Friends of Lynn Straight, The California Hawking Club
Born August 23, 1938, Dr. Lynn R. Straight grew up in Bellevue,
Washington. From an early age she loved animals, especially
horses, and wanted to be a veterinarian. She acquired a quarter
horse from the infamous Doc Bar bloodline, and in her late teens
won Grand Reserve Champion/Western Pleasure Class at the Cow
Palace in San Francisco. Her passion for horses continued until her
early twenties, when she left them behind to pursue her advanced
Lynn earned a Master’s degree in English Literature from
the University of Washington and her PhD in Education
Administration from Michigan State University. She had an
illustrious career as Assistant Superintendent, first with Boulder
Valley Schools in Colorado followed by the same position with
Antioch Public School District in California.
Lynn was a very special person - elegant, charming, and the
classiest person one ever met. She was a strong, competitive,
accomplished woman without any of the negative inferences that
comes from being seen as such. Lynn had an infectious easygoing
manner and amiability, and was never concerned about impressing
people with her many extraordinary accomplishments. Anyone
meeting Lynn would be impressed with her laser-like focus on any
goal and her strong will to do what was necessary to achieve it.
Lynn began her falconry career with red-tailed hawks but falcons
were what Lynn was truly passionate about. One of the highlights
of Lynns falconry career was flying a hacked peregrine over one
of her own dogs. She and Bob made several trips to experience
falconry on the Scottish moors, as per invitation by Roger Upton,
Steven Frank and Umberto Caprioni.
In 1988 the Straights moved to Walnut Creek, California, where
her passion for and interest in falconry was continuously expressed
through her many contributions to the California Hawking Club
(CHC). An extremely adept writer and editor, Lynn authored
sixteen CHC Newsletter and Journal articles and served as
Newsletter Editor in 1992 and Journal Editor in 1993. She also
produced the Clubs first video entitled The Lure of Falconry,
which NAFA rated as the best beginner video available. Lynn also
supported author Rick Holderman in his efforts to create the
CHC Apprentice Study Guide and she served as its editor during
Throughout the 1990s, Lynn served in many Club capacities
including Director and Secretary. In 1995 and 1996, Lynn served
as the first woman president of the CHC - quite possibly the first
of any falconry club. During this tenure she was instrumental
in guiding a major revision of the Clubs bylaws. For the 1995
CHC Annual Field Meet in Yuba City, CA Lynn and I co-chaired
the raffle and first-ever silent auction, which became the most
successful meet in Club history up to that point.
While being passionate about falconry, Lynn had a special place
in her heart for the relationship between hunter and hunting
dogs. Consequently, Bob and Lynn started their own kennels,
Straightaway Kennels, breeding German shorthaired pointers.
With their goal of producing dogs that excelled at both field trials
and the show ring firmly in mind, The Straights bred/owned
national champions in both field trial and show venues.
Perhaps one of Lynns most admirable qualities was her sense of
humor. One year as an apprentice in Colorado during the holidays,
Lynn purchased a ticket at an auction for a turkey. When she won
and went to claim her prize, only then did she find out it was a live
turkey! Not to be undaunted, she decided to see if she could man
the fowl, including getting it to perch on her fist like a falconry
bird (see photo sequence on right page).
She was a dear friend, companion and mentor; an example of
how to be the truest of friends and live a most outstanding life.
She is sorely missed.
“Lynn was an elegant and compassionate friend
who loved horses, dogs and birds of prey. A
Master Falconer and accomplished educator,
she led by example, improved the apprentice
program, and enriched the falconry community.
With her, falconry was truly an art.
– Ken and Loretta Hein
“For me, she was the truest friend a person could ever
be. She touched every person in my family in one way
or another. She was always honest and upfront about
everything, and I do not know of one other person in
15 years that has not done anything that made me feel
angry, mad or bad. In fact, she was just the opposite.
She always had that beautiful bright smile, warm
and friendly eyes and always projected a feeling of
friendship and caring. I always left our meetings
feeling better and somehow, a little special.- Larry Baines
I Loing Memory o Ln
by Kim Mauch
Without Lynn, the Apprentice Study Guide would not have happened. Somewhere around
the fifteen-month point, I had grown weary of the project. I had been sending her fresh pages
every week and she had been returning the fresh edits on the same schedule. She corrected my
just plain wrong information, knitted together my split infinitives, propped up my dangling
participles, righted my wrong tenses, red-lined my bad humor, and did it all without making me
feel like I was back in high school. I had run down and was ready to abandon the project. I was
done; she wasn’t and chided me to complete the blasted thing. She spent two years editing the
Guide as we went through revision after revision until it was RIGHT. Today, nearly every new
falconer in the U.S. buys one. The few that don’t borrow their sponsor’s. – Rick Holderman
“ I was lucky enough to have Lynn as a
friend and mentor when I was young. She
gave me my first Falconry glove and helped
me to feel at home in a sport dominated by
men. She showed me it was possible to be a
smart, talented, and beautiful woman while
still being taken seriously. She blazed a path
for others to follow and always did it with
grace and tact. I will always be indebted to
her for helping to instill in me a love of this
sport. She showed me the beauty of falconry
and helped to open doors for other women
to follow in her steps.“ – Meghan Hein