“Jolly German” is the nickname given to Robert Gary Pfalzbot over 40 years ago. While 100% USA born and raised, Gary has always been proud of his German ancestry. A natural entertainer who likes to make people laugh and always quick with a joke, the moniker “Jolly German” still seems a natural fit.
Gary and Pamela have a rather unique story when it comes to how they got started with websites. Back in early 1996, when the Internet was still in it’s infancy, the two U.S. Military Veterans met in an AOL German-themed Chat Room while trying to brush up on their German language skills.
Ironically, both had served in Germany the 1980’s with the U.S. military on separate assignments and while living separate lives. Their work in their respective services (Gary in the USAF) and (Pamela in the US Army) was eerily (in retrospect) similar in that they both worked in Electronics/Communications Logistics. They knew nothing of each other at that time and wouldn’t actually meet until about 10 years later.
By 1996, when they met in the German Language Chat Room, they realized they shared many similar interests to include the military, music, art, computers and love of animals. Eventually, they met in person and married 2 years later.
Not long after they married, they were dismayed to learn that their rural Earthberm home and surrounding property were quickly being overtaken by an invasive plant called Kudzu. They tried burning, cutting and spraying the fast spreading plant to no avail. It was obvious to the couple that Kudzu would soon claim the roof of their house as its next victim, if they could not stop it soon.
Gary finally suggested trying to use goats to eat the Kudzu. He had fond memories of his 4-H experiences raising goats to show, so once he found it could actually be used as a healthy food source for goats they decided to give goats a shot.
With a fledgling graphic design studio, a popular online Indie Music
Radio Station – Music Monster Network – (Gary was one of the original Internet Pioneers in the Online Indie Music Industry) their own Record Label – Rock Lane Records, a new Rock Variety band – Rizen Osiris (created for writing and performing their original music ) all taking off at the same time… the prospect of taking care of a small herd of goats was a definitely an unexpected kink in their original lifestyle plans. But they felt they were running out of options to save their home.
One weekend soon after that decision, the adventurous couple managed to squeeze 6 very confused goats and 1 livestock guardian dog into Pamela’s trusty Mercedes Station Wagon. Full of hope and enthusiasm they drove 25 miles back to their Kudzu-embattled home and so their adventure in goat care, rock bands and website design began to take shape. (And yes, they did eventually get the Mercedes wagon completely detailed and goat fragrance free. LOL)
In February of 2000, Pamela gave Gary the GoatWorld.com domain name as a Valentine’s Day gift. The Jolly German was both surprised and excited. He had taught himself to code while building the Music Monster Network, Rock Lane Records and Rizen Osiris Band websites, so how hard could it be to quickly put something together related to goat care?
The original idea was that he could build a site where they and their online friends could share information to help them all learn more about goat care. Gary turned it into much more.
One of the most often-used features of GoatWorld.com was and still is it’s Goat911 service.
Gary originally created Goat911.com after he and Pamela needed a vet more than once to help their sick goats, but found it was difficult to locate one who actually how to treat them specifically.
Even though they lived in rural Missouri and dairy goats were not unheard of, they were not yet common. The vets in their area were used to treating horses, cows and pets, but generally not goats. Goats have different biology, so require different nutrition and minerals to thrive. As a result, several of their goats died, despite their best efforts to save them. This broke their hearts over and over again. Gary felt he had to do more. But what?
He started researching everything he could regarding goat care, as well as turning as much as possible to his more experienced goat friends for help in critical situations.
Armed with better information and increasingly more experience, he soon created a huge network of people willing to help other goat owners save and properly care for their sick animals. Staffed with volunteers from across the U.S. and Canada, Goat911.com quickly became credited by many grateful goat owners for helping to save their animal’s lives via email and telephone calls in times of need. Gary became a well-known calming voice on the other end of a phone call to many a panicked goat owner who had to suddenly serve as doctor, nurse and friend to his/her animal in distress.
When he wasn’t teaching goat care, Gary was researching and writing his own articles. Many of his articles and opinions have been published in universtity studies on goat diseases and animal care books, magazines and other goat care websites around the world.
Even though GoatWorld.com initially began as an Education and service-oriented project, it ultimately provided Gary a unique business opportunity to sell various Agriculture products.
