By Don Black

It appears that the idea of a California Trapshooting Hall of Fame (HOF) was born in a discussion between Carl Thacker and Marian Harrison. Marian brought the Thacker and Harrison suggestion to the CGSTA Board of Directors. Copies of existing Hall Of Fame's Rules were obtained from the ATA and various States that had existing HOF's. The matter was tabled pending further information.

On August 3, Jesse Combs, President of the CGSTA, appointed a Hall Of Fame Rules Committee; Dean Brubaker, Chairman, and members Julius Del George, Harben Hancock, Cecil George, Gene Robertson, Larry Scott, Jesse Combs and with Marian Harrison as Secretary. Also appointed, at this time, was a HOF Ways and Means Committee consisting of Bill Harrison as Chairman, and members Bill Hunter, Tom Okata, Larry Scott, Jesse Combs and Neil Van Dell.

Dean Brubaker called the first meeting of the HOF Rules Committee to be held at the Winchester West Trap & Skeet Club on November 17. This meeting resulted in the production of a draft of the California HOF Rules. This draft, after review by the CGSTA Board, and much discussion, led to the first set of rules.

On April 27,1974 the CGSTA established the first HOF Nominating Committee. The original members were:

Gene Robertson - Chairman (Gene retained the job for over 15 years!)
George Ross
Julius Del George
Carl Thacker - Historian
Oscar Hammarsten
Arch Ginochio
Cecil Schmeekle
Lou Wells
Cecil George
Marian Harrison - Secretary (Marian remained as the "work horse" and guiding light for many years).

Six shooters were inducted into the HOF at the 1974 CGSTA State Shoot. Those honored were:

Fred Dambacher
D.Lee Braun
Mary Knight
Lela Hall Frank
Maynard B.Henry

On August 31,1974 Bill Harrison, as Chairman of the HOF Ways and Means Committee, requested that the CGSTA appropriate funds, from the HOF Fund, to purchase an adequate mobile type of building to house the HOF so that it could be ready for use at the 1975 State Shoot. Authority to spend up to $10,000 was granted and Stan Lofstock was appointed to investigate the possibility of obtaining a mobile home suitable for conversion to a Hall of Fame.

The Hall Of Fame Fund had grown to $15,000 (entirely from raffles and donations - No CGSTA or ATA funds were ever involved). Dick Rogers was given $300.00 of HOF Funds to continue the search for a suitable mobile home to be converted into a HOF building. A 65 by 12 foot trailer was found and purchased for $10,500. The HOF spent another $2,500 for cabinets to be used to display HOF memorabilia. The material required for a skirt and an awning for the HOF trailer was purchased for $1,600. Dick Rogers and Cecil Schmeeckle provided the labor at no charge. The entire project was funded by shooters' donations and contributions. The HOF trailer was placed on land that was generously loaned to the HOF by the Kingsburg Gun Club.

Jeri Stephens was elected Secretary of the HOF. She became the "spark plug" that kept the HOF engine running at top speed until her election as CGSTA President in June of1994. Under the leadership of Dick Marascola and Jeri Stephens with valuable help from Bob Gioia and the rest of the HOF Committee, the HOF moved toward financial independence. The momentum has been maintained by Dave Bishop.

The HOF filed for incorporation as a non-profit corporation and, on the effective date of the incorporation, July 1,1994, was separated financially and politically from the CGSTA. Dick Marascola was elected the first President of the new organization.

Construction of the new Hall of Fame building has begun.