Buttes, Coulees, Thunderclouds & Sun Rises

Whitney Road to McGuffey Lane and the Blue Goose

The title of this DVD was, like my last DVD, influenced by CJ Renner’s book, the famous artist of the Wild West. In the forward, the author … put those four words together at the end of a sentence, buttes, coulees, thunderclouds and sunrises. Some people are gifted and can really write, I am not one of them. Those four words together took me to a million different places and all of them have pleasant memories; some with Eddie, sitting on the edge of some Arizona buttes, shivering in the dark, waiting for the sun to come up. Those words also take me to South Dakota with my buddy, the meat man, Big John Frohling, overlooking the Missouri River Breaks and looking for coyotes coming out of coulees and drainages. They also remind me of sipping coffee with my wife Amber on the back patio, watching the sun come up and sharing a few camp fires, cooking hotdogs and marshmallows with our son Wyatt and the dogs, listening to the winds song and crackle of the fire. .

There are over 60 kills on this DVD, some great stories, the introduction to my Premium Grade Series of Calls, and a few kills with a new line of choke tubes I have been working on for several years called Serenade Silencers.

Like all of my DVD’s there is a subtitle, Whitney Road to McGuffey Lane and the Blue Goose . All of those places hold a special place in my heart and bring back a lifetime of great memories.

On a forty acre farm run by my grandparents, Erwin and Pauline Zepp, I got my first taste of the outdoors. Most of my earliest childhood memories occurred there, off of Whitney Road in Wellington, OH. It was the late 60’s and very early 70’s. I got my first BB gun, shot my first .22 rifle, ran a trap line which consisted of a half dozen or so mouse traps, fished and made “fortresses” in the hay mallow with my brother, Charlie. It’s hard to know the who, what, when, where and why when it comes to influencing a kid, but that 40 acre farm certainly impacted my life and I am forever grateful to my grandparents and especially my dad for providing me with the opportunities on that little piece of ground. Those 40 acres seemed like 40 thousand acres to a young kid exploring the first Treefine Hereford Farm. A crow call purchased for me by my grandfather gave me my first taste of calling success….and would change my life forever.

I remember a local farmer, Jerry Brassee standing next to his truck, on Whitney Road, waiting on some fox hounds to cross the road. There were three red fox in the back of his truck and I can still close my eyes and reach out and feel that silky, soft fur. Years later, as a young teenager, Jerry introduced me to coon hunting which has also has been a big part in my life.

Most importantly, I can still see my grandmother cooking oatmeal on the old stove top and smell the cherry tobacco from my grandfather’s pipe. I have a picture framed in my office with some horned Hereford cattle. In one of the photos, my dad is a young man and in the process of washing and hosing down a herd bull he’d just bought….Whitney Road will always be a special place for this Zepp.

That farm was sold so a bigger one in the hills of southern OH could be purchased. I got older and went to college a few miles down the road and got a dose of McGuffey Lane. McGuffey Lane is a band which was very popular in the early 80’s in OH and had a few hits on the national scene. They were the opening act for guys like Charlie Daniels, the Marshall Tucker Band and many other popular bands in that period. If you stepped on any college campus in OH in the early and mid 80’s somebody had them cranked up on their stereo. They played off of High Street in Columbus and ruled the Ohio State Campus and that part of the world. These guys were AWESOME and destined for greatness. Then, a couple of really unfortunate incidents occurred, and just like that, their shot at “the big time” and national fame was over.

Some of my fondest Zepp family memories occurred during this “McGuffey Lane” period of my life. I can still see my dad, who was a physician, rockin’ out to Green Country Mountains and hollering and jumping around as a pair of Bose speakers fired up the countryside. I was 19 or 20 years old and I’d never seen him act like that. For the first time he was letting his guard down around me and becoming as much of a friend as a parent. Even today, when you see my Advantage Max-1 Suburban headed your way, you better get ready to hear a little of those killer harmonies and country rock from the boys of McGuffey Lane.

Looking back on it now, I can see that much of my dad’s job was already done by then, he had already influenced me and made me the person and the man that I would turn out to be. There were old guys on and around the farm, like the late Charles Gruen and Raymond Frye that added there touches and influenced me as well.

McGuffey Lane still plays around the Columbus area even though many of the original members are no longer alive or have left the band. They are still worth the price of admission.

I think of these guys often because I have most of their music downloaded on my Apple .. and listen to them on the many trips and nights away from home I spend out on the road each year. You need to understand that they were WORLD CLASS GOOD, but most of you reading this have never heard of them. For me, their story serves as a very important life lesson and should be to anyone out there getting into the DVD coyote game. You have to have a terrific product, surround yourself with quality people and catch a little luck along the way. That “luck” means you’ll need to be willing to work 100 hours a week for long periods of time. Many people mistakenly think that you simply need to make a DVD or a call and you’ll have instant success. The truth is, the hardest part is the marketing efforts and coming up with the money that has to be spent on those marketing efforts in order to be successful. For a small guy, it is extremely difficult to break into the game and there are some very tough times along the way.

Outside of the village of Nellie, just across the bridge over the Walhonding River was a one gas pump small store called the Blue Goose. It was located in a “dry” township, but if you knew the secret handshake and had cash in your hand as a teenager, you could buy a six pack out of the back room, or at least that’s what I heardJ. I checked in some of the first deer I ever killed as a kid at the “Goose”. It was a place you could walk in and they’d slice off a big piece of cheese and a chunk of meat and make you a sandwich, sell you some bait for a lazy afternoon on the river, and fill you up with gas and the local gossip.

Like all of us, the “Goose” got older, and unfortunately, shut down a few years ago. If I were to ever win the lottery, one of things I’d do is reopen that little place next to the river I used to fish, hunt and trap off of.

Awww…. those were some dandy sandwiches and great times.

I hope you enjoy our latest DVD!

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