MY TIME WITH DON HEERS BY BILL PULOS
Some of my earliest memories from 50 years ago
involve Don Heers of Almond, New York. Let me explain. My dad, William L. Pulos, had 2 farms on Jericho Hill in the Town of Alfred on the south side of Alfred Village toward Wellsville. My parents purchased the first farm in 1952 and I was born in 1955. My brother, Robert, was born in 1957.
The farm had a big red barn that was a fixture on
top of Jericho Hill, across from the Kenyon Road. The farm was 2200+ feet above sea level and it got cold in the winter. The driveway leading to the house from County Route 12 seemed like a quarter mile and it drifted with snow in the winters of the '50's and the 60's.
Our dad began raising
white (albino) Arabian horses on the farm. He had a herd of white horses for at least 20 years, in addition to a herd of Shetland ponies and a smaller herd of albino ponies. Our dad and a geneticist from Cornell University formed a partnership of sorts to experiment with the recessive albino gene in the Arabian horse. Our dad did the field work (the horse farm) by breeding the white stud to the white mare and keeping yearly records of the color of the foals. The Cornell geneticist applied the science to the farm results. Their work was published in 1968 and circulated worldwide. I've told many since that our dad had the "front end of the business" and that I had the "back end of the business." Everyone seems to understand that phraseology.
Most of the white mares were not broken to ride.
They were big, strong, extremely difficult and dangerous to handle in close quarters. It wasn't a dude ranch. From time to time the horses required handling and trucking. That's where Don Heers came into the picture. Don Heers' reputation as a
horse trader and trucker was known far and wide. What is perhaps lesser known to the public was Don's skill in handling trucks, buses, people and horses. For instance, I believe he was a loyal and trusted school bus driver for Alfred-Almond Central School for over 20 years.
Don, of course, had the well known farm on the
(Almond) Village side of Whitney Valley road for many years. Don was also engaged in the livestock trucking business, for himself and as a contractor for others. Somehow along the line, our dad met Don Heers. As time went along, Don and our dad began v;
If 1 dealing, trading and trucking ; horses and ponies. Their business relationship lasted at least 20 years, from the middle '50's to the middle'70's.
Generally speaking, our WILLIAM PULOS ON WHITE HORSE
dad would keep the white horses that were born on the farm for his on-going field laboratory genetics project. However, since only about 1 out of 4 foals were white (from a white stud and white mare), there were many foals of all different colors that needed homes after weaning and there had to be a method of transport. Don Heers had a method of transport and a market of sorts for some of our farm's offspring. Of course, that meant that Don and our dad would have to get
together on some kind of deal to make it happen. Many locals knew or knew of Don Heers, through
the Horse Trader's Convention, through his Almond farm and trucking or through his many years driving school bus for Alfred-Almond. I knew Don in all those capacities. Likewise, many locals knew or knew of our dad, through his teaching at Alfred University, through farming or through his many years working with teachers, including those at Alfred-Almond. Obviously, I knew my dad in all those capacities as well.
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