Born on June 9th 1984 on the yard of Jimmy Atkins was a pup named Buzzsaw’s Patches. She was from the breeding of Buzzsaw’s Stomper ( my dog, but I never have been much on putting my name on papers) to Snakeman’sRunt owned by Atkins). Stomper was sold to me after I saw him in a short roll with one of my early dogs, he looked great and I bought him on the spot. Atkins made one stipulation in the sale, that he retain breeding rights to the dog. He exercised this right a single time, when Stomper was a mere 10 months old. Atkins female was a direct daughter of Grand Champion Pedro and as game a bitch as I have seen myself. Snakeman gave Runt away when she was a pup to Atkins ( they lived about 5 miles apart), Runt had parvo and was sure to die. But Atkins wife took good care of the sick pup and Runt pulled through.
I get her home and bring her in the house and decide the name Fruti and Patches are inappropriate, they were to common and a common name was not what suited this strange looking dog. I am watching TV that night and a commercial comes on for Bo Derek’s newest film, Bolero. I liked it, sounded good and was a unique name. Fat Bill’s Bolero she was christened that night. Bolero’s schooling began at the young age of 6 months when by accident I found out she was started. I was walking my petbull named Silver back to her chain spot when Bolero came out to the end of her chain and bit Silver as we walked by. Silver spun around and grabbed Bolero by the head. Bolero shot up in the rear end hills of NC that has bitch the same size as Bolero and they are interested in hooking up the dog into Bolero. I have at this point had 5 local matches and have not a clue what is going on, but I am game and lucky for me so was my dog. The guy in the mountains name was Greg and his bitch was Lady, she was a litter mate sister to the dead game Swinson’s Splash and a litter mate to Swinsons Mona. Mona is the bitch that stopped Mountain Man’s Gee Whiz in over an hour coming from the bottom and behind to win. Lady was said to be the best from the litter, they had rolled her recently on Swinson’s Winnie and Winnie was picked up at 30 minutes protesting from Lady’s perfect ear fighting style. I loved the fact . that the big time man from my area, Swinson was standing in my yard trying to make a match with me. I couldn’t resist and we hooked it up. Can you imagine hooking up a 15 month old bitch, but I ‘ didn’t have any one to tell me any different. Six weeks later we meet at the spot set up by Joe Medlin (owner and breeder of Medlin’s Outlaw). It is a great place used to fight chickens in the western part of NC. We quietly sat in Joe’s office waiting for the referee Eddie Fredricks to arrive, and we waited and we waited and we waited. After 2 hours I said Joe why don’t you referee and his reply was he did not want to, for this bitch was from his yard of dogs. I said well that’s ok, I don’t mind just give me a fair shake. He agreed. Bolero was looking a little tired from sitting in that office for so long. I asked if I could walk her out somewhere. Joe points me to a small court yard but says lets weigh them first, I said ok but she may not be empty, the match was made at 32 pounds. Bolero is right on weight, but I feel she still needs to empty. Greg brings Lady in and site is a ‘h pound over, the match was for 500.00 with a 100.00 forfeit. I collect the forfeit and Greg goes to the box with his dog. Medlin says ok put your hitch in here, but I wanted to walk her out and after a bit of a fuss I am allowed to walk her out as Greg waits in the box. I walk out into the courtyard, to the rear of the fenced area there is a small shed I walk Bolero near this shed as she is pulling in that direction. She pokes her nose through the open door and on the other side there is a big billy goat and she has him by the nose. I yell at her and she goes to shaking this goat and throws him to the ground, at that point she lost her hold and goes for another, but I snatched her back to me on the leash. That goat ran to the comer of the of the building and hides himself in the straw as Bolero stood there silently pulling towards the cowering billy. I grab her up and undo her collar and head back for the pit. As i come into the room I drop the collar and step over the wall, my bitch is going ape shit. . We release and as soon as they hit it’s over. Bolero goes to the brisket and opens the bitch up and puts her muzzle inside Lady’s stomach area and shakes violently. Five minutes later Lady’s intestines are exposed and with another shake several feet of this bitches intestines conic out and are slung down the side of the pit wall with such force they stick to it momentarily. Greg