The Story Behind Rick Mee’s 038
By Rick Mee
In 1995 I raised two nestmates who would change my family of rollers forever, RLM 95-038, and RLM 95-037 which was once owned by Wendell Spisak of MI, now back in my loft. These two nestmate cocks flew in my WC finals kits from 1995-2000, all finishing in the top 10 in the world.
When I flew against the late Monty Neible of Canada while living in WA 96-97, Monty would often comment during his visits to my loft on the roll of “Those Whites.” After Eldon Cheney judged the 1998 WC finals, he phoned me after my 2nd place finish, relating to myself that “Those three whites” that I had flown for him were the fastest birds he had seen during his finals judging. Two of these three were 037 and 038, the other was a son of 038 which was later taken by a hawk. During the 2000 WC finals, while laying on the roof of Ken Easley’s home, Heine Bijker of Holland told Ken that Ken’s Doughnut which was overhead, along with my two white cocks, were the fastest 3 rollers he had seen while judging the finals that year.
At this time, and after having breed from 037 and 038 while not flying, I decided to develop a family around just one pigeon, a plan of mine all along once I had identified the right pigeon. I elected to choose my favorite of the two old 5 year old cocks, 038, the other (037) was sold to Wendell in Michigan.
The thing that was so striking, performance wise that is, is how deep these two cocks were. Ordinarily deep cocks lack frequency, these did not, nor did they lack velocity and style, 038 more so than 037. The 038 cock would nearly always roll with it’s wings up and in, 037 was capable of the same however would roll H style more often than not, hence my decision to use 038 for my project.
In 1996 I aquired a black cock from Jerry Higgins of CA, mating him to my best hen and her daughters. I polygamy bred this cock, meaning I had him mated to several hens at the same time, fostering all of their eggs. Through this process I raised nearly 100 young rollers, they proved for the most part to be a bit too hot, therefore the cross was discontinued. However, one hen out of the crosses made the grade, RLM 96-047. I later crossed 047 on my 038 cock, in fact until recently everything in the loft could be traced back to just that one pair, with the best hens being mated back to 038.
Having to deal with the TX heat, previous to this the humidity of lower AL, I found it necessary to cross a more heat tollerant pigeon in to my family of rollers, so I used a Bob Westfall, Jaconette based cock to do the job. Now every pigeon in the loft can be traced back to 038, with about 1/4 Westfall to give them the resilience and desire to fly in this TX heat. Since the introduction of the Westfall blood I have found that my birds come in to the roll earlier, are more frequent, and fly with a nice butterfly wing action which is much desired within the breed but few families possess.
On 8/26/2019 there was an interesting discussion where Rick discusses some details of the early basis of the family.
You may not know of him but Ed was considered a dual purpose guy. In fact in the early 70s. Bill Schrieber bought quite a few pairs off Ed Berniking. He later developed his family from those birds. Some of the most beautiful blue grizzles I’ve ever seen with fish eyes as they were called which were pearl but a milky look in them. Never seen any like them in eye color since. The birds your more familiar with is the white heat birds their down from his Ed Berniking line of birds. Rick started with a red grizzle cock from Jay Thomas.