This Item was Sold on 12 September
2012 for $179
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Historical Pricing information for this item and similar collectable boomerangs can be found on the Boomerang Pricing Guide
Rusty Harding was the first boomerang throwers I ever met who already knew how to throw before our first meeting. That was in 1979 when Rusty and George Leavens visited my home in West Palm Beach, Florida, so that George could obtain more material for magazine articles he was writing. Rusty and George stayed at my home for an evening and then the three of us, all lefties, drove south to Miami to meet other throwers in the south-east Florida region. We had a lovely day for throwing boomerangs and Rusty dumped out his kit of favorite throwing booms for George to take pictures. Rusty's favorite boomerang was a left handed small weighted hook made by John McMahon, a.k.a. Billy Boomerang from South Padre Island in Texas. This small hook was the same size and shape as a Bunny Read hook, only with narrower blades and different airfoiling and it had 3 large weights. It was beautifully painted on the upper surface and it was a dream flyer with a flight range of 50+ metres. That was in 1979 and it was the one boomerang in Rusty's throwkit that I really wanted for my own collection. I saw that boomerang often when I would throw with Rusty over the next 25 years, but Rusty would never part with it. Upon Rusty's death, his son sent his throwkit to me to sell and the magic McMahon boomerang was in the lot. This boomerang is the nicest McMahon boomerang I have ever seen and it is in excellent condition. It is entirely unlike the commercial traditional shape models that John sold on the San Padre Island beach. The underside has "Rusty Harding" printed on it and a couple of paragraphs with faded writing that I cannot read. You can probably use Photoshop to enhance and read the writing if it is important to you as a collector. I hope that someone buys this boomerang and takes good care of it. It has a fine pedigree and is one of the most valuable collectables, even as a lefty.
A man named John Kenneth McMahon from Sodus Point, New York joined the Coast Guard in August, 1956; and when he was discharged in August, 1960 he remembered some of the good times and the good weather he experienced in and around Corpus Christi and Brownsville, Texas. He moved to Port Isabel, Texas and became self-employed making and selling shark tooth necklaces and gemstone jewelry. He was a self taught shark fisherman, mostly fishing from the beach. He became interested in boomerangs very soon after 1960 and whittled several models. He developed his own skill at throwing and became very adept. One particular skill was to throw a right handed and left handed boomerang at the same time and make the dual catch.
His artistic skills spilled over onto his boomerangs and he had models named after the planets which were another of his interests. As the need for money arose, Boomerang Billy as he was by now affectionately called by the residents of Port Isabel and South Padre Island, would make the "plain vanilla" 'rangs and sell them at the beach after his impromptu demonstrations. The frequency of the demonstrations was in direct proportion to his need for money. Many of Billy's good friends were given some of his "planet" decorated boomerangs; but they are hard to find and even harder to dislodge from their owners.
One 'rang in particular is the a proud possession of Gloria Bates who runs Seagull Imports in Port Isabel. It is labeled "Original Mars Model", 4-ply, made on November 16th, 1982. Holder of the World Record for most consecutive throws and catches; 385, November 24th, 1982." A more impressive and larger decorated model with planets and fishes is displayed at the Fisherman's Inn in Port Isabel, where Billy spent the majority of his evenings.
Billy began having health problems in November, 1984 and was hospitalized at the Audie Murphy Memorial Hospital in January, 1985. During this time, a few of his loyal friends looked after him; but it was in vain and Billy died from Cancer on February 19th, 1985. He was buried at the Sam Houston Memorial cemetery in San Antonio.
The above dissertation was authored by Ken Glover and published in MHR #42. This traditional boomerang is larger and better constructed than most of the Boomerang Billy boomerangs that you will find. Very few of the Billy Boomerangs still exist. I have sold only one in 25 auctions (#9) and it sold for more than $100. This one is much nicer than the one that was sold in auction and it is in mint condition. Made out of 3 ply ( Applewood? ), it also has a label with John McMahon's name, address and throwing instructions on the reverse of the elbow. It looks plnty strong enough to throw, even though it is made of 3 ply. This is a wnderful and very rare collectable.