Time Flies When We’re Having Fun | Has It Really Been 30 Years? When I was only four years old, my love for TV’s Lassie prompted my parents, Roy and Hazel Ayers, to surprise me with a Collie. We began to play “pretend dog show” at home, in parks, and on a nearby ballfield. I worked with my dog on a leash every day, brushed her and fed her. My father immediately recognized that her quality was not pleasing to his eye. He subscribed to Dog World magazine and purchased our foundation dog, Ch. Poplar Stop the Music, from New York. My first times in the conformation ring began when I was only six years old. My parents made everything about the sport our family hobby. Choosing our kennel name was a contest between the three of us… Conrad Collie Kennels was chosen, as our street name sounded good with Collies. (They let me think it was my idea.) Musical names would be our theme. If you look in old magazines and books, there you will find me showing Ch. Conrad’s Dancing in the Dark and many others. Mother had my show attire custom-made. My Poodle-type skirts featured felt cutouts of Conrad Collies.
I showed alongside my father, and as he became the President of the Collie Club of Georgia, I was their first Junior Member. During the years when he was President of the Atlanta Kennel Club, I enjoyed teaching training and grooming classes, doing TV appearances and radio shows. He was President of the Southeastern Association of Kennel Clubs as well as serving as AKC Delegate for the Atlanta Kennel Club. During those years, my brother, Roy Ayers, Jr., was born and became the newest family participant in our sport. We were blessed to travel around the globe, watching and learning as our father embarked on the next step.
When my father pursued his judging career, his philosophy was to either judge or show. He asked us to discontinue exhibiting in the conformation ring. All three of us became AKC Conformation judges—a rarity! As an All-Rounder, my dad inspired in our family a great love and respect for the American Kennel Club—our lifelong passion.
These were the stories that Duane Doll and Joe McGinnis wanted me to contribute to Doll-McGinnis’ newest venture, an all-breed magazine named SHOWSIGHT. They would also be inviting BJ Andrews to join the team, and I had long-admired BJ and her lovely Akitas. SHOWSIGHT would be a positive magazine—and the dog world was really ready for one. What fun, I thought, and LINES FROM LINDA
Over the past three decades, it has been my delight to share memories and pay homage to the many friends who have contributed to our family’s incredible journey in the dog world. In more recent years, LOOKING BACK THROUGH LINDA’S LENS and MEMORIES CAPTURED BY LINDA AYERS TURNER KNORR have become new additions to the magazine.
Time takes all but memories. With the passing years, I lost both of my parents, Roy and Hazel Ayers, and my dear friends, Duane Doll and Joe McGinnis. AJ Arapovic was like a son to Joe McGinnis and was the perfect person to carry on and grow the distinctive traditions of Doll-McGinnis Publications. I had already fallen in love with AJ and Hanifa and their beautiful girls, so being a part of their newly named Aramedia Group has been a joy!
It is important to name my encouragers who have made writing for SHOWSIGHT so much fun: Samantha Adkins, Daniel Cartier, Cortny White, and Kelli Stout.
In Greenville, South Carolina, where I live, the family Manger Scene is prominently placed by a Bible turned to Luke 2, marked by a red velvet ribbon. Roy Ayers, Jr. and my son, Todd Turner, will travel from Washington, DC and Columbia, South Carolina, to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. The stockings are hung, the trees are lighted, a sleigh full of “fake” presents is in front of the house with Santa on the front porch behind. I’ve been decking the halls for a month while the carols were playing on Pandora. Yes, you can guess we have critical Christmas Spirit!
GOOD LUCK IN ORLANDO AND NEW YORK, HAPPY 30th ANNIVERSARY, SHOWSIGHT, HAPPY HANUKKAH, AND MERRY CHRISTMAS
HO! HO! HO!
Time Flies When We’re Having Fun | Has It Really Been 30 Years?