I am very saddened by the loss of my friend David Morgan who passed away on July 8th. For those who are unaware David is the whip maker that crafted all the bullwhips used in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. His involvement was more of an accident really. To shorten the story, the Stunt coordinator on Raiders was Glen Randall Jr. who had few of David’s bullwhips which he used to train Harrison Ford. The whips ended up being used on screen and the rest is history.
I first met David circa 1999/2000. It was around this time that I had bought my first house and finally had a back yard so my interest in whip cracking came rushing back. I began searching the internet for bullwhip information and was amazed that there were so many resources since I thought I was the only weirdo that was interested in such things. It wasn’t long before I found a now defunct web forum called IndyFan which steered me toward the maker of the Indy whip, Mr. Morgan. I remember very clearly sitting at work on my lunch break when I discovered that David’s shop was literally two blocks from where I was sitting. I double checked the address thinking it wasn’t possible. I immediately left the building and headed there for a visit. David was remarkably kind, knowledgeable and sharing. In no time I was ordering my very own David Morgan Indy whip. I continued to visit him several times a month and he was always ready to share his stories and knowledge. Over the course of the next six years as I began on my own odyssey into whip making David was extremely helpful and always available for pointers. I have signed copies of his books that I treasure.
One day I asked David if it would be alright if I photographed him plaiting a whip as reference. He readily agreed and I created a pen & ink portrait of him which he signed for me. I gave him a couple pieces of art that I believe are still hanging in his shop.
In ’06 I took a job several hours away and I move my family. I came up and visited him a couple times when I was in the area but I hadn’t seen him several years. An old whip-cracking buddy of mine just informed me of David’s passing. I’m filled with sorrow for the loss of my friend. I wish him well on his new journey.
Thank you, David. Thank you.