Passing of a Friend and Original Member
Date: Friday, July 31, 2020
For those not deeply acquainted with Mac, here are a few of my thoughts that I would like to share.
I first met Mac at the inception of our Quail Unlimited Chapter in 1992. Mac and several others (Bob McGee, Rod Jedlicki, Randy Payton, Bob Hardin, Dennis Ballard, Ted Mason, Tony Cissell, Mark Payton, and possibly a few more) decided to move forwards and do what we could to promote our sport and improve the plight of our diminishing numbers of birds and fellow hunters. We will continue to move forwards without Mac and without his knowledge of Bobwhite quail and their habitat requirements. Good quail habitat is like good art--hard to describe and create, but you know it when you see it. Mac knew what it was and was glad to share it with his fellow hunting companions.
Deeply devoted to his family's well-being, Mac also had a great love of the outdoors and his adventures into the bird fields with his many dogs---so many over a lifetime that I am not sure he could tell you how many there had been. With a discriminating eye, he would be the first to tell you that they are all different, develop at different ages, and some are just plain better than others. It has been said that a "bird dog person" should be grateful to have one great dog in his lifetime. Mac had more than his share. Bagging a bird or two or more on each trip was good, but watching the dogs hone their skills over the course of a season or two is what he really enjoyed. His ventures into the field were usually in KY, while also enjoying many trips to KS, IN, and WI and possibly more than that.
Mac maintained an athletic lifestyle over the span of his 80+ years and enjoyed playing softball and basketball right up to the very end. Within the last month he played both sports on the same day and was always ready to go again in a day or two.
Recently the Kentucky High School Athletic Association recognized his accomplishments from his playing days in high school. Mac holds the career all-time scoring record in basketball for his now-defunct high school that served the Rineyville/Hardinsburg area.
On another note, Mac enjoyed sports in general as a spectator while nurturing a deep interest in thoroughbred horse racing. Known to make a wager or two as most horse racing fans like to do, he made one bet that no one would surely ever forget. Having placed a "Pick Six" bet at the track, Mac returned home prior to the completion of the day's racing program. Knowing the pooled prize money was significant, he awoke the next day to discover that he had a winning ticket on a prize worth $1.6 million dollars. Back at the track, he learned at the Racing Secretary's office that 19 others also had picked the same combination of winners. Even at that, it was one helluva bet although if it had to be shared among 20 bettors. Always calm and cool throughout his life, I suspect he got a little more than excited on that day.
Mac was always a gentleman, never quick to jump to conclusions or evoke a harsh word towards anyone. The world needs a lot more people like him. He will be missed by all who knew him. The world of hunters and bird dog folks have lost a true advocate for their sport. I hope in his next life, there will be fields full of Bobwhite quail and a kennel full of dogs to develop and nurture.
Speaking for the Commonwealth Chapter of Quail Forever, please keep Mac's family in your thoughts and prayers.