How the CBA Influenced My Life
A testimonial 40 years in the making
By Conrad Dreher - CBA Historian
Life is an interesting thing. At age 20, I would have never dreamed that the CBA would have changed my life and my family in the way that it did. Heck, I had never even heard of the CBA.
In 1976 I started to bowhunt by myself and after two years I was ready to give up. Then, by chance, I joined the CBA. My closest Area Rep, Rod Washburn, was about one hundred miles away and he gave me the help and support I needed.
So much so that I became an Area Rep for my area. After a couple of years, I volunteered for the CBA board as the East Regional board member and then Vice-Chairman of Operations.
Then in 1985, a couple of events turned my life upside down and I lost the family farm. I was raised to be a farmer, nothing more and nothing else. Now the farm was gone. My whole world fell apart. It would forever change my life and also that of my wife and our three young sons.
I was blessed that I had the love of my wife and sons to help. It was also about that time, once again, that members of the CBA reached out to me. I spent a lot of time with both Larry Baker and Tony Seahorn.
They knew I was hurting and after a lot of support and conversations, I realized I had some options in life. One option was to go to college, but no one in my family ever attended college. I didn’t know if I could make it through.
The night I went to open enrollment for college, I don’t remember why, Mary Anne and our sons were there because they were still living in Eastern Colorado. They were sitting in the hallway waiting for me to come back from seeing a student counselor. I do remember what she said when I told her I had huge doubts about whether I could make it.
Her response was, “Well, you can’t finish if you don’t start.” That was the beginning of eight years of working full time and going to school at night. I graduated in 1993 from CU Denver with an engineering degree, two weeks before my oldest son Terry graduated from high school.
With the help of another CBA member, Jim Graves, I had started working a few years earlier for Martin Marietta, (which later became Lockheed Martin) as a technician and then as a test engineer upon graduation.
My work allowed me to perform shock and vibration testing on anything from piece parts up to completed satellites. Throughout those eight years, and beyond, I stayed involved with the CBA, taking on several board positions. I hardly ever missed a board meeting. I never missed a Banquet or Jamboree.
Today I am blessed that all my sons Terry, David and Brian are hunters and soon we'll be adding the grandkids to the group. I am very proud of my sons who have done very well and now have families of their own.
I will be forever grateful to the CBA and those bowhunters, both past and present, who helped me when I needed it the most. The bonds we still share will last a lifetime.
I had a wise bowhunter tell me that we need to be part of something larger than ourselves. The CBA has been around for more than fifty years with a rich history of always working for the bowhunters that hunt this state. For me and my family, CBA is family.
Life is an interesting thing and do any one of us know what is waiting for us? What will we be doing in the years to come? At age 20, I could have never dreamed of what would happen to my future as a result of being a member of the CBA.
Will the CBA change your life? Maybe, but you won’t know if you don’t start.