by Frank Otta, President KCHT [For PDF version Click Here]
This summer was for us, the KCHT guys, busy with traveling. One of the trips took us to Romania to see my friend Dan Napholcz whom I had owed a visit for good couple years and Dan always reminded that fact to me. So four of us (Boicev, Rotta, Melichar and me) decided to go. When I talked to Dan about our arrival he promised to give us some Kocholl tipplers and my friends were really looking forward to that too. The trip was a classic one – we smuggled couple tipplers in and many out.
When the GPS took us to the part of Satu Mare where Dan lives, we discovered that the GPS software is not quipped with house numbers and the numbers there are not in ascending or descending order. So I got out of the car, a tippler in each hand, to show the locals that I am looking for a man that flies tipplers and I started walking from door to door. I had to use sign language because the locals do not speak any Slavic language, German, nor English and I do not speak the two languages (Romanian nor Hungarian) they use over there so I was showing them the tipplers, disturbing their Saturday lunch.
Unfortunately, I am not that good at the sign language and at the third house I realized that they thought I was a pigeon peddler trying to sell pigeons from door to door:) Of course, I was getting the negative gestures and grimaces from them because there were pigeons on every other roof top – mostly homers.
Luckily, Dan happened to drive by, expecting us and led us to his house. When we got there, we asked him if he could show us his Kocholl’s y/b world champ cock which I knew he had in his loft. Dan disappeared inside the coop and brought out a blue bar with the words “Here he is”, and was putting the bird in my hand. I took the bird, started handling it and asked: “Is he settled”? “No” was the answer. My knees softened up a bit. Dan encouraged all of us to handle the bird – I would prefer if we could do it inside – but Dan trusted us outside.
Then we had lunch that his wife prepared for us. It was a Romanian specialty – beef/vegetable stew cooked on the open fire. It was delicious. Then we set out to see a few top local fliers (Gyori Zoltan – 2007 o/b champ, 2008 over all champ; Czizma Bela – he flies from a balcony – his PB is 16.12 with o/b; Nyiri Attila – 2007 over all champ) and the founder of the Romanian tippler club (Sasu Gioni). It was a great afternoon that ended late night but to describe all we saw is almost impossible if I do not want to write a novel.
However, I would like to mention here at least the balcony loft. One of the cleanest lofts I have seen. Not a feather on the ground, droppings scraped three times a day. When I looked around from the balcony, I could not believe how a tippler can be settled from over here. Tall trees to the left, another high rise building less than meters to the front, and to the right a small park, again some trees. Anyway, Czizma manages…
The KCHT boys got some tipplers from each flier we visited. Gyori keeps Hungarian/Romanian line of tipplers. They come in most of the common colors but they are big in hand and fly well. At least I believe that 17+ in a landlocked country is a good result with tipplers.
In the evening we had supper at Dan’s. Then we opened beers and went to his loft again. We handled every single tippler he has there. Kocholls directly from Karl (Karl quit flying tipplers and got rid of them all), Kocholl/Meredith crosses, Gaga’s and Mustafa’s Bodens. Very nice birds indeed. Dan asked us: “Do you like this bird?” and if one of us said yes, it was his bird. If I am not mistaken, we brought home 20 birds so the KCHT is ready to kick some buts.
I brought home a pair of Kocholls for myself and 3 pairs of Kocholls for my friends here who could not travel. Dan had picked those birds for us upon my request. I cannot tell a good bird when it is locked up. I also brought home a cock and two hens of the Botosani Roller. They are perfect night droppers from what I have seen at Dan’s. I fell in love with them. These Botosanis were at the point of extinction a few years ago. Dan and his friends traveled across the country to get them from an old man and saved them. I think they are worth it.
We enjoyed the trip a lot and we hope to see our new Romanian friends inspecting out lofts and stock here in CZ soon. The invitation is there.