BYC Member Interview - Sourland

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    George, known to BYC members as Sourland has been with us since May 2009. He is much loved by members for his wonderful sense of humour and penchant for mischief (Sourland in trouble) as well as his practical, no nonsense advice. Over the year he has become a wonderful part of the BYC community.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I am 73 years old and have been married to the "Princess" for 50 years. Our relationship is sort of like the 'red neck man and the blue blooded woman'. What can I say. It works. We have a son 48 years old and a daughter 46 years old. Both have added their spouses and 5 GRAND kids to our family.

    I met my wife at a party where I was bartending. I was given a speeding ticket on the way home that night. So just prior to going to court I went to her office at Rutgers University and asked, "If this judge doesn't take my license, will you go out with me tonight?" He didn't take my license and to make a long story short I returned to college to be near her and 14 months later we were married.

    I have a BS in Animal Husbandry from Rutgers (minored in horticulture) and have worked in both fields. I have always related to animals far better than to humans - I was called the crazy zoo keeper as a kid. Go figure.

    I am an amateur naturalist and know a little about a lot of things and not a lot about anything. To spend a day indoors kills me.

    For the past 55 years I have bred, raised, trained, and competed with field trial beagles.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    My mother was German, first generation born in this country. Her parents owned and operated an egg production farm. I have been around chickens my entire life.

    I guess that I am a 'feather addict'. When I was 4 or 5 years old, my BIL took me to see a flock of Birmingham rollers perform. They say that I cried when we had to leave. I have loved the breed ever since. I have raised canaries, parakeets, pigeons chickens, guinea fowl, pea fowl, geese, ducks --- I must be missing something here.

    3. Which aspect(s) of chicken keeping do you enjoy the most?

    A large part of my interest in poultry is utilitarian - they provide meat and eggs, but there is so much more. A performing flock of pigeons feeds the soul. I see sheer beauty in a flock of birds in a pasture or an outstanding individual in a show pen. Leghorns to me are the epitome of chicken beauty.

    4. Which members of your flock, past and present, stand out for you and why?

    For the first time in my life I am without birds of any sort. For our 50th anniversary my wife and I took a 3 week trip to the South Pacific. Just prior to this I relocated the last of my Birmingham Rollers. The overabundance of hawks was putting me out of business anyway.

    Two of my most memorable 'pet' birds were Donald (a white Pekin duck)who was my constant companion for my 3rd summer. He disappeared, and the jury after all this time is still out on what happened to him. The second was 'Gus the Goose' a human imprinted gander.

    5. What was the funniest (chicken related) thing(s) that happened to you in your years as chicken owner?

    Shortly after we moved into our home, I started building pens in the cellar. The Princess said, "You'll never get those pens out the cellarway." I replied, "They are going to stay here. They are winter pens for my show roosters." I was raising and showing light brown leghorn bantams at the time. Fast forward to spring and a couple of city guys are installing carpet in the house when the roosters started crowing. "Lady, do you have chickens near the house?" "yes, said the Princess - they are in the cellar." "Just like the Beverly Hillbillies goes one of the carpet guys", and they crack up hysterically. She did not think that was funny. The roosters moved back outside.

    Elaine never met my family until after we were engaged - long story there. My Mom wanted to take her "Bridal Shower" shopping so I brought her home. Culture shock for a city girl. I was introducing her to the animals when I noticed that she was apprehensive around my beagles. Gus the Goose and his mate happened by with some newly hatched goslings so I scooped one up and ran back towards her with the geese in hot pursuit. She chose the lesser of two evils and jumped into the dog pen. She did not think that was funny either, but she still married me.

    6. Beside chickens, what other pets do you keep?

    Other pets include the beagles - 8 at the present time which is an all time low. We also have Dani a 6 year old golden retriever who still acts like a surrogate teenaged daughter, and then there is Scaredy Cat a feral cat that showed up 4 years ago. It's hard to call her a pet, but I provide food and shelter for her.

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    I am basically a technophobe and lurked here on BYC for 2 or 3 years prior to joining. My fingers have been busy ever since joining. I spend a lot of time on BYC spread between some strictly social threads, welcoming newcomers, and responding to unanswered threads when I think that perhaps I can help. This is a great community providing an excellent resource to all fanciers.

    I am aware that at times some of my comments may be perceived as a bit on the blunt side - after all with a combination of Scottish and German DNA what's a guy to do? Trust me that my intent is to help.


    Sour and Rattler

    The Princess and Dani


    The house of Sourland


    Picture from back deck of 3 compartment flying loft


    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  2. N F C

    N F C booooo!

    Dec 12, 2013
    Wonderful interview! George, I love the way you tell stories...your wife is a lucky woman, as I am sure you are a lucky guy.

    Thank you for sharing with all of us!
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  3. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Well this was an interesting read, and nice to put a face to the name too [​IMG] You have a nice house, and good looking dogs.
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Humor and Mischief, me? Thanks Sumi.

    Felix, what about the good looking folks? [​IMG]
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  5. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Sour, I addressed you appearance on another thread already, but I'd say you two look like a happy, healthy and energetic couple. To put it in dog terms, I'd say two good specimens, although the male has a slightly thin coat of fur on top of it's head [​IMG] The missus looks like a cool lady, you hold on to that one.
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  6. chickwhispers

    chickwhispers A French Hen

    Apr 16, 2012
    Northwest OH
    My Coop
    Wonderful to "meet" such a great couple! Awesome interview! And a interesting bit of background. I'm thinking that there was never a dull moment for the Princess. :clap
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  7. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Crossing the Road

    Aug 23, 2012
    I love it! your get together story was cool! Beautiful home (I love your ferns on the porch and beautiful flowers) and what a beautiful family! Thank you for sharing!
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Oh yes, definitely! You had me in stitches more than once with your wonderful stories [​IMG].

    @chickwhispers George is not going to confess to anything here. Go read some of his older threads, like the one I linked in the introduction. He married an absolutely gem! [​IMG]
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

    I thought of using this emoticon, [​IMG] but did not want to embarrass anyone. [​IMG]
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    HOLY CROW George!!! I just have to applaud you!! [​IMG] You are just a FASCINATING PERSON! I always knew you had it going, but WOW you are incredible!!! Now I know who I am talking to when we chat! [​IMG]

    What a nice interview George. You and your Princess are just gorgeous, and so is your life!! [​IMG]
    Chick-N-Fun and drumstick diva like this.

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