I don't remember just how I met Lou McElroy but I do recall his love for pigeons. He had some pigeons that were in a friends loft in Benson North Carolina. One day he stopped by to tell me he could no longer keep the pigeons at Benson because his friend was moving, but he did manage to get another friend in Cary NC to build a loft and he put some of his Gurnays in that loft. We did train the pigeons together at times, and it was on these drives I got to really know and like Lou. It was not long before Lou again was asked to get his pigeons out of that loft in Cary. With no place to put his pigeons I offered him to fly with me.Let me tell you he jumped on it. The expression on his face went from sadness to joy. He told me he had few pair of Gurnays that he would like to put in the breeding loft. There was no way I could say no. I knew how much he loved his Gurnays.
We did pretty well with some of his Gurnays we had a Black Splash hen that won a club race and a Blue Checker hen that always was in the top ten percent combine and also won at the club level. Lou knew that my pigeons were 3/4 Hansenne 1/4 HVR. He told me how Reiner Gurney got his pigeons from Hansenne. As it turns out they had no clocks to time the pigeons in when they returned from a race. So they had runners that would have to run to a meeting place with the pigeon to show proof that the pigeon returned. Luckily for Hansenne Reiner Gurnay was a fast runner. Hansenne was going to get out of racing pigeons and told Gurnay if he won the race "He could keep the pigeon". I can bet that Gurnay ran a lot faster when he was told he could keep the pigeon.
Lou always sent pigeons into the Gurnay race. I think it was from this race that he befriended Dr. John Kazmierczak. Lou sent him some of the Gurnays that were in the breeding loft in turn Dr. John Kazmierczak send Lou an Ople Gurnay cock. Let me tell you that was one of the nicest racing pigeons I ever held. when I let the birds out that cock never flew with the flock he was always on the side and he was bigger then any of the pigeons in the flock. Lou liked the pigeon so much that he asked me to put him in the stock loft. The shame of it was he never filled an egg. We put him on three hens without any luck.
What I enjoyed most about Lou was his upbeat outlook on life and his stories about racing. My favorite was the driver told Lou that two of his pigeon would not come out of the truck and he had to chase them out long after the other pigeons were released. Turns out that those two pigeons were first and second in the race.
I know that most fliers feel that Gurnay pigeons are outdated and don't perform well but I am not so sure about that. The Gurnays that Lou had all those years ago raced really well. They were also nice to handle. If you ever seen that Ople cock from Dr. John Kazmierczak that was sent to Lou you would understand why some could never part with them.