shouts for a scratch to continue, Medlin asks me and I allow it. We separate the dogs with sticks and at 9 minutes Lady scratch wit her guts hanging out after Greg did his best to shove them back in.Bolero goes back to the stomach and they pick up there bitch at 9 minutes,it takes 2 minutes to separate them. Lady is coutsey scratched and seems to be deadgame. Joe medlin looks like he is about to have a stroke. I sure was proud of her. I now had a real 1 time winner that went into the best and won, not some local bullshit. This was the real thing and when Medlin told me that about my dog, my opinions about her was verified, this bitch was real special. Of course this had rattled the “old- timers” that this youngster had gone to there home court with a 16 month old bitch and beat their best. It was down right embarrassing for them and unheard of not for them to make a run back at inc. The phone went to ringing and I wanted another big gun dog man, not another guy like me trying to make a name, wanted the best. Ben Colopy ( Barney Fife) at that time had just got back from a long visit in Utah and had been tutored under the ime, working many greats like Ch Freddie and Mountain Boy. Since his return from Utah Ben had won 14 straight matches and was said to have a keep that couldn’t be beat by anything less than an ace in just as good a shape. Hey this was what I was looking for, my competitive nature could stand nothing less. Colopy calls me and says he has a bitch at 32 pounds and is interested into going into Bolero. I accept his challenge less then 10 days after Bobo’s first win ( my pet name for her). Russell N is to set up the deal and hold the forfeits. Also by this time my instant notoriety had some different people contact me and one of them was Bobby Hall, he had appointed himself my advisor as I had so many questions about campaigning a dog and the people I was in contact with had little or no experience at this. Bobby of course is a different story. About 6 weeks out from the show Russell calls me and says he is having trouble with the spot the show is to he at, he asks me if 1 have any ideas for a venue. I said yes I have a spot out near your way but I will have to call my friend. My friend tells me that the place is unavailable but I have another place near my home we used occasionally for rolls. Russell continues to look for a spot. Hall tells me not tell them how far or how close your spot is until the last moment for it is none of their business either they set it tip or you will but keel) it a secret, a secret no one needs to no besides you. 6 days before the show Russell calls me in a panic, claiming he didn’t have a location for the match. I tell him don’t worry my bud near you says we can use his farm. Now all I was trying to do was not divulge any information. I had no idea Russell would bring Colopy all the way to Russell’s area and then have to drive him back to mine, but all is fair in love and war. The morning of the show I sit 30 minutes from the site, Colopy and his entourage have gone to Statesville NC which is 2 hours west of us. Russell calls me, and asks for the 100th time where is the spot, I told him the venue out his way had fallen through but I had a place near the house if they had no other options. God you should have heard him cuss, the man was upset. But in my book that was too bad, wasn’t my job to set up the show it was his, I was busy working my dog and doing some serious worrying I didn’t have time to do his job too, now did I? They arrive at the meeting place and my bud Kent Rierson ( owner of Kent’s Colombo) takes them to the old house where the show is to be. We have been there a couple of hours before they get there, as a matter of fact Bolero had fell asleep laying in the pit waiting. Colopy is really mad about getting run around especially by a beginner I know he could feel he was losing control and things are not about to get any better. We wash and weigh the dogs. Atkins on more than one occasion displayed this bitches gameness for the bulldog public of that time to sec. She had no ability and only one gear and that was fast/forward. Runt was a small dog, only 35 pounds fat on the chain, she was red with a red nose and gold eyes. She was so bow legged in the back end that she would quite often throw her hips out of joint as an old dog. Her pups were beautiful. Long legged powerful looking dogs that seemed to be mature as soon as they could walk. The kind of dogs that look like grown dogs as soon as you put them out on chains. I got two pups from the litter. A black male named Stripe and a brindle male named Bull ( both of these dogs quit their first time out), I picked these