Author Topic: Keepers  (Read 50 times)

Offline Jake St. John

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« on: December 28, 2020, 09:57:56 AM »

     I had gone by Mr. Jimmy’s to get a new duck call from him in 1967.  Mr. Jimmy had always preached to us young neophytes to always pocket your Mr. Jimmy call when not in use.  By doing that, he said you would not lose the end out of it. 
      Well, I had done just that,  and dreaded telling him the fact.   After he gave me the needed tongue lashing, he said.  “It’s late season and I have sold all of my calls that I made this year.”  With that my face dropped and I stared at his old antebellum tongue and groove flooring.
He must have felt sorry for me because he said. “Go over to that end table drawer, pull it out and pick you out a new call.”   When I pulled out the drawer, I was looking at 20 to 25 of the prettiest Mr. Jimmy calls I had ever laid eyes upon.  “I put a couple of Keeper calls in there every year.  The Creme De Creme of that years calls if you will.  Now THOSE calls are $25 apiece.”  ($10 more than his regular calls).
     After going through about 8 calls, I hit on one particular call.  It was a dark Burl Walnut call with a middle Osage band and a Osage mouthpiece.  After giving it a complete battery of hail calls, and soft confidence calls,  Mr. Jimmy turned to me and said, “Let me see that call.”   Mr. Jimmy started hail calling on that call like nobody but Mr. Jimmy could.   He then turned to me, looking at the call, and said “I’ll be dammed.  -  I used that call for three years and it changed on me.  I put in the drawer.  It’ been sitting in that drawer for 2 years and be dammed if it hasn’t changed back for the better.”    I told Mr. Jimmy that that was the call I wanted and gave him $25 as fast as I could.  That duck call has been my go to call for 55 years and counting. 

If you are a Callmaker, I am sure you have a few Keepers in a drawer.  I would love to hear their stories!   Mr. E