BAM History

BAM was formed at a blacksmith hammer-in at Culver-Stockton College on November 4, 1983.

Bob Patrick had obtained the Missouri portion of the ABANA membership list and sent invitations to the hammer-in to each Missouri member. If memory serves, there were twelve individuals in attendance, including Doug Hendrickson, Bonnie Hendrickson, Steve Austin, Don Asbee, me (Bernie Tappel), Bob Patrick, Grady Holley, Steve Baker, and Robert Baker. There was another couple there, but I don’t remember their names and I don’t think they were ever active in BAM as I don’t recall seeing them ever again. Also, one of the professors from Culver-Stockton attended and again, I can’t remember his name. If anyone reading this was at the meeting and I left your name out, let me know so I can include it here.

The event was to be a two day hammer in (Nov 4-5) with a discussion about forming a state group and Bob invited everyone to bring items for a gallery showing at the college. As I recall, we had a very nice showing in the gallery for such a small group. Bob and Grady demonstrated at the meeting and one of the professors lectured and presented a slide show of some of his kinetic sculptures. Many of these sculptures were on display around the campus.

On Friday evening at a dinner meeting, Bob opened the discussion of forming a statewide blacksmith association. After a little discussion, we unanimously decided to form our organization. There were several suggestions for a name for the new group. Doug wanted to name it Artist Blacksmith Association of Missouri (ABAM) modeling the name after ABANA. Several of us didn’t like the artist connotation so Bonnie suggested we just call it Blacksmith Association of Missouri (BAM). This got a unanimous approval and so BAM was born.

Bob Patrick was elected the president, Don Asbee vice president, and Steve Austin secretary-treasurer. Bob volunteered to produce a newsletter and we decided to have periodic meetings at various members’ shops around the state. The first meeting was to be held at Austin Ironworks in Claycomo, near Kansas City in January 1984.

Shortly after the organizational meeting we had additional members join bringing our total membership to 20 and by February 1984 our membership had grown to 50 and we were on our way to becoming one of the best blacksmithing organizations in the country. A big thank you goes to Bob Patrick for making the effort to pull us all together and starting BAM on its way.