dogs up at about 8 weeks of age.When I went to get my pups I noticed this little brindle female, called Patches. I said to Atkins I would like to buy her, and he refused. His wife had picked it as her favorite. Not 4 weeks later I am at the home of Kenny Brewer and we are working a dog of mine named Blackrose, the dam to Stomper. While we are working the dog Kenny has a female in the back yard that will not quit barking. We yelled at it, we sprayed the hose at it and by the end of working my bitch Kenny was ready to give that whining pup to me. I asked him how the pup was bred, he called her Fruti. He said Fruti is from Atkins and it is by his Runt bitch. I went over into the darkness and took a closer look, it was her, Patches. I came back from the yard and ask Kenny how did you get this dog? He went on to explain that he had traded the dog for a son of Outlaw and Carolina Rose that had a grave case of the Heartworm. He seemed to regret this as he had traded one headache for another. Earlier in the month I had bought a set of Hanson Scales at an auction for 28 dollars, they were a sharp set. Brewer wanted them. Realizing his minimal investment in the dog I told him, I have a brother to that bitch that I will trade you for her and I will throw in the scales you been eyeing hanging from my front porch. Kenny says ” Deal!”. I went home and returned with Stripe and the scales and left with the pup. Being very new into the dogs I had great dreams of breeding this hitch back to her father( I made this breeding and it produced a couple game dogs, but nothing worth mention here) knowing this will be the end all of the dog game, as no one will have as good a dogs as I. That is all I saw in her at that moment was a daughter of my 15 month old dog, Stomper. I didn’t have a clue the ride this bitch was about to take me for.
Colopy’s dog belongs to Martin Jean, her name was Bridgett. She was by Jean Shogun bred to Jean’s Bessie. Bridgett was 3/4 Buster and 1/4 Tiger Jack. Her sire Shogun also known as Slick was a two time winner including a win over Goose Picker’s Ch Whip. Bridgett is right on weight and looks huge at 32 pounds. Bolero weighs in at 30lb and it is over heard they are gonna crush that skinny little brindle dog. Bob Stevens is the referee and on his command the dogs are released, they hit with an ominous thud. Bolero right away goes for the stifle and low and behold Bridgett is a master at keeping a dog out of her rear end, this bitch had been hand picked to shut Bolero down and shut me up. Bridgett begins to defend her stifles with ease as she cats up Bolero’s right shoulder. Ricky “The Rat” Jones had sent a man to watch this show and he had offered to buy my bitch before the othersidc ever got there. I looked up from the floor and seen he had a look on his face, like that bitch ain’t that great, I could see it plain as day. 15 minutes Bolero still hasn’t done much and the crowd is really pulling for Bridgett, when at the 20 minute mark like a bomb going off Bolero hits the stifle and within 10 minutes she has wrecked Bridgett. By 35 minutes Bridgett is looking like a victim in a Halloween movie when she goes to Bobo’s foot and practically breaks every bone in it. Bolero still in the stifle , releases and lets out a scream and takes the first head hold she ever took in her life. She bit that bitch across the nose and eyes and everything went to popping, bleeders like you wouldn’t believe as her face was shattered. Bridgett now trying to spit that foot out and I am sure she is regretting she ever took hold of it. Bolero pulls her foot from Bridgett’s mouth and goes back to the stifle at 41 minutes. At 43 minutes Colopy offers me a scratch to win, I take the offer and the dogs are parted. Bolero was a funny scratcher, she didn’t get excited in the comer, she was very calm and you could hold her back by just laying your hand on her. When you took your hands off her she would jump in the air and land in the middle of the box take a step and a %z and make contact. Also when you faced her off she would lay down and put her paws in front of her. Bolero would jump from this position, when handling her I would have to hold her up to show her true as she wanted to lay down and stalk the dog like a big cat. Bolero came hard on her scratch to win. Then Bridgett courstey scratched and came just as hard. I was very impressed with Bridget and later a friend on my recommendation bought her brother and 1 tried to buy her that day, she never had any pups and was not heard from again. The man Ricky Jones sent comes up to inc and offers me a lot of money for my dog. I refuse, as I remember what Bobby had told me, never sell your BEST dog.
