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Saturday, July 16, 2011


This story is about a racing pigeon flying across the English Channel prior to D-Day.
Very few people know how many racing pigeons were used on the days just prior the biggest invasion, ever.
And few appreciate that many of the birds that were used were probably Sions or bloodlines related to such.
Secret notes went back and forth on the legs of the birds from England to the French Underground and vice versa.
Those notes helped save the world.
What you are about to read is just my imagination.
A little mess with truth .
But the truth is there, of what it must have been like.
Its different.
No Sweat

JUST MY IMAGINATION By Earl Lowell "Robbie aka "No Sweat" Robbins, Jr.‏

June 5,1944, Paris, France

But of course trees can cry, a building, too.
And these trees and the building had been so long heart broken that their tears were now gone.
For four years their tears had fallen.
And as anyone knows there are only so many tears.
Now, the gaiety of past times was but a faint memory and all that remained was a single panzer tank with its young soldier above the turret moving slowly up and down the Champs Elysees, zig zagging in its turns.
Oppression's barrel.
A tiger?
In earth's ores.
Oh, but the trees on both sides of that special avenue for more than a mile did weep.
Their green more grey but green still.

Little wings slicing through a grey dream.
This is a dream is it not?
Grey wings still.
And grey dream, more.
But not so grey, no.
Camouflaged hope.
Hope comes that way.
Is it not true?

From son to father little wings flew, Robert Sion to Paul Sion.
Son in London, father in France.
From son itself in feather one loft to its own father in another loft as well.
And more.

A pigeon knows its father, though such secret but true.
What path truer could there be?
Blood flying to blood.
212 miles from London to Paris.
Where else could a pigeon go so unnoticed?
Where else indeed.
The most common bird in the world in a very uncommon way.
A million lives in those wings.
No, tens of millions.
What message does it own?

Camouflaged hope, indeed.

The three pigeons on the Arch de Triomphe paid little mind to the tank.
Those pigeons knew nothing of little wings slicing.
They were diversions at nature's smile.
Two of the birds were dark some, the other, white;
Two males and a hen in that ancient contest of love.
The males on either side, bent forward, tails spinning, frantically cooing, suitors oblivious except for each other.
She pretends not to see them, almost.
Nearly still, she is indifferent to their strutting and show.
But she is watching, yes
Spin small bird.
Man remains jealous.

"THE COW SKIPPED OVER THE SUN SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX TIMES," says little wings' secret message:
Coded: "D-DAY, JUNE 6."
Winds in little wings slicing face, waves below, clouds encompass.
Yes, that nowhere to land English Channel.
Death's gaping jaws.
A homing pigeon comes home.
A racing homer makes an art of it.
Home owns its heart unlike any other.
Feathered serpents fly far beyond the Galapagos, do they not?.
They see what man doesn't and feel what he can't.

The best messages are felt.
But Little Wings Slicing compared.
A message to save the world.
And all, yeah, on the leg of a poor pigeon.

And what of the face of the French Resistance?
Have you seen a bird smile in the sun?
Have you seen sparrows attack hawks?
Have you watched birds in a storm?
You see then the face of resistance.
Vestal Virgins waiting for their pigeon.

Noah waiting for that dove compounded.

Beneath those pigeons on the Arc de Triomphe, those common pigeons of little note, was a large shield lying on the ground and on that shield was a sword;
France's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier;
An eternal flame burning there.
Camouflaged hope.
A flame of yellow and sometimes red matching the colors in the eyes reflecting off little wings slicing as he follows his brother.
A brother not seen but there.
No markers in the sky or on the water.
Just following a feeling.

June 1.
That's when the brother of Little Wings Slicing flew.
The British and Americans were boarding.
June 5 was to be the day.
Then came the storm, that crucial eye on time and place in peril.
That exact full moon and that exact spring tide so in fate, so crucial.

Descendant from Lascaux was little wings slicing.
Jupiter's son.
And long before all that the men as well.
All from the sea but such diversions at survival's mold.
One with feather, the other with barrel.
And before the sea?
Do galaxies not make war?

The three pigeons on the Arc de Triomphe lifted and flew.
The hen's wings beating steady as her suitors V-winged glided.
Each landing on a shield high atop, Napoleon's Austerlitz engraved there on.
So queer that birds don't keep flying beyond the dream.
Queer too, how the sun's passing messes.

