could get permission to publish that). I'd also like a summarized recounting of major meetings (or at least personal testimony as to what happened there).

I know, as I described it, it probably sounds boring, but I for one would love to read it. I would also volunteer some time to do some interviews and take some notes if there are founders in my area.
Jim Zieger Farrier
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 03:05 #7

  • Gary_Miller
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Fran and Jeff
It sounds like you have alot of history that could be compiled. Why don't you guys write the history and have it published. It would need to be everything the good bad and the ugly as that is the history.
Fran you could also include the history of farriery in the US over the past 35 year in the same book
A good title would be. "The History of the American Farriers Association and the American Farrier."

Gary
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 15:37 #8

  • tbloomer
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Awwwww shucks Fran. Just stop putting out H&L for a few years so you have time to compile and write the history book. :) Maybe we can get you a grant to live on peanut butter 'n crackers while you do it? LOL

I don't know how a publisher can keep up with all the stuff that is going on NOW in the industry, much less go back and do***ent the history of what happened. It's a great idea, but somebody would have to give up their day job to do it. Meanwhile anybody focusing on do***enting past history might wind up being passed over by all the history in the making . . . thus becoming history themselves. Talk about a risky endeavor! :o
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 17:57 #9

  • vthorseshoe
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Tom, I'll wager you know the history of the Guild from its inception. Why because your a part of it and I believe you would want to know the history of something you promote.

There are many folks out there who could write a small portion of their part in the making of the AFA with inserts from others who were there at the same time.
Put these together and you have the makings of history written down.

You have a great historian and past and present editor of farrier and hoof care magazines who has a wealth of knowledge along with being a strong part of the very history I am speaking of, Fran, herself.

Scott Simpson's book does give insight into the past and early yrs. of farriery in America.
The Kriz family started many a farrier's carreer in the new england states.
Cornell university started many top name farriers of the past.
Scott Simpson taught many great farriers, etc etc etc.
Ralph Hoover, Buster Conklin (spelling) (taught my instructor)

The AFA is a part of this history and made a huge contribution to the growth of farriery in America and Canada. It should be written down and preserved for future generations to read.
A lot of work. No doubt. Worth while ? I think so.

Get a grant and hire a writer to do the work.

just my thoughts
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 18:20 #10

  • franjurga
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It is very encouraging to hear such enthusiasm. I am not sure who
would ever read a compiled history of the farrier profession, but a place to
start would be just to do***ent what happened in each of the past 30 years,
sort of picking up where Henry Heymering left off in his book, and flesh it
out more.

Here's a plan: people volunteer to each research the history of farriers in
North America in a given year or years. (Warning: 1988 is still smoking
whenever I open my AFA file drawers.) You claim a year and you run with it. I have all the AFJs, Anvils, Hoofcare & Lamenesses, AFA newsletters (some of which are really interesting to read, in hindsight), Professional Farriers, AFA convention programs, AFA membership directories, BWFA stuff, etc. here and people are welcome to come and peruse them. There are people like Jack Seyffer all over the country who have similar collections, but they
probably are very careful about loaning things out. Likewise, some
libraries, particularly Cornell vet school, have lots of the farrier magazines and that's a start to track down the people who were writing articles and doing things in a given year.

Here's how a citizen journalism project like this might work:
Each person researches his or her year and creates a binder with a timeline
and photocopied clippings from things that happened that year that affected
farriers (the Horse Protection Act, the Hoof Bond-Bruce Daniels battles,
Edward Martin's historic speech at Valley Forge, the murder of Jim Linzy,
the AFA Convention on the Today Show, etc.). That person also hopefully
would write a narrative summary of that year and interview key people on
what they remember. You could even do podcasts as part of it, it would be great.

If you have seen the Ferrie Brothers' DVD with the interviews with Edward
Martin and David Wilson etc. you'll be inspired to get a digital tape
recorder (or digital video) and jump into this project.

The first five years (before Henry started AFJ) would almost have to be
written by Walt Taylor, or someone could interview him. The first AFJs were in 1976, if I remember correctly.

Then we all bring our binders to Albuquerque (or wherever) and hopefully fill in the
blanks there, or at least see how much information we gathered and where we
each need help. It might take a couple of years, but we could each also get
photos, videos, audio tapes, and memorabilia from those years. Each of us
would become a custodian for that year and keep tracking down things and
people. Maybe each year's custodian would become a chapter author or editor
in the book on recent farrier history that Gary has suggested, although I
guess the natural extension would be to create a wiki online and have it be
a dynamic web-based project so that it lives forever, though a book you can
hold in your hands is still a nice thing to have and read.

