Herman was born in 1918 in Crosswicks, New Jersey. This small town is where he lived his entire life on his family’s farm. Herman left school during the seventh grade to work on the farm and to help his family through the struggles of our American history. In 1940, Herman married his wife, Margaret, and had three children. He continued working hard selling cinders out of a straight truck that he loaded by hand with a shovel. Over many years his business evolved into a successful excavation company named simply “Herman Liedtka, Incorporated.”
When Herman was not working on the farm or building his business, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. At this time, most of his hunting was coon hunting, since he was able to do this at night and work during the day. He loved being outdoors and around the dogs. Herman had a soft-spot for dogs. He always had at least ten or more dogs in the kennels, either coon hounds, beagles, or bird dogs. He always had the best he could afford, whether
it be dogs, guns, cars or equipment.
By the late 1960s and early 1970s Herman had built his company to a good size. He had 15 dump trucks, numerous pieces of heavy equipment, and
several sand and gravel pits. It was at this time that his son, Bill, and daughter-in-law, Pat, began to manage the company’s day-to-day activities. After many years of hard work, he started to take time for
himself. At the age of 55, Herman started shooting at Art Crispin’s in Columbus, New Jersey. He had always loved bird hunting, so he took a fond liking to trapshooting. He enjoyed it so much that he even built his own trap range on the farm and started to get really involved in trapshooting. In 1973, Herman shot his first registered ATA target and there was no looking back from here. He became a life member of the ATA, Pine Belt Sportsman’s Club, Pine Valley Gun Club, and a member of the Cavaliers.
Herman had many high-grade Krieghoffs, Perazzis, Brownings and Remingtons. His gun of choice through most of his shooting career was the Krieghoff. He loved guns, especially those with gold on them. When he would leave for a shoot, especially the Grand American, the trunk of his Cadillac would be filled with beautiful guns with the hopes of horse trading for a different beautiful gun. A shooter once told Herman that the gold does not make you shoot better and his reply was, “No, but it makes me feel better when the scores are low.” If there was a new gadget or trinket out that promised to make you a better shooter, Herman would have it. Anyone looking to buy anything new for shooting
trap would ask him before they would buy it. Herman was good at giving advice on many things.
Herman enjoyed shooting at Pine Belt Sportsman’s Club. When they decided to build their newshooting facility in 1973, he stepped up eagerly to help. He knew he could use his knowledge and resources to help build something everyone would enjoy for years to come. A place where good times could be had. He donated his time, knowledge, his employees and his equipment to perform the site development for the club. Herman helped this way with other clubs too, for example the Italian-American Sportsman’s Club.
Herman traveled the East Coast competing in many different state shoots and zone shoots. He competed in the New Jersey State Shoot 22 times, some of these when it was still held in Atlantic City. He traveled to Vandalia, Ohio 19 times to shoot in the Grand American. Over the course of his shooting career, he registered 221,255 targets – 116,950 singles, 64,125 handicap and 40,180 doubles. In addition, he shot many, many unregistered targets.
Herman won various trophies, but two of the most memorable ones were in 1985 when he was the NJ State Veteran Champion and in 1993 when he was
the NJ Sr. Veteran Champion. After Herman’s passing in 1999, the “Herman Liedtka Perpetual Trophy” was established and is given out to the Sr.
Veteran Champion of the NJ State Handicap event.
Herman did not keep coming back just to shoot or win; he came back to be with his friends that he made from his 23-year shooting career. Everyone who knew Herman remembers him with his infectious smile and laugh, holding the attention
of friends and fellow shooters alike.
Ruth was born in Trent, Kentucky, as a small child, Ruth and the family moved to Dayton, Ohio. After graduating college the entire family moved to Vandalia, Ohio. The Grand American was like summer camp for the adults even then. Her
boss shot the Grand American every year and said how lucky she was to live so close. The only problem for the “natives” that lived in Vandalia was the traffic congestion, when driving by the facility, and trying to get a seat at the local restaurants during the event! They all couldn’t wait till it was over! Who knew, it would become one of Ruth’s favorite places for so long.
