Each yearâ€™s Expo event brings several surprises in terms of who you see, and who you donâ€™t. The 2011 Event was no different in this regard than past Expos.
Family tragedies kept some perennial Expo attendees away – most notably Italo Busi and David Spence. I greatly missed seeing them both. Joy Dunlap had hoped to make it this year, but health concerns kept him away. There was a hint that Joe Emig might show this year, but no such luck. I was worried when Larry Tysinger didnâ€™t show – heâ€™s always there. Fortunately heâ€™s fine – just out of the Country for a wedding. He sayâ€™s heâ€™ll be back next year.
Of course, for every face youâ€™re disappointed not to see, others turn up that you hadnâ€™t expected. It was a very pleasant surprise to see long time rod builder Don Morton come through the doors on Saturday morning. And of course, Pat Vinzant was back again. Itâ€™s always a pleasure to see these fine gentlemen in attendance. Â Having Roger Seiders and his lovely wife attend again was an added bonus. The names go on and on – far too many to list here.
Ralph Oâ€™Quinn seems almost ageless. There was some difficulty with the weather out his way (Seattle) on Thursday and he was afraid that for the first time since it began, heâ€™d miss an Expo. But all worked out and he was on hand. Ralph always stays over a day after the Expo so we can tackle some rod building products and techniques… and argue in person.
For me, itâ€™s the people I get to see in person each year that make the work of putting on the Expo so worthwhile. The hope that those who didnâ€™t make it one year, will make it the next year, Â keeps it going.