Then, eventually, we find a secure library to accept these binders and some
artifact cases into archival, climate-controlled storage where they can be
accessed by researchers and curious people under the rules of that library,
but not be lost or pilfered.

Of course the politics are of high interest, but I don't know how a fair and
balanced account of the battles and scandals could be written, other than
what is a matter of record in the AFA president's letters. I think the
bigger story is how much the profession has changed, don't you?

I think it would be really valuable to help people look at the facts and
ponder if the AFA had a major influence in the industry or if the industry's
growth and prosperity carried the AFA on the crest of a wave.

When I opened one of the file drawers, I found Bruce Daniels' president's
letter saying that 1400 people attended the AFA convention in Lexington, KY
in 1988. Was that the biggest one ever? Interesting that politics were so
bad that year, yet so many people showed up for the convention. The AFA
only had 1700 members at the time, but 1400 people were at the convention. _Everyone_ was there.

Also I came across the famous strategic plan of 1989, which acting-president
Allen Smith (he took over when Bruce Daniels resigned) sent to every single
member of the AFA. It says it was written by Walt Taylor and edited by
Allen. No mention of licensing, but it has a section on how the AFA should
determine the curriculum of farrier schools and credentials of instructors,
even with disciplinary action mentioned. That was chilling to read, in light
of 2005 events. The AFA has accomplished most of the things it said it would
in that plan, school regulation notwithstanding, but I am not sure it was
ever officially adopted. (I think Dick Fanguy may have mentioned it in his
comments but I can't remember what he said about its adoption, or if it is
even the same strategic plan.)

Any volunteers? Some of you could pick the year you were born!

Fran Jurga
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 22:31 #11

  • vthorseshoe
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Fran, I'll take 1949 !(only kidding, my birth date predates the majority of the members I think)
The farrier magazine I have for you is 1917, so we know farriers were organized in the USA back then and that definitely pre-dates the birth of the AFA .

Actually I like your suggestion, kinda runs in line with what I mentioned but much more organized.
Throw a year at me and I will work on getting all the info I can collect concerning that yr.

Fran will you head up this project and give us the necessary guidance needed ?

I also like the idea of putting it on the computer for all to access, along with the library and archive concept.

Anyone else interested in going along with this project ?

Just my thoughts :rolleyes:
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 14 Dec 2006 23:00 #12

  • Gary Hill
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Seems like the history proves that it hasn't quite gone over like it was supposed to? If the total number of people was alittle over 9,000 and there is around 3000 today, maybe something ain't right? Funny when I was in Fl in 79 and a member of FSFA and Asso of AFA everyone was pushing hotshoeing ,then when you tested you used cold diamond saddlelites. Course everyone had coal forges then. Gas has made life so much easier.
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 21 Dec 2006 04:57 #13

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vthorseshoe wrote:
...Fran will you head up this project and give us the necessary guidance needed ?...

Anyone else interested in going along with this project ?...


Bruce,

I spoke with Fran when I was up at Cornell for Mike's reception last week. She will be happy to help where she can and I believe she said we could use some of the resources she has available through hoofcare and lameness, but she does NOT want to take charge of this.

That much she was very specific about. If this develops a life of it's own, or someone else takes charge, that's good, but she doesn't want to lead it.

As for anyone else going a long with it, yes, I'd love to help. I will offer SNEFA's help if there's something we can do to participate (assuming the members are into it :) ) As you may know, I'm headed off to more farrier school (Cornell) for the winter, so I won't have much time for a few months, but I'll try to make some, and I'll do more when I get back.
Jim Zieger Farrier
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 21 Dec 2006 15:49 #14

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If anyone wants to discuss this project directly with me, please do. I think Jim Z. jumped to conclusions during our very brief exchange over the hors d'ouevre table at the party last week. My reticence to "take charge" was because it should be a group effort, in my opinion.
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RE:Members who dont know the history of the AFA 21 Dec 2006 17:23 #15

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franjurga wrote:
If anyone wants to discuss this project directly with me, please do. I think Jim Z. jumped to conclusions during our very brief exchange over the hors d'ouevre table at the party last week. My reticence to "take charge" was because it should be a group effort, in my opinion.


I humbly apologize if I jumped to conclusions Fran. I guess I did misunderstand you and I probably should not have spoken on your behalf. 'Won't happen again :) ~Jim
Jim Zieger Farrier
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