After her second match Mansey Payne calls me with his Champion Scooter Reds bitch and we hook the dogs up. At this point it is looking as if Bolero is going to make Champion at 23 months old. Everything was looking good and then I got the call Payne is paying the forfeit as his bitch did not take to the keep. It was a shame ,but so be it. Bolero came into heat a few weeks later and I bred her to Champion Chinaman. From this litter there was the four time Japanese winner known as KillBilly and his dead game brother Pink Floyd. Also there were three famous bitches from this litter. 1 time winner Nkk’s Suicide, Hooten’s Butcher Girl (died in kennel accident) There was another male from this litter that at the age of 10 months old was shot by his owner because he was a black dog. He had been given to Earnest Hollingsworth as a pup and the old man was drunk one day and calls and says if you come up here and give me 1,000 dollars for this pup you can have him back otherwise I am going to shoot him. I said why? He said because he is a black dog and all black dogs are curs. This was 1986 and Hollingsworth had little or no experience as the Bolero x Bridgette match was the first contract match he had ever seen and 14 months later he is an expert on the game. I told him I will be there in a few days. He tells me if you aren’t here today I am going to kill the dog and then shoots the dog while I am on the phone with him. So 6 dogs from this litter made it to adult hood all five started and none of them quit. To this day this blood is still used and Bolero was certainly the best bitch ever bred to Chinaman.
The pups looked so good and the bitch had proven her worth that I really had no plans of matching her again. I was down in ‘Texas hanging out with Bobby Ball and Norman Hooten it is early 1988 and Hooten asks me why I didn’t bring Bolero out for number three and her championship. My answer was I don’t care about a piece of paper and what others think I like my dog and know she is a good one. He agreed but also made note of the fact that another win and a championship would seal her in the history books. His words burned in my brain. A few months later I am in south Florida with my friend Rastaman, as we attend a show at Rebel Kennels. At this show Hall’s Jeanette had her epic 1:30 minute battle with Rebel’s Gr. Ch Spookie, a daughter of MtnMan’s Ch Homer. Spookie wins the match and her owner Ricky Jones holds her up and says this is the best bitch that ever came off Homer. Lester Hughes, the Mountain Man jumps in the pit and says, sorry boy but I got one that’s better. As Lester reminded Ricky who sold him Spookie. Ricky looking sheepish goes and cares for Spookie. Lester turns to the crowd and says I got a 32 bitch open to the world and she makes Spookie look weak. Before I knew it Rastaman had talked me into matching into Mtn Man and his 4 time winner Champion Miss Homer a full sister to Homer Jr. We put up the forfeits and the match is set for 12 weeks as Miss I lomer had just won a week before in 15 minutes. The day of the show I am at my hotel room within a few miles of the site. They had told me to stay at one hotel but I came in the night before and went a few exits west from where I was “suppose” to go. It took them till noon the next day to find me, but that they did. They wanted to see my dog. I went into my hotel room and held her up in the window and said that’s as close as you get till show time. They told me they wanted to go early and asked me if I was up for that, as we were set to go at midnight and now they are talking about 7 ish. I called Bobby for advise. He said ” Somm they are light, they gonna make weight at 7, so go early if you want but I would make them wait til midnight if your bitch cant empty. He said give her two infant suppositories at 5 o’clock and if she empties do it. But I knew we couldn’t make weight by then as she needed another five or so hours to get the rest of the water off her. At 4 o’clock they are back and ready to take us to the site. The location has been moved to Mountain Man’s house because Miller had been fighting with his wife and he said he was worried she would call the law. So we drive for almost 2 hours to the Mountain Man’s house and at 7 o’clock weighed the dogs and Bolero is a pound over the weight. They tell me to pay the forfeit. I tell them to kiss my ass I will see y’all at midnight and I begin packing the car up to leave. Miller rushes over and says ok, ok we will let you come in over and then they weigh their hitch she is a /2 pound light, good ole Bobby was right on the money as usual. I tell you people Bobby Hall can look through a dog like you look through clean glass and he sees things that are invisible to most. In my opinion Bobby Hall is the best dog fighter I ever met. Bob Stevens was to referee again but he chickened out at the last minute and we again were stuck without a ref. In my usual cocky style I turn to Mtn Man in the crowded room and say why don’t you ref? It will give you a good view of the