The Breeder's Social

Cleveland, April 28, 2000 - There are a number of non-GFSA events that are occurring this weekend in conjunction with the convention. The health seminar sponsored by the Goldfish Connection and Dr. Erik Johnson is one example. Another is the yearly Breeder's Social, hosted by Gary Hater and Tom "TJ" Mullarky. This has been an annual event at Gary's house for a number of years. The basic premise is that a bunch of goldfish breeders get together for a weekend, drink, smoke cigars, and tell our hobby's version of "fish stories".

Gary Hater, in the blue T-shirt

The format was changed slightly for this year. To broaden the attendance, Gary and TJ moved the event to Cleveland, taking over the "Salon D" suite after the GFSA was done. The principals still seem to enjoy a good stogie (this reporter left after an hour, feeling a little green around the gills), but there were fish there to look at (young Veils, Ranchu, Jikins, and others), and the fish stories were as remarkable as ever.

On display - young fish from early 2000 breeding efforts

Blue Veiltails and a Jikin in the back

Al Foster explained how his two best Ranchu, brought in to condition for the Convention, had both died a few days prior to the show. Tragic, but for those of you out there struggling with your own fish, perhaps it is reassuring to know that even the best breeders have troubles.

Dr. Joe Smartt was in attendance; he will be the head judge for the exhibition. Hopefully he is well known to all, as a British authority on goldfish genetics and the author of the book "Goldfish Breeding and Genetics".

Red and white Ranchu, about 1.5-inches long

Blue Veiltails, about 2-inches long

It's really great that people like Gary and TJ are willing to serve as a rallying point for US goldfish breeding efforts. Activities like the breeder's social, where valuable insights and lessons learned are freely interspersed with humorous stories, move the hobby forward immeasurably by creating a larger pool of shared expertise.