Ruth moved to Cleveland in 1966 to work at Bayview Hospital as a laboratory technician and met her future husband, Dr. Paul Coniglio, in of all places, the morgue! Paul and Ruth were married in 1968. Paul opened his practice in Parsippany, New Jersey and Ruth was his office manager for thirty years, they have four children Diane, Patricia, Cyndi and Chris. They celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary this past year. They now reside in Odessa, Florida. Paul still doctors and Ruth does Real Estate. Ruth says, “even now, when I smell gun powder, the urge to shoot comes back to me!”
Ruth started shooting in 1972 after Paul gave her a Remington 1100 for her birthday. In 1973 Paul and Ruth attended the Pennsylvania State Shoot and it rained the entire weekend Ruth says she must have been part duck cause she shot her first 75 straight. The both of them were quite so miserable with the conditions, that on the following Monday, Ruth and Paul were shopping for a van
and a travel trailer. They pulled the trailer up and down the East coast and into Canada following the big shoot circuit and enjoying every minute of it.
She shot the 1100 for a while, and then switched to a Winchester Model 12, because the 1100 needed to be cleaned too often. The model 12 lasted till the rib blew off the gun at the Eastern Zone Shoot. Paul then bought Ruth a Ljutic; Ruth shot it well, in 1975 she came in second in the Ladies Singles Championship at the State Shoot, in 1976, Ruth captured her first New Jersey, Ladies Singles Championship. That August, she and Paul went to the Grand and Ruth and Paul won the Husband / Wife trophy. The only problem with the Ljutic was she couldn’t break more than 98 in a race. Fortunately, Kreighoff came out with the K-80 in 1980 and Ruth found a gun that could break 99’s and 100’s easily!
Ruth’s fondest memories were shooting with her squad mates, Ruthie (Keim) Flayderman George Ranzau, Carol Russo, and Pam Ohye. Ruth liked to lead off and her call, for the target, was loud enough for all to hear, she would get birds flying on her trap and from the traps on each side of her. After her squad disbanded she would be asked to join Kay Ohye, Debbie Ohye, Larry Russo, and her husband Paul’s squad at big shoots only on prelim days, so they wouldn’t have to worry about getting one of her calls, when they were about to shoot! At New York State they were so concerned
about her calls that, Ruth beat them all, with the only 100 among them.
Ruth went on to capture four more New Jersey State Ladies Singles Championships in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1989. In 1989 after having to put her dog down due to illness, Ruth in addition to the Singles Crown, captured six other awards at the shoot, Ruthie Keim asked “So what dog do we sacrifice next week?” Along with trapshooting awards, Ruth enjoyed “Flyer” shooting, as did her husband Paul. Paul went with both Ruthies to Spain for the World Championships, neither one had shot pigeons before until they walked up to the line, talk about stress they could barely put the coin
in the box to activate the call button, both did well with Coniglio taking 4th. Mexico hosted the South American Championships in 1985, The American women did quite well Jaymi Greenberg won 1st place, Ruth won 2nd with Bonnie Shanks taking 3rd. Ruth along with Jaymi and Bonnie were on the Ladies Team in Mexico they took 1st place. That was the first time the American women bested the European ladies team. Shooting the European shoots were very stressful because you shot in front of about four hundred people or more and if you missed they had this loud buzzer
that told everyone you missed. Jaymi was so nervous after the first day she wanted to go home, Ruth told her to drink one of those little bottles in the refrigerator before she shot, it worked she one birded Ruth to win the Championship. Diane Arner was our biggest cheerleader as we were hers in 1986 when she won. Ruth also won 2nd in the world cup in 1986, after shooting four legs of the championship in Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and finally Spain. Ruth enjoyed the camaraderie of the people and the competition, her husband Paul helped to make it all possible by being her biggest fan. They have many wonderful memories and they hope people have fun memories of them.
Ruth quit shooting targets in 2001. She registered 157,550 targets, 74,650 singles, 50,450 handicap
and 32,450 doubles targets.
DR. PAUL CONIGLIO
Paul Coniglio was born in 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. He loved guns even as
a small child. He dropped out of school at seventeen to join the army in 1947.
