The year was 2002 and three old friends decided to join forces and enter the then fledging one loft pigeon tournaments that were beginning to form throughout America. The question was "Do we have a bloodline" that could compete and the answer was No " but the solution to the problem was the two family of pigeons that were owned by both Peter Miller and Rudy Zitz who competed in the New York State Central Valley Combine . The plan was for both Peter and Rudy to merge their top three  performing pairs together under Rudy and with two  outside additions and create the Grizzle Family that would become "Ghost Shadows".
JOHN MC GRENAGHAN: A lifelong Grizzle advocate who stopped active competitive flying due to business travel was assigned the task of bringing in the two outside components and then proceeded to contact both Mike Ganus and the late Chris Peeman to discuss stock available for purchase . As you can probably imagine , the reaction that followed when two  white grizzle babies arrived at the doorsteps of Rudy was not printable in this rendition . One was down from the Golden Witten line of Mike Ganus and the other down from Crystal at Oak Haven farms. In both cases , I never negotiated price and let each gentleman select or hold off for another year. After a winter of skepticism from both Peter and Rudy would come a White Grizzle Cock that would change the landscape for Team Catskill USA and that pigeon would be referred to as "The Ghost."
PETER MILLER: An established pigeon flyer for forty years who competed with both Rudy and I over a decade had a variety of bloodlines but one family stood apart and they were known by all as "The Old Ones". They were slate blues who distinguished themselves in headwinds , poor visibility , and distance races that tendered to suck the vitality from those competing . They were extremely aggressive with loft mates and known to fight as a tandem team when defending their space and nest . These were selected by Rudy to merge with his pigeons and form one of the top "Anchor Lines" to the family that would become known as "Ghost Shadows".
RUDY ZITZ: The late Rudy Zitz was totally committed to racing pigeons and was considered the toughest competitor in the Central New York Valley Concourse. As a side note , Rudy developed fancy show pigeons such as Model Bronzes and English short faces that never lost a competition anywhere in the Northeast and this skill earned him acclaim far and wide. His racing pigeons were multiple first place winners at the distance and earned accolades as Ace Digest award winners. He had a feel for mating and never considered the eye when pairing. Charlie Lee and the late Roy Necaise were astonished at the eye quality of the Ghost Shadow family and pigeon after pigeon carried these features throughout. Rudy would buy at an auction race the first bird into the opposite section . I would ask "This pigeon was 10th ?" and he would reply "The other nine had the wind as their jockey" and this one on courage and heart came over 50 miles alone. So Rudy began the process of blending Peter's brawlers with his performance genes and adding my two additions to create a line that has accumulated over 105,000 points in an eleven year period. But that is a story to come as the journey unfolds in detail to bear witness to this family who rose from the shadows to create a legacy of strength and honor. One man , his skill and dream to have his "Ghost Shadows" never yield the front.
ROY NECAISE: I met the late Roy Necaise and his wife Laura at the Texas shootout in 2005 and a friendship developed between the Team Catskill team and both Roy and his Gulfport, MS partner, Charlie Lee. Team Catskill had finished third [ 3rd ] average speed in the event hosted by the late Chris Peeman and equal first [ 1st ] the next day at the Las Vegas one loft classic with a brother to the 2004 Equal First winner. All three were Grizzles and Roy became a Customer and in turn, introduced Charlie to the family. Both Roy and Charlie were advocates of "The Eye" and were known to travel hundreds of miles to handle a double winner at the 500 / 600 mile stations. They were "Stunned" at the eye quality of the Team Catskill pigeons and the fact that they took what perches they wanted and became immediate "Alpha" pigeons in their lofts. At this time period, Rudy's cancer was advancing and signs were indicating that change was imminent and Rudy was concerned for his pigeons long term well being . He passed in the summer of 2007 and left a void with all who knew this man. Both Roy and Charlie joined the Team Catskill Syndicate and I prepared to ship all of the key pigeons to Roy in the fall of 2007. The two  years that followed in 2008 / 2009 were spent settling and Team Catskill did not participate much in the One Loft circuit. Roy was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in 2009 and the pigeons were being scheduled to move over to Charlie's property as Roy eventually passed in the summer of 2010. Laura was being tasked with the daily chores of caring for the pigeons so a plan was devised and carried out to relocate in the fall of 2010
CHARLES LEE: Charlie spent the latter part of 2010 and 2011 adjusting to the loss of a second partner and becoming familiar with all of the stock that comprised the Team Catskill core pigeon components. He quickly concluded the pigeons were very aggressive in both sexes and tended to dominate any loft mates for perch locations and feed positions. Team Catskill has had four young pigeons returned over the years as too aggressive and for the most part they were 35/40 days old ? Charlie can not believe how tough these pigeons are and we notify folks in advance not to expect choir boys. A combination of Peter's brawlers , Rudy's opposite section winners and the two  white young grizzles have produced a family that some have indicated would do very well in Mexico as Cock fighters. Charlie handles the full operation with regard to the breeding and testing of the new pairs and grading prospects for future one loft completion . He is available at 228 - 326-7069 to discuss the pigeons and offer advice on what you are seeking. I handle advertising , the Corporation and help select the race tournaments that offer a good return on investment . My cell is 201 - 259-5033 and I am the historian on this family and welcome calls. They are called "Ghost Shadows" because the dark grizzles are down from the Shadow Line and the White Grizzles down from the Ghost Line. The few color birds that we produce are not sought after so Charlie flies them and wins races and average speeds in Gulfport, MS.
High on the wind forever free