BAM Historical Data
(Based on research by Bob Stormer and Bernie Tappel)
Bob Patrick11/4/1983 – 7/11/1987
Bernie Tappel7/11/1987 – 7/22/1989
Steve Baker7/22/1989 – 7/20/1991
Tom Clark7/20/1991 – 7/23/1994
Pat McCarty7/23/1994 – 8/16/1997
Bob Alexander8/16/1997 – 3/24/2001
Joe Wilkinson3/24/2001 – 5/2/2004
Don Nichols5/2/2004 – 5/7/2006
Kirk Sullens5/7/2006 – 5/2/2008
Ken Jansen5/2/2008 – 5/1/2011
Doug Clemons5/1/2011 – 5/2/2014
Phil Cox5/2/2014 – 5/5/2017
Steve McCarthy5/5/2017 – 6/13/2020
Santo Giuffrida6/13/2020 – Current
Vice-President (1st Vice-President)
Don Asbee11/4/1983-7/11/1987
Stan Winkler7/11/1987 – 7/23/1988
Dan Whitmore7/23/1988 – 7/28/1990
Colin Campbell7/28/1990 – 8/1/1992
Pat McCarty8/1/1992 – 7/23/1994
Maurice Ellis7/23/1994 – 6/17/1995
Bob Alexander6/17/1995 – 8/16/1997
Mike Williamson8/16/1997 – 5/5/2002
Don Nichols5/5/2002 – 5/2/2004
Doug Clemons5/2/2004 – 5/2/2008
Larry Hults5/2/2008 – 5/1/2011
Fred Arnhold5/1/2011 – 5/2/2014
Steve McCarthy5/2/2014 – 5/5/2017
Michael Gorzel5/5/2017 – 5/3/2019
Kent Harbit5/3/2019 – 7/23/2020
Mark Lawson7/23/2020 – Current
2nd Vice-President
Maurice Ellis1/30/1993 – 7/23/1994
Todd Kinniken7/23/1994 – 6/17/1995
Vernon Fisher6/17/1995 – 8/16/1997
Phil Williamson8/16/1997 – 7/10/1999
Joe Wilkinson7/10/1999 – 7/29/2000
Don Nichols7/29/2000 – 5/5/2002
Ed Harper5/5/2002 – 5/5/2012
Phil Cox5/5/2012 – 5/2/2014
Bernie Tappel5/2/2014 – 5/3/2019
Mark Lawson5/3/2019 – 7/23/2020
Orry Harbit10/17/2020 – 4/28/2023
Hollis Harbit4/28/2023 – Current
Steve Austin11/4/1983 – 1/30/1993
Doug Hendrickson1/30/1993 – 7/17/1993
John Murray7/17/1993 – 5/1/2005
Peggy Williamson5/1/2005 – 5/2/2008
Don Anders (East)5/2/2008 – 5/2/2008
Fathom DeGrate Claxton (West)  5/2/2008 – 5/1/2011
Don Anders5/1/2011 – 5/2/2014
Bob Stormer5/2/2014 – 3/1/2022
Chris Bopp3/1/2022 – Current
Steve Austin11/4/1983 – 6/17/1995
Gary Kobermann6/17/1995 – 7/13/1996
Maurice Ellis7/13/1996 – 3/24/2001
Bruce Herzog3/24/2001 – 12/31/2020
Chris Miller12/31/2020 – Current
Newsletter Editor
Bob Patrick11/4/1983 – 4/20/1985
Grady Holley4/20/1985 – 10/18/1986
Doug Hendrickson10/18/1986 – 7/28/1990
Bernie Tappel (Assistant Editor)10/18/1986 – 5/31/1991
Walt Hull7/28/1990 – 7/28/1992
Jim McCarty7/28/1992 – 5/1/2003
Ned Digh5/1/2003 – 1/1/2005
Bob Ehrenberger1/1/2005 – 3/1/2015
Jon & Heather McCarty3/1/2015 – 12/31/2020
Mike McLaughlin1/1/2021 – Current
Art Director
Jerry Hoffmann7/11/1987 – 7/28/1990
Jacquie Waller7/28/1990 – 7/28/1992
Conference ChairmanDatesLocations
Tom Clark4/25-26/1992Potosi Sponsored by
Tom Clark
Doug Hendrickson4/24-25/1993Potosi First conference
sponsored by BAM
Stan Winkler4/30-5/1/1994Potosi
Tom Clark5/5-5-7/1995Potosi
Maurice Ellis5/3-5-5/1996Potosi
Lou Mueller5/2-5-4/1997Potosi
Bruce Herzog5/1-5-3/1998Potosi
Pat McCarty5/1-5-3/1999Washington
Doug Hendrickson5/5-5-7/2000Warrenton
Bob Alexander5/5-5-7/2001Warrenton
Pat McCarty5/3-5/5/2002Warrenton
Reuben Funk5/2-5/4/2003Warrenton
Fred Weisenborn 4/30-5/2/2004Warrenton
Larry Hults4/29-5/1/2005Warrenton
Larry Hults5/5-5/7/2006Warrenton
Larry Hults5/4-5/6/2007Sedalia
Kirk Sullens5/1-5/3/2008Sedalia
Joe Hurley4/30-5/3/2009Sedalia
Joe Hurley4/28-5/2/2010Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin4/29-5/1/2011Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin5/3-5/6/2012Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin5/2-5/5/2013Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin5/1-5/4/2014Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin4/30-5/3/2015Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin4/28-5/1/2016Sedalia
Mike McLaughlin5/4-5/7/2017Sedalia
Michael Gorzel5/3-5/6/2018Sedalia
Michael Gorzel5/2-5/5/2019Sedalia
Michael Gorzel4/30-5/3/2020Sedalia
Michael Gorzel4/29-5/2/2021Sedalia
Michael Gorzel4/28-5/1/2022Sedalia
Ashley Farnsworth4/27-4/30/2023Sedalia
Jim McCarty3/1/1997 – 1/1/2002
Ed Harper1/1/2002 – 4/13/2012
Bernie Tappel 5/1/2012 – 7/2023
Jeff Collins7/1/2023 – Current
MTS Chairman
Don Birdsall2/1/2004 – 11/1/2008
Vacant11/1/2008 – 3/1/2010
Denis Yates3/1/2010 – 1/11/2014
Don Birdsall1/11/2014 – 3/23/2019
Don Anders3/23/2019 – Current
FoundedNovember 4, 1983
Became an ABANA ChapterMay 25, 1985
First ConferenceApril 25, 1992
First Scholarships available1994
Website startedMarch 1, 1997
MTS started by Lou Mueller    2002