Allies changing with rotating shadows.
Could General Vandamme forecast a common pigeon courting on his memory?
Did Napoleon's artillerists throw a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary into a fire for warmth and it wouldn't burn?

That demure hen, smaller than her suitors, head cocked looking with one eye down at France's Elysian fields, that impressive promenade, seeing the tank.
As if some louse in her wing.
A pigeon sees clearer than man, does it not?
Man to pigeon, pigeon to man.
Silent wings would follow in the form of poor gliders as Basque berets with a pigeon feather brooch, destroyed railroads, bridges and fear.
Later roosting on The Croix de Lorraine.

To touch your son's words, to save your home, to dream of tomorrow.
Paul Sion, bald, mustached, a drifter in a white collar, maybe so, more common than the most common of pigeon, waited at the open window.
Beside him, another Maquis in a black beret.
Grey eyes in the grey.
But a heart not so.

Such a difference in a pigeon's coo and the sound of a gun.
One velvet, soft and powdery.
The other, time's revenge.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Other SION Specialist in the Picture

Meet the man standing to the the right of Charles Heitzman
in the picture featured on the World of Wings website.

"In 1974, E. Lowell Robbins, Jr. aka "Robbie" or "No Sweat" became the youngest racing pigeon breeder ever to win the National Show in New York; a feat that still remains to this day. In 1978, he won the top three shows in the USA and was the first man ever to do this thus setting a new bar in excellence. Over the years some of the major shows that he has judged have been THE NATIONAL YOUNG BIRD SHOW, THE SOUTHERN RACING PIGEON SHOW, THE SOUTHERN RACING PIGEON--DIXIE SHOW, THE MIDWEST OPEN SHOW, THE LOUISVILLE COMBINE SHOW, THE KENTUCKY STATE FAIR SHOW, THE BELLVILLE, ILLINOIS SHOW, THE CHICAGO COMBINE SHOW, etc. He has been throughout the United States and inside many of its premiere racing lofts. The best racing man he ever knew was Charles Heitzman. In showing, his lifelong friend, Jim Isselhardt was always his best competition. At the National Young Bird Show in Louisville when Douglas McClary from England flew over to judge more than 500 young bird racing homers divided into 18 classes, Robbins won 17 of those classes; Jim Isselhardt won one class that he did not and in that class the judging was extremely "flip a coin" close as was so stated by McClary. This class was the BBYC class in which Robbins placed second. That one BBYC went onto win the show and became one of Jim's favorite show birds of all times, "NATIONAL LEGEND." When Robbins entered THE SRPA SHOW each year throughout the southern states in the USA it was quite arguably the most competitive and prestigious show in all of America. Robbins entered this show seven times and won the show each and every time. No other fancier in the United States has ever replicated this feat. In racing, Robbins dominated his club during the years he flew with them winning average speed every season and never being beaten from any race 300 miles or beyond. Across the USA he set a new money winning record in 1971 in THE TWIN CITY GOLD BAND FUTURITY; he also bred the winners of THE BLACK HAWK FUTURITY, THE CONRAD MAHR FUTURITY, THE WALDO HOTCHKISS FUTURITY, THE LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY FUTURITY, THE CHARLES HEITZMAN MEMORIAL 500 MILE RACE and large races in New Orleans, Cincinnati, New York, etc.. Altogether in his more than 53 years experience with racing pigeons Robbins has accumulated over 800 first places. Today, Robbins is partners with John Hayes in Richmond, Kentucky. They maintain approximately 300 racing homers kept in five lofts. Just last year they had a young bird blue Bar Sion hen that flew 700 miles, setting a new long distance record in Kentucky. This year they have 28 young birds entered in 13 races across America. One of their goals is to fly all of their young birds out to at least 500 miles.

Charles Heitzman & E. L. Robbins, Jr. standing in front of Heitzman's main racing loft

SIONS being sent across North America
2011 RACING SCHEDULE - NO SWEAT LOFT - 28 total Entries in 13 Total Races as follows:

1. Wisconsin. 10 entries in THE 2011 MIDWEST 1 LOFT RACE SERIES. There are three races in this series. 100, 200 and 300 mile races.

2. Arizona, 4 entries in this race. THE 2011 AMERICAN RACING PIGEON UNION CONVENTION RACE, This is a 300 mile race.

3.Arizona. 1 Entry. The 2011 A.U. YOUTH RACE, This is a 200 mile race.

