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Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by George, May 7, 2018.
Dakota Rose, trust me when I say that the newbies can be just as ignorant as the ego (seasoned) professionals in causing a stink. Usually they don't make it to the top levels and their numbers are understandably less. You are correct, however, the older guys are professionals at it and many react like a mayor being stopped for speeding.
Kerby, I had to laugh as you tried to explain that cost equation. As always, I have a bullspit story to go along with your reminder.
I was stationed on Okinawa in 1964. I imagine most of you are too young to know the significance of The Rock or for the movie, "Teahouse of the August Moon". It was a major film featuring Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford. It was made in 1956 right on the outskirts of Naha, the capital city. Many of the extras used in the film were, shall we say, ladies of the night. Anyway, the island was governed by the US at that time with a military governor. Downtown sections were sin bins and brothels. The going rate for services of a companion for the night was $10 but one girl demanded $25. It seems that she'd spent the entire time of movie production with Marlon Brando and she figured that she had better credentials than the others. Sort of fits right along with the applications to taxidermy, doesn't it.
I always hate to see someone retire but I am happy for them. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Couple things. I have been in the building industry my whole life. I work with new homeowners on a daily basis and I have never met more "entitled" young people. Nothing is ever good enough/you get thrown under the bus when you do the best you can to make them happy and on top of that they are given the opportunity to rate you and for every 1 positive return you'll get 100 negative. 20 years in the customer service aspect has really changed my opinion of people. When I was hammering nails I wanted to be the guy in the office. Now I want to go back to the hammering. Its a lot more rewarding and at least you can look in the rearview mirror at the end of the day and see what you accomplished. People seem to think whatever line of work your in its just for the paycheck. Some of us need more. It's our chosen career. We take it serious and its everything. I can understand how you feel. I needed materials when I was learning taxidermy. I went to a guy (I think his name was Larry) he owned Elephant Head Taxidermy here in Colorado. I bought some elk antlers from him and he said what's your plans. I said I wanted to own my own business. He said good. There is a lot of competition out there. Then he asked if I enjoyed taxidermy and I said yes. His parting words were Taxidermy is great. Until you have to make a living from it. I stuck with the family business and built homes. I practice taxidermy in my spare time/mainly to work myself off from the ledge. I compete against myself. To you and those who have devoted your life to the craft I applaud you. You found something you loved and you made it work. 60 years is unbelievable. And some of you (Fish Art as one) have been blessed by God. Money or not you have something money can't buy and you have to put it out there. It was meant to be.
As I said before, it sounds like you've got it all figured out George...
We'll use the "young and dumb like you" assumption for example:
I was at the doctor not long ago, who advised me that at my age, 50, I was too old to be doing things I did 30 years ago and I needed to start taking it easy. This advice came from a professional, ( in a field comparable to rocket science ), who was not much younger than you, who'd actually done his homework unlike you, and actually knew my age, and was truly trying to educate me and make me "wiser".. I realize to a man like you, your perception of everyone is young and dumb but in the real world no one with any common sense considers 50 young. You know as well as I do I'll be your age in a couple weeks...
I'll be the first to admit I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but I have been blessed with a certain amount of "common sense", especially when it comes to recognizing an over abundance of BS..... Believe it or not, I've actually been tested for the "dumb" bug and again was advised by elders wiser than myself, I'd actually have to lose 4 points off my I.Q. to be considered "average" and another 45 to be considered "below average", let alone "dumb".. For Pete's sake George, Dumb?...
I know you have a particular infatuation with your trademark saying "Taxidermy ain't rocket science, anyone can do it" but I don't think you can argue that it's not science, at the very least. Doing it properly is a life long learning process, especially the biological end of it and typically takes a dedicated taxidermist a lifetime to learn "correctly".. My point is this, If you recognize that some do it better than others, then surely you recognize the methods used to get it to the wall are not the same. To assume that an established reputable taxidermist is just the same as a novice in the white pages is nothing more than a guess, and a poor one at that, reinforced by the fact that in today's world anyone can look up a business rating at the flip of a finger... And on a side note speaking for me personally, I've never used the white pages, or taken a pay cut so a client wouldn't go else where as you've assumed, and I'm doing just fine..
So before you accuse me of being to dumb to recognize analogies as is typical for you, I'd say yes George, I recognized the analogies, they were just poor analogies...
Lastly, it's been decades since my early teens when I last sneered and ridiculed my elders. I figured out at a young age that if I was observant enough, I could learn from them, weather it was wisdom or weather it was BS, I could still learn from it.. Let's just hope when I reach your age and trying to help my youngers, I've gained the wisdom to realize I don't have all the answers, to be less cantankerous and more open minded, to know when to give advice on things where I've done my homework, and when to hold my tongue.
God bless you George, and may you have the best of retirements....