He finally pursued that opportunity and is now well known throughout the goat industry for his services and products. At the same time, he helped bring more attention to the U.S. markets about the benefits of keeping and raising goats as multipurpose animals, rather than just as a dairy animal – their traditional role. As a reult of his efforts, the goat meat industry slowly began to build its own identity, separate from the well-established sheep industry and GoatWorld.com has become a huge part of the Jolly German’s legacy.
Eventually, the couple moved to Colorado. There they bought a small farm south of Denver, which they currently share their with their much smaller herd of goats, a horse, birds and numerous other animals, including the gradual addition of their No-Drama Llama herd.
As a result of the success he enjoyed over the years building websites for himself and the couples’ personal passions such as Music and Broadcast Radio, Gary found himself repeatedly being asked to create sites for friends and business acquaintances. He created a few here and there for friends, but quickly learned how time and labor-intensive it could be if he continued to build websites the way he was used to building them. So for the longest time, he declined.
As advances in Website Developing Technologies continued to be made, the Jolly German became less jolly! He would love to build a Web Services business, but kept thinking it might be too little too late to try to catch up. And he still had Goatworld.com and his music to keep him busy. Could an old dog really learn new tricks after all?
Considering the ever-changing social and political climate in the U.S., being a webmaster working from home seemed the perfect substitute business for his previous, more active lifestyle.
Still, networking was crucial to the kind of business he wanted to create and person to person meetings and interactions were more complicated than before. With all this uncertainty, he was beginning to feel less and less jolly. Finally, an old military term came to mind. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” That was it!
His wife, Pamela, had been university-trained in Graphic Design, but much had changed in that field too since her college years. Would she be able to help him with his new Web Services business? Would she even want to be part of his new adventure? Could she learn the technical skills required to be successful as a Web Designer?
Time will tell. Since January of 2020, Gary and Pamela Pfalzbot have been putting their military discipline and “can do” attitudes to work! They have been pooling their skills and resources as a team to learn new ways of doing things in an online marketplace.
They have embraced the new (to them) technology that has been so instrumental in changing the way websites are built today and are learning how to provide new features all the time. They have redesigned many of their own sites and have taken on a few clients to see how well they can work together. So far, so good.
As the Jolly German Web Services Design Team, Gary and Pamela see their biggest value to clients as problem solvers. They feel creative thinking is one of their key strengths. They are usually able to quickly and effectively identify issues clients may not even realize they have. They would like the opportunity to help you identify issues and solve problems to improve the health of your business.
Gary brings to the table a wide array of technical and time management expertise, while Pamela contributes her problem solving, marketing and graphic design skills to the team.
Both continue to learn as much as they can about their new commitment and are excited about the creative possibilities they will be able to explore along the way. They intend to stay small and manageable as a firm, but will consider all sizes of clients to build their portfolio.
They are huge believers in Dreaming Big and Starting Small. They encourage you to take small steps to cultivate your big dream. They will work with you to develop a plan that can be implemented in small steps, but changed and added to when you are ready to level up.
Are you willing to join them? Think about it and decide if the potential rewards seem worth the risk to you. If so, give it a go and see what happens.
Oh and keep your sense of humor handy at all times… Not only are these trying times…you will be dealing with the Jolly German, after all!
So…that’s Our Story and we’re stickin’ to it…
What’s Your Story? We’d love to hear it!
He offers this brief advice…
“Don’t take yourself or anyone else TOO seriously..
Keep your eye on your dreams and your feet firmly rooted in reality. Dream big, start small.
Hold close what is dear to you and let the rest find it’s way.
Do the best you can at whatever you do. Be kind, be honest and stay creative. That’s about it.
And oh, yes..
Be Happy. Don’t worry so much.. Things may seem bad now and again – but the ‘Ying/Yang effect’ has to kick in at some point – hopefully sooner, rather than later, LOL.
So keep the faith and go for it..
At least TRY whatever it is you want to do.
It seems to work for me.
That’s why I am still The Jolly German after all these years.“
– Gary Pfalzbot, Webmaster, Musician, Songwriter, Goatkeeper, German, Scottish and Mohawk Indian Descendent, 100% American