4. Florida. 3 entries in this race. THE 2011 GULF COAST CLASSIC. This is a 300 mile race.

5. Kentucky. 5 entries in this race series. THE 2011 LEXINGTON KENTUCKY 2 LOFT FUTURITY, There are four races in this series: 100, 150, 200, 280 miles.

6, Ohio. 2 Entries this race series. THE 2011 BUCKEYE CHALLENGE RACE. There are two races in this series: 150 and 250 miles.

7, Ohio. 3 Entries in this race series. 2011 Futurity. I believe this is a 300 mile race.

Robbins & Hayes are also considering entering Sions in the 1,000 mile pigeon race to be flown on July 11 with the Lexington and Frankfort, Kentucky clubs.

Intense pigeon handler & Heitzman Sion Specialist, E. Lowell Robbins, Jr. aka "Robbie" or "No Sweat" looks mellow while dining with wife Chesteen.

I'm sure there will be a positive Robbins & Hayes update this fall - Mike Taylor - TCC Loft

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bearing Black

Charles Heitzman liked a [red male] pigeon bearing a lot of Black in the tail ... Brought on by age, Black shows Strength

Sunday, July 10, 2011


by Earl Lowell "Robbie" aka "No Sweat" Robbins, Jr.

[Meet the man - TCC Loft will feature Sion Specialist "Robbie Robbins, Jr." in a loft report this week.]

August 22, 1961. Paris, France

The racing homer stood on one foot looking tranced into the yellowy light directed into its face by Francis Marroux's flashlight. Sometimes when a pigeon was at roost it would rest and lay on its keel keeping its legs and feet tucked just so, balancing as if it were sitting on eggs.

But sometimes not.

Sometimes when trying to roost the bird would stand on both legs.

Especially when the mosquitoes invaded.

Sometimes a pigeon would nearly close one eye while its other remained wider yet just as asleep.

And some rare times, both eyes closed and the bird dreams as birds do.

Pigeons own such rich lives in which they forget themselves.

They are aware to sunsets and shades of green and fireflies and how the moon is or is not full.

And because they see more beauty, see more light, they fly in heaven in their dreams and coo ever so gentle as they go.

In August in Paris it was impossible for a pigeon to dream for the air was warm and still, the Seine River's mosquitoes were searching for the skin of the bare legs and the fleshy eye ceres of pigeons.

Francis Marroux heard the birds tap dancing in the dark and knew his birds would have no dreams in their loft this night less the one they shared together called life.


That word Sion, kept bothering Francis.

. The Notre Dame cathedral was built on an island in the Seine River called Mount Sion.

Years ago, while Francis and the man he chauffeured and protected with his life so many times, Charles de Gaulle, had stepped from that cathedral he glanced up at gargoyle looking down at them as the the bells were being rung when he noticed bits of rock chipping oddly around them.


Bullets hitting in protected noise.

Such a close call.


Francis continued thinking.

His birds had been in the French Resistance.

And they had come indirectly from a man named Paul Sion.

Francis Marroux always found refuge in his loft.

No cathedral could compare.

It was a paradisiac place to rest and shut out the rest of the world.

And for a precious while allow his heart to be with his pigeons.

Ideologies and morals changed but the poor pigeon remained the same.

In his solitude, Francis Marroux, beguiled by his birds, thought of the car he always drove, a black Citroen Deesse, such a sleek and French beauty but still, nothing compared to his Sions.

In no way was it so bewitching.

Those Sions were brave and unsung and in this he found them as wonderful kindred spirits.

How many times had he and de Gaulle escaped death?


Yesterday, he had shifted down to third gear with two flat tires to gain control and keep the Citroen Deesse from flipping as thirteen bullets ripped through the metal all around them.

Last month, a bomb exploded in a sand pile and de Gaulle never paused, ordering him to drive straight on through the flames.

Before that?

So much, yes.

The pigeons listened to Francis Marroux's confessions.

He was afraid of dying.

But if he had to die then let him die with de Gaulle.

Let him die with a man as brave, no, more, than himself.

De Gaulle mocked death. "Such poor shots," he'd say. He said it so often, And always with no expression. De Gaulle's insistence upon the right of self-determination for the French colony of Algeria caused the shots.

The huge, round, stained--glass rose window centered atop the west entrance of Notre Dame cathedral crept into Francis Marroux's mind as his flashlight moved to another racer trying to roost.

Its feathers were such a lovely red.

The reddest blood of all, a pigeon owns, thought Francis Marroux.

So very red...

Oh how the pigeons love to play.