I came to Michigan from Memphis, Tennessee some 28 years ago. I was working with a construction company at the time, and when the crew left to return home, I decided to stay. I loved this state. The hunting and fishing opportunities that Michigan offered were the best that I had ever seen, and I was determined to take advantage of it.
I had shot a bow when I was younger (some 3D targets and some indoor league stuff) but I never hunted. I hadn't picked up a bow in about 18 years until a family event brought me into the presence of a longbow shooter by the name of Terry Folts of Huron Longbows. Terry made sure I had a bow to shoot. He even took me to an indoor range and then to the Kalamazoo Expo. I was amazed at the bowyer's craft. What beautiful workmanship! While we looked around, Terry casually said, “You'll want to make your way down to the Michigan Longbow Association booth. While you're there buy a membership, ‘cause you're gonna need it.” So that is exactly what I did.
Terry took me to the MLA Spring Shoot and then to Compton Rendezvous, where I was able to join a number of MLA staffers as they helped Floyd and Caroline Wells with the kids’ program. I was so impressed with the way these adults shared their knowledge of the bow and arrow with the kids. I loved what I was seeing and wanted to be a part of it. I was especially intrigued with a fellow by the name of Bob Wyman. He handled the children so well, and they seemed to enjoy his instruction. I determined that these folks were on the right track, and I wanted to be part of this archery movement.
Terry then took me to the Pine River Stickbow Shoot at Elm Hall and then to the Great Lakes Longbow Invitational. By then I was hooked. I couldn't get enough. The people I saw at these shoots were different. There were no strangers there. They were just friends that I had yet to meet. This was four short years ago. I have become part of the MLA family and talk to anyone who will listen about the Michigan Longbow Association. I love this club and want to be more involved.
I come to the Council as a member willing to help in any way I can. I have no agenda to change anything. I simply want to help, especially with the kids’ program. It is so rewarding to see these children enjoying the opportunity to shoot a stick and string. On behalf of my wife, Teresa and my four boys, I want to thank the MLA membership for the opportunity to serve on your Council.