action. He is happy to do this. I have now washed Bolero and am waiting in the box for the opponent that is to be handled by Larry Miller. As I wait I open Bolero’s mouth and show Mtn Man that this bitch has broken all her teeth and did not have one single flea biter. He asked me what happened and I told him that she had attacked the jenny while I wasn’t supervising her just two weeks before the show. Quickly he said do you mind if I bet some more money because I will lay you 2 to I right now after seeing that. I took a little more action. Miller conics in with this beautiful black female, she was perfect looked brand new right out of the box, she was scary looking. But Bolero had this look and when she looked across the pit at that bitch I swear Miss Homer looked away. It was like Bolero just looked at her and curred her out. On release the bitches go at it and Bolero goes straight to the head. Working the face and the mouth and doing a lot of damage. Miss Homer is just trying to keep up and at nine minutes Miss Homer turns, but it is not recognized , then she turns again at 25 minutes. this one is seen by the ref. A handle and Miss Homer conies strong another handle and Bolero catches the bitch up in her own comer. At 35 minutes Miller says to me ” I thought your bitch was a stifle dog” as he looked quite baffled. I said you want to sec her in the stifle and I jumped behind Miss Homer and snapped my fingers at her back end and called Bolero in. Bolero picked the bitch up by the stifle and ran her across the box , slamming Miss Homer into the wall. Miss Homer actually breaks free and runs for the wall I try to handle Bolero but she is gone after Miss Homer grabs the bitch by the stifle and pulls he hack in the pit. I am able to make a handle at 50 minutes and surprisingly Miss Homer scratches. 55 minutes another handle and Bobo goes. 58 minutes it is Miss Homer to go she takes the count and doesn’t see another sunrise. Bolero is now a Sporting Dog Journal Champion and soon to become a household name. As all the big boys of the late 80′s were there and many people got their feelings hurt as even most of my so called friends wanted to see us lose but Bolero overcoming all obstacles refused to lose.
After a year off and a litter by Zack a son of Wood’sSnooty and Champion Sugar , I started to shape my little dog looking for some action that winter, she was now over five years old and showing it, but I felt she had one more in her. I took her to an ADBA Confirmation Show in Greenville NC and ran into none other than Barney Fife and he had with him, the new greatest dog he had ever seen and her name was Gigette, bred by Matt MaGee, she was from Weehunt and Pool Hall Red Lines and a two winner that eventually quit to Payne’s Lee Ling, a daughter of Chinaman. Anyway Fife (Colopy) challenges me with bitches at 32 pounds in 8 weeks for 1000. Bet with a 500. Forfeit. I agree right there and we send our forfeits to the stake holder. I tell Barney keep this low key as the Miss Homer thing had got out of hand with people and prior knowledge. Folks it wasn’t two days after we hooked it that Ricky Jones calls me and states that I promised him a rematch after I beat Miss Homer ( Jones owned Mtn Man’s Ch Homer until his death). I told him tough luck she is hooked into Fife. He says look I am having a big show the first of December 12 matches, come to the show here he goes on to tell me they are going to use Gr Ch Ozu Ajul for Bolero. I said pay my forfeit and 1 will do it, as the thought of beating a grand champion was wonderful to me. Ricky says how much is the forfeit I said it is a 5,000 match with a 2,000 forfeit. lie says well I will post the 2,000 here for you on a 5,000 dollar match and you pay your guy on that end. I agreed and sent Barney Fife his 500 bucks and made 1500 before the match even went off. The day of the show I am ninth on a 12 match card, we finally get to weigh in at 3 am on Sunday morning. Bolero is right on weight. 10 minutes later they bring a young bitch up to the scale in top condition, this was not the 6 year old Grand Champion I had expected but a young big bitch that weighed in at 34 pounds. I collected the forfeit and got the 2,000 Jones had put up. I was now 3500 up in my pocket and the dogs had not even hit. I told them I would go through with it but they had to lay me 2 to l odds. Jones refused. I fed my dog in the middle of the pit and challenged the crowd of 300 dog men to put something on the great Bolero in 6 to 3 weeks at 33 pounds. Moving her weight a pound up, she was older and just didn’t look right at 32. Later the bitch they had brought to match into Bolero a sister to Patrick’s Homer quit in 13 minutes. That is a shame 1 didn’t do it that night but better things lay ahead and to give tip 2 pounds with a five plus year old bitch would be insane. As I issued the challenge a real dog man stood up and said Fat Bill I will take your weight, it was the Super Gnat. We agreed to meet in 7 weeks at the same spot HoneyBunch won her last contracted match.
