|Left to right are Betty, Elsie and Genevieve.|
Who are Genevieve and daughter Elsie? At Hanford, they came by my spot to chit chat. I have never met them in a show, and they did not know who I was. Since I've been in most of the shows every month for 34 years, it's unusual to find someone who had no idea who this crazy Angora lady was. Genevieve said to me, "My mom used to raise Angora, she imported German Angora." My brain started working overtime, I only knew of three "lines" of German Angora imports. I replied, "Where did your mom live?" "Arroyo Grande". I knew who that was immediately, "Your mom is Dorothy Ames and your grandfather is Bob Herschbach?" Genevieve was surprised behind belief, this crazy Angora lady who she had never met identified her mom and grandfather in an instant.
Bob Herschbach was a legendary judge in the old days; when I started showing in the 80s, he had been judging forever. He was the person who reintroduced French Lop into this country and he bred down the size of French Lop to create Mini Lop in the 70s. His son Dudley Herschbach is a Nobel laureate, and on the Nobel website, he wrote, "My father was then a building contractor and later a rabbit breeder." see http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1986/herschbach-bio.html
Bob had imported some of the best German Angora into this country in the 80s, he personally went to German to select the stock for his daughter Dorothy. We had heard the story in shows often. In 1985, another Angora person was going to Dorothy's home to purchase German Angora and I tagged along. Dorothy had a barn full of German Angora in wire cages and had several colonies of French Angora and English Angora on the ground in trailers. I came home with one of her French Angora. It was the most Angora in one place, other than the ARBA conventions, that I've seen ever. I had seen many other German Angora after that visit but none measured up to what Bob brought back from Germany.
Bob lived about 20 some miles from my home, he shopped at the same feed store as I did so we bumped into each other often. He was also good friends with my then rabbit mentor Barbara, both of us visited Barbara often and had the chance of chatting many times.
|Here is a rabbit book Bob and his wife Ethel authored.|
|Bob signed the book for me.|
|Here is a little insight in Bob's own words.|
Coming from a rabbit breeder family, Genevieve had only started taking her daughter to youth shows. Hanford was the first open show that she and Kylie ever attended. I was very happy to have met them after knowing her grandfather and mother so many years ago. Now that both Bob and Dorothy had passed on, I got to meet the next two generations that are returning to their family tradition of raising rabbits.
After reading the above, judge Chris Z shared her memories:
"Thanks Betty for sharing this!!
Bob lived about 2 miles from me, and I would go over to his home on Saturdays and listen to him talk about rabbits. Some of the stories were repeated several times, but I really learned a lot, and that is what sparked me to become a judge.
He had so many cool projects. He had a colony of Mini Lops living on the ground. He had French Lops he had bred with the RED gene, and the colors were from champagne to deep dark New Zealand Red, all due to modifiers. He had Blue Viennas, which were beautiful rabbits, but no longer in the standard. He actually made Holland Lops from scratch (they weren't good though - LOL). I still remember him talking ab out Lilacs at a European show, and how they were a mass of "Pinky dove gray". Between all his anecdotal stories, I learned A LOT!!!
Shannon and I would drive him to shows at the end of his judge career, as he was no longer a good driver.
You brought me lots and lots of memories - THANK YOU!!!"