We got home on from Jamaica on a Wednesday, and less than 48 hours later I was on a plane to California to do the American Farrier’s Association clinic at The Shoein’ Shop in Yucaipa, CA. This farrier supply shop was opened decades ago by Lee Green and his family. I had done their spring clinic 5 years before on Lee’s 70th birthday. This one marked his 75th.
If you haven’t seen this family in operation, it is something to behold. Lee’s children and grandchildren all have a place in the family business if they want it, and the place runs like a well-oiled machine.
Donnie Perkinson is the incoming AFA President, and he was my escort for this trip. We met up at the airport of his choosing, (I won’t say where). But, it gave us a lot of time to get caught up with each other. We stopped on the way to Yucaipa for a burger at In-N-Out Burgers. Marguerite from Mustad had introduced me to these fine fast food burgers 5 years before.
Donnie is energetic and full of ideas for making our association stronger and better. I’m pretty excited to see what is coming. We made it to The Shoein’ Shop, and there was a celebration for Lee’s 75th. I had time to catch up with Lee and Porter Green, and got to interview them for a speech I was about to do in Cincinnati about mule shoeing. That night there was a live band, dancing and a great meal for Lee’s birthday. It was so neat to watch his family working and making things run smoothly for their patriarch.
The next morning, Donnie and I showed up for the clinic. Venders were set up all over one end of the shop for the trade show, and I think there ended up being about 260 farriers in attendance. Lee talked to the crowd and gave a Remington bronze reproduction to Walt Taylor for all he has done for our trade and association.
I gave a few power point presentations in the morning and we had a great dinner. In the afternoon we did some forging and shoeing demos, and the clinic was over before I knew it. There are some clinics where time just flies by. There was a drawing for the numerous donations from industry sponsors, and I think everyone ended up going away with some great products.
Lee, his family, Donnie and I ended up going out for a nice meal and I got some time to relax and visit with Audrey, Bobby and their younger daughter. Their older daughter Ashley had been making sure my day went well at the shop, but this was my first time to really get to visit with their younger daughter. I have to tell you, they are a very fun and great family, and I had a wonderful time.
Next morning early, Donnie and I were headed the hours to the airport of his choice. I had a while to reflect on this trade I am blessed enough to be in, and all the incredible people that make it up. What a blessing it is to be a part of the farrier industry, and I thank all of you for making it great. Keep on keepin’ on.