Times do change. Nobody pounds nails anymore. Wish that nail guns were this common when I was pounding 16D's.
That was Ed Borner at Elephant Head Taxidermy . I met him in the 70's. He has to be a old fart like George and I and JL by now.
Steve, years on earth and age in the context I referenced are two entirely different concepts. Doctors advice are seldom examples I use as doctors kill more people each year than handguns and automobiles. I had a doctor who was my height weighing 100 pounds more than me telling me I needed to lose weight. I told him,"Physician, heal thyself."
For forgive me for being impertinent, but you are a relative newcomer to the industry. Being as small as we are, familiarity with up and comes is pretty common. You arrived, much like Tom Voyer, as if you'd dropped from the sky. Your work seemed exceptionally good for someone with no history with us but you certainly had enough ego to match that level. Many people here seem to think they can bring the experience from previous applications and steam right through but usually have a rude awakening to the reality of dealing with all social and mental levels of humanity her that they were previously isolated from. Most "successful" taxidermist make their real game from ancillary endeavors. J.W. Ellwood never did taxidermy, Mike Boyce was a fundamentalist preacher, Burt VanDyke sold supplies, I never heard of Kevin McKenzie until he started selling deer mankins, and more people know Larry Blomquist as owning the WTC and Breakthrough magazine rather than a taxidermist.
I'm as arrogant and self-assured as you are and I know you'd never learn anything from me. If you did, you'd deny it. The post wasn't meant for people like us. It was a cautionary tale for those who don't share our traits. I voiced my opinion and whether you take it as prophetic bluster or abject buffoonery really matters little to me. I don't have anything left to prove to anyone other than myself.
I think getting out of the industry is a good idea George. Find something that makes you happy, and spend your time doing that. Good luck with your retirement.
George, It's been a pleasure over the years reading your posts, you have a gift in your writing. Enjoy your retirement and we'll probably see you on here tomorrow (unless you're out fishing)..
Richard your right! Thank you. The day I was in his shop he had 3 antelope heads on a turntable and he was mounting/sewing them while he was on the phone and doing one heck of a nice job. He had quite the set up. He had an outfitting service (African) and his wife if I remember correctly ran that part so she would set up the hunts and he'd mount the trophies. I remember a Rainbow he had on his wall. Nothing big 10-12" maybe and he had mounted it for some guy as it was his sons first trout. He had the perfect amount of every color on it and just the right sheen. Everything about it was awesome. I can still see that trout today. I hope he's doing great because he was there to help me when I needed it. When I referred to him as Larry I may have been thinking about Larry Tripplet and I'm trying to remember how I knew him. John Lager mounted a lot of fish for me if you ever heard of him.
Yes I knew John Larger too. Larry Tripplet wrote a book on taxidermy , if I remember correctly. Do you Pike fish with a fly rod ? Had to ask.
You hit tje nail on the head
you hit the nail on the head . It is the customers that burn you out. I grew up in the industry working with my father. Ive had it with the customers especially the younger ones. Demanding , self absorbed , spoiled rotten . The young sportsman have taken any joy out of doing taxidermy I ever had out of me. I couldn't wait to go to work, it was always my pride and joy. Now its a chore to get out of bed in the morning and deal with collecting money from punks that don't appreciate it. Their more than happy to brag about their 80K truck it took to haul the buck they had 6000 pictures of and managed to finally shoot over a bait pile. I have always gotten along better with the older generation of sportsman. I enjoy their stories more as they have more substance and detail. We delivered a Elk pedestal mount to an elder long time customer. Was the best time with a customer I have had in a very long time. Even though Ive heard most of the stories of the mounts I have done for him I still enjoyed hearing them. Only reason I haven't quit taxidermy is because of people like him.
Cole, I had to chuckle over that. I know I've been a thorn in your side many times, but you're still a bit short on comprehension. I'm quitting taking in commercial work. I'm closing my shop. Didn't say a thing about getting out of the industry. You aren't that lucky. I'll be here as a thorn in your side until one of us leaves and I ain't got any plans for that YET.
Congrats on your retirement George! May the wind always be at your back.
Brian, I had to chuckle over that, it's hard for the wind to be at ones back when the majority of it comes out the front...
Steven, you probably laugh at your own farts, don't you. It's amusing that I addressed the attitudes in my opening thread. Seems like everyone had a positive take on it except those few I referred to there. "Qualities we most dislike in others are those that we, ourselves possess." Some wise guy
George, I giggle just about every time I fart! What does that mean?
For the record, I thought Steven's comment was quite witty and also made me laugh!
I fart when I sneeze. Its all pretty much the same thing.
Not always. Never trust a fart when you’re over 50.
There is a difference! When a sneeze hits ya there aint no stopping it nor the ensuing fart and yes the occasional crapping of your pants. You just roll with whatever happens in that instance.