The keep for this one went perfect the only problem with it was the nay sayers all the way through it bitching at me about matching a dog with no teeth. I didn’t care what they said, we had rolled her right after we originally hooked with Gigot and she looked great, so I had no worries about her ability to do her thing. We traveled for this one and the trip took some out of her as she looked tired as I was walking her out for the show. We were right on weight and so was Super Gnat. He was using a dog called Lil Bit she was a two time winner and litter mate sister to Super Gnat’s Gr Ch Ace. I remember how confident I was as Super Gnat informed me that there were no lights and that if it went long we would have to use q-beans to light the pit. Noticing it wouldn’t be dark for at least an hour I said lets skip the wash and get it on, for this wont take long. He said ok. On release Bolero went to the front end and looked weak, Lil Bit was up on the head and pushing Bolero down and keeping her out. Bolero looked old. She was in trouble and by 10 minutes I began to think what a terrible mistake I have made…. but then, it happened. Bolero with not a hanger in her head stopped working the side of the head and the ear and shot over top of the dog and grabbed Lil Bit across the back. Then Bolero did that eyes roll up in the head attacking shark impersonation and closed her mouth.
Then she released and bit the bitch across her left stifle, again closing her mouth. After these two quick holds she went hack to the side of the head and rode Lil Bit. Lil Bit flUrom a spot about 1 inch from her spine and about three inches up from her hip bones on her back was a hole. From this hole blood spouted out and into the air almost 2 feet above the dog, like a water fountain. From the left stifle of the dog blood also shot from it with such force that it was spraying the other stifle and running down the dogs right rear leg. Lil Bit was hurt real had and it was time to pick her tip. the ref proclaimed the damage to be bleeder of the year. Super Gnat wouldn’t pick her up. I called a turn on Bolero at 25 minutes hoping to get the scratching started and the match over. l get a quick handle and Bolero lunged from the comer in her usual style and Super Gnat goes to crying, ” He pushed his dog!” referee Larry Miller (1 wanted to make sure he had a good seat) tells
me to release clean next time. I think to my self “whatever asshole”. Another handle at 30 minutes and l.il Bit comes good but is weak, she ain’t gonna live much longer. Another handle at 35 minutes and everything is slow motion. I know this is Bolero’s last match and I know this is her last pro scratch, she is old and it’s over. How time flies when you are having fun. The referee says ” Face Your Dogs” and I turn around but I didn’t face Bolero to the other dog, opting to hold her head in the corner and have her ass facing Super Gnat. The ref says again face your dog, and I tell him I never pushed this bitch in my life, tell me to release! Release your dog the ref shouts and I took my hands off her and she ran around my right leg and was airborne. She hit the ground took a scoop of carpet with her 2 front paws and Lil Bit gets drilled into her comer. Another quick handle and Lil Bit takes the count at 38 minutes. And thus ended the match career of one of the best dog I ever had looking through one of my collars
Bolero gave me many things including money, fame, satisfaction, friendship and a successful strain of dogs to always remember her by. But the thing she gave to me and to my son Philip was this dog truly loved us and would do anything for its as she proved over and over. I love you little Bobo and I know one day I am gonna get to pit you again and until then good bye my little friend. Lots Of Love, Fat Bill.