Now 80 and retired from his former career as an auto body technician and shop owner, Bill custom makes bits for horses and spurs for the riders.
He has been a horse enthusiast since childhood, growing up on a farm near Cedar Rapids.
“We had horses on the farm, and I’ve had horses my whole life,” he said. His current quarterhorse, Buckshot, comes from Pitzer Ranch breeding in Wheeler County.
He estimates he’s made nearly 3,000 bits over the years, and about 100 pairs of spurs.
A special type of spurs made by Swerczek include heelbands made from the discarded rasps or files used by farriers who trim and balance horses’ hooves.
Read the complete story in the Oct. 6 Albion News/Boone Co. Tribune, print and e-editions.