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Old 06-24-2008, 07:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
 

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dogman pete sparks interview

I got this off of game-dogs,what do you guys think of the interview?
An interview With Pete Sparks

By: Randy Goodman

RG: In what year did you get your first American Pit Bull Terrier?

PS: In 1926. I got a white dog from Harry Monroe. I called the dog BILL, his registered name was Harlon's HIGHLAND BOY. The dog's picture was on the back of the old Bloodlines Journal magazine.

RG: So BILL was your first Pit Bull?

PS: Yes. I then went up to Erie, Pennsylvania, to Pete Dugan's place and picked up a mother and daughter from Pete Dugan. NELLIE and QUEENIE. NELLIE was a buckskin bitch and QUEENIE was a white bitch. These three dogs were my start. By the beginning of the depression I was up to 17 dogs.

RG: What year was it when you met H.Q. Kennedy?

PS: It was in February 1953. There was a convention up his way. He was having trouble with his magazine and a few guys suggested that I take it over. H.Q. did not want to give it up but by the following morning we had made a deal.

RG: So you published "Your Friend and Mine" magazine from 1953 to what year?

PS: From 1953 to 1974. I found out I had some stool pidgeons on the mailing list and some of the pictures in the magazine turned up on TV in Boston. Pop Hunter called me to tell me about it, so after that we found out we had the Humane Society on our mailing list.

RG: Was this your only reason for stopping "Your Friend and Mine?"

PS: Well, Baker Davis was complaining that I did not give him enough publicity. I had made up some flyers of the matches. Jack Kelly was to go into Petronelli but Jack's father died and that match was called off. Well, the Humane Society got hold of one of those flyers and had the law raid the show. After that I decided to stop publishing the magazine.

RG: Did you get arrested?

PS: Oh yes. They got 17 of us at the show. Baker's wife was arrested for selling beer without a license. The cops hit Baker on the head with their flashlights. He had put up a fight, but still went to jail with us.

RG: What year was it when you first saw HUNKY?

PS: That was about 1954. I stopped off to see Pop Hunter and we went to Bob Henneberger's place. He would throw a ball and HUNKY would run and get it and bring it back to him.

RG: How did you end up with the dog?

PS: Well you see, Henneberger had a young son and the boy hit HUNKY with a toy or something and HUNKY tried to bite him. Henneberger knew I liked the dog so he wrote me and I bought him for $100.00.

RG: Did you ever roll HUNKY before he was matched?

PS: Oh yes, we rolled him with some guy in Washington Heights, a bad shoulder dog. When I was in Summerville, South Carolina, Bob O'Neal and Bob Hemphill tried to match into me, but I was already matched in Cuba, through Bebo Goenaga.

RG: Was that HUNKY's only match?

PS: Yes. The match in Cuba was in 1956, 2:17 without a turn. The other dog, WILLY LINGO was the stronger of the two early. Bebo would come over to me and ask, "What da you think? - What da you think?" I told him that when HUNKY was down he was resting. When WILLY LINGO was down he was dying.

RG: Why was this his only match?

PS: Well, you see, I had him matched into Mike Ferris. J.T. Collier was working HUNKY, but HUNKY had heart worms so instead of taking a chance on HUNKY's reputation, we called off the match. HUNKY lived to
be 12 years old.

RG: When did you move to Florida?

PS: In 1966. I bought that place from Joe Orday.

RG: What bloodline did you use the most?

PS: Colby/DIBO. The DIBO dogs would only go for 45 minutes and quit. But crossing the Colby blood with DIBO and they would go all day.

RG: Did you know Earl Tudor?

PS: Yes, he was a good man. He had a fruit stand out in front of his house where he sold whiskey. He would have a few matches and cock fights every weekend.

RG: What did you think of Carver as a dog man?

PS: He did everything that was against the law. Sold drugs, had a whore house. His uncle was a judge and his brother was a sheriff, but he did everything against the law.

RG: What about the way he registered his dogs?

PS: Peggy Harper would give Carver one of her staffs. If it would fight, he would breed them and put whatever papers on the dog he wanted. You know, Joe Corvino was the same way. He would buy a whole litter from Gene Faulkerson for $7.00 a pup and would sell you any
blood you wanted out of this same litter.

RG: So do you believe the dogs of today are bred the way their papers say they are?

PS: No. No one can say that any dog goes back to this dog or that dog, unless you were there when they were bred. I think the Colby dogs are the purest line today.

RG: After going to all those conventions, who do you think was the best conditioner?

PS: J.T. Collier and George Saddler where very hard to beat, but Tudor was one of the very best. Later on came Don Mayfield and Don Maloney. Mayfield was a very hard man to beat. Tudor told me one day that he taught Don Maloney everything he knew, but not all of what Tudor knew.

RG: Well Pete, you will be 93 years old on February 21st. Do you have any regrets about how you lived your life?

PS: No, and I hope to make it to a hundred. These dogs made me what I am. If you stay true to yourself and to the dogs you are breeding, in time, you'll come to the top.

~ Fin.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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[quote=cane76] I told him that when HUNKY was down he was resting. When WILLY LINGO was down he was dying.

quote]

That's gotta be the best part. I'm still laughing. Great article. I think you always have to take it with a grain of salt when one guy bad mouths another but I've read several comments that would lead me to beleive that the sport was ruined by dishonorable dogmen. Lots of guys point the finger at the guy who also participates in less than respectable activities like drugs. Look at it now. Anytime somone hears about a "dog fight" they immediately picture MV and "cruel human entertainment" or "forced to fight to the death" It's obvious that it's been ruined by idiots. Who's to say MC wasn't that way? I wasn't there. I'm sure there's a sh*tload of paper hanging going back to the good ole days but can you blame them? Just think of it as trade secrets, lol. I personally don;t have a need for papers or pedigrees. Everything I need to know about my dog and her past is in my head. For that, I was there.lol
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Man, dogmen used to always talk smack!!! But in all that there was alot of truth. Amazing how those issues are still present today. Even paper hanging! And I agree with Ol' Petey, no blood can touch Colby...
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
 

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I tend to think he's tell'in the truth about it,maybe strenchin it a bit but basically tellin the truth..
pete sparks and his swinford bandog toro
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very nice. I'd bet he kept him for security purposes. Lots of dogs were stolen even back in his days. My Rott always served as a deterant. I made sure everyone knew she was present when I wasn't.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
 

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Probably,
alittle known fact is that those swinford dogs were created by dogmen,[martin lieberman,jack kelly,swinford was used as a on site vet at matches]and used as fighting dogs at times.
Pete sparks was just another game dog man who owned one.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Very interesting, indeed. One question, though. It says he stopped printing his magazine in 1974 because there were stool pigeons on the mailing list. I thought dog fighting was outlawed in 1975? How did they get arrested prior to that?
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Great !!!!!!!

That was a classic interview. I have know many old dogmen and was introduced into bulldogs 30yrs ago but have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr.sparks which I still have hope of doing. Please share any other interviews you do are have.

Last edited by nittpitt; 03-22-2009 at 11:09 PM. Reason: /
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by nittpitt View Post
That was a classic interview. I have know many old dogmen and was introduced into bulldogs 30yrs ago but have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr.sparks which I still have hope of doing. Please share any other interviews you do are have.
You might need a medium for that 'cause Pete Sparks, if I'm not mistaken, died in 1994.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Jimmy got his first pit bull from pete sparks when he was about 13.
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