Each year’s Expo event brings several surprises in terms of who you see, and who you don’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 didn’t show – he’s always there. Fortunately he’s fine – just out of the Country for a wedding. He say’s he’ll be back next year.

Of course, for every face you’re disappointed not to see, others turn up that you hadn’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. It’s always a pleasure to see these fine gentlemen in attendance.  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 O’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, he’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, it’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 didn’t make it one year, will make it the next year,  keeps it going.

Tom Kirkman


1 Comment

  1. H.Lande on March 6, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I met three guys at the expo a few years ago and we hit it off. Now one of the biggest perks of attending is seeing them each year. Last year we even stayed over and all fished together for two days at the OBX!