From childhood, I’ve been obsessed with anything related to transportation. My horse from my teen years [Stargo’s namesake] carried me through the Arizona outback and even to school on ‘most days’.
By the age of 10, I was figuring out how to work on cars and by 19, flying planes was a passion. Thus, the Collector Car Mantra: “If it rides, drives, floats or flies… We’re In!”
Today, at 84, I’m hoping to retire so I can write more and work a little less, enjoying the animals [there are pictures here of the some of the amazing ones my work has saved from slaughter] and my ‘spare time’ — what there is of it — is dedicated to those endeavors.
History has always held a fascination for me and I’ve been privileged to serve numerous times on various boards — one of the longest terms being the Arizona Historical Society Board, twice as President.
It was there I was able to share some of the information I have discovered about the roles animals played in the history of Arizona.
I’m now shocked to see such a valuable part of Arizona’s history be so horrifically abused and, ultimately, exterminated. How can we let this continue to happen?
It’s amazing to me, as significant a part as our horses and donkeys initially played in the formation of the foundation for today’s society, that we are now casting them aside and removing them from America’s landscape.
These animals helped forge this nation into what it has become, carrying our burdens and quite literally working shoulder to shoulder with this nation’s founders to lay the groundwork for the vast transportation networks that allowed us to begin building businesses and transporting product.
Without them, roads and railways would not have gained the ground they did in the timeframes they were accomplished.
The stories and photographs from those early days speak for themselves — and I’ve been granted the opportunity to work with them in new and amazing ways.
The gift these animals bring to human beings as assistive therapy animals is only now beginning to be understood and utilized to greater advantage, bridging the gap and showing us that as we help them, we assist our fellow human beings. The healing aspects of equines and equids are astounding!
Helping these animals survive in today’s world is important work and one I plan to sustain throughout the remainder of my life and beyond. Everything I’ve accomplished in life has been geared toward finding success — and I’ve been given, graciously, a modicum of success that I want to use to raise awareness and encourage others to make a difference in this world with whatever resources might be available to them.
I’m working on a book about car collecting — but I hope to follow that up with one about the incredible experiences I’m having as I learn more about the amazing healing modalities I’ve discovered in working with these incredible animals.
Do follow me online to learn more! My blog will reflect all of my latest endeavors.
C. Richard Oldham