Paul came out of the army after doing his two years, got a job making antennas,
which gave him time to get his high school diploma. He married his first wife Maryann Cagiano in 1951, and had two children, Diane and Patricia. Maryann was from Netcong, New Jersey, when he would go to visit her, they would go hunting and fishing, which continued his love of guns.
Paul and Maryann opened a successful hairdressing business, first in Flatbush, and then moved it to Parsippany, New Jersey. Paul, while attending a “Careers Day” was so impressed with one of the speaker’s statement, “that you’re never too old to change careers.” Paul got the bug to go to college and earned his degree. Not content with his Bachelor of Science, he was accepted at Columbia
Medical School and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Paul chose the latter. During his schooling at PCOM, Maryann was diagnosed with breast cancer, and passed during Paul’s third year of schooling. Paul’s parents moved in with Paul and were a big help in raising the children while Paul was at school.
Paul graduated in May of 1967-deciding to do his internship at Bay View Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was destined to meet his second wife Ruth. They were married in 1968, Paul opened his practice in Parsippany, New Jersey and Ruth was his office manager for thirty years. Paul and Ruth have four children Diane, Patricia, Cyndi and Chris.
1971 was the beginning of a long love affair with shooting clay targets for Paul and Ruth. They had gone to visit Ruth’s parents, who lived in Vandalia, Ohio, just across the airport. Paul went to see the Grand, because you could hear the guns going off from on their front porch. Unfortunately, he couldn’t shoot because of it being the last day. When they arrived back home, a neighbor, Tom
Powell, came down to tell Paul about this great shooting club he had found. Paul grabbed his old hunting shotgun to shoot trap for the first time, breaking a 17. The addiction began at the old Algonquin Gun Club in Parsippany, New Jersey (later known as Troy Meadows). Most of Paul’s lifelong friendships began at the “The Indian’s” what a great group of memories.
His first purchase of a gun was the Winchester Model 12, nicknaming it “The Blonde Beauty.” He went to his first registered shoot in the spring of ’72 at Pine Valley, New Jersey. Paul did not have enough targets, so he had to shoot from penalty yardage; he shot a 97, garnering three yards, for his effort. From the Model 12, Doc moved onto the Perazzi shotgun line and ending up shooting the
K-80 Kreighoff, the longest and the best.
Doc also became involved with the North Jersey Gun Club in Fairfield, getting into helping out at the club, getting into club politics, and eventually, serving as club President a number of years.
Doc and Ruth became regulars on the shooting circuit, buying a van and a travel trailer made it easier for them to raise a family and attend shoots up and down the East coast and Canada. Doc’s early squad mates were Kay Ohye, Larry Russo, Gene Pepe and Gerry Russo and sometimes wife Ruthie. His squad brought out the best in him, during this time from 1980-1995, Doc maintained a AA
average in singles and was AA in doubles six of those years and A class the remainder, with an overall doubles average of 92.77, and shooting from the 27 yard line. In 1982, Doc shot a 199x200 to capture the New Jersey Clay Target Championship at the State shoot in Pine Belt.
Doc Paul’s fondest memory of the Grand’s in Vandalia, was being on the squad, that set the 5-Man Team record of 998x1000, having 200’s that day were Doc, Larry Russo, and Kay Ohye, Billy Comley and Gerry Russo both had 199’s to set the record. Since then, as in everything it seems that record has been broken.
Another fond memory was winning the Husband / Wife Trophy at the Grand, with Ruthie. Here again Doc broke 200 and Ruthie had a 195.
One year at the Eastern Zone both Doc and Ruthie were in shoot offs for the Singles
Championship, Doc losing to Kay Ohye by a bird for the Men’s title and Ruthie besting Anna Mae Eberle for the Woman’s Title, a bitter sweet memory.
Winning at clay birds was not the only targets Doc enjoyed shooting. Winning Flyer competitions were a passion all on their own for Doc and wife Ruthie. State side Doc traveled to Pennsylvania, where he won the New Jersey Flyer Championship, Florida, and Malloy’s in North Carolina. Outside the US, Doc shot in Mexico, Argentina, Italy, and Spain. Doc shot on the America’s Men’s
Team in Portugal.
Doc stopped shooting in 2008 due to health reasons, he registered 452,775 targets, 190,775 singles, 165,250 handicap and 96,750 doubles targets.
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