I can very distinctly remember the feeling I had about EddyBo before I met him. He was a bit mythical, in that he knew so much about what I wanted to know so much about. I was just getting turned on to this idea of really learning to shoot, and reload, and have accurate rifles...and here was a guy who could not only do all that, but could make it all happen for himself...included plumbing his own rifles. I just thought that was fantastic (still do!).
I can very distinctly remember my first phone call to him. He had offered to talk with me about making decisions about a build. I was sitting in my office and was a bit intimidated at calling him. But I did, and within minutes, the intimidation was gone. And it was on that first phone call that I got my first hint that evan larger than EddyBo's knowledge, was his tendency to give and share. I was so green...clueless in fact. But EddyBo was kind and careful and never shamed me when I talked foolishness.
I can very distinctly remember my first visit to his place. It was a bit like walking into a dream world. Lathes, milling machines, shooting benches, reloading presses, guns, work stations, the shooting range. It was candy-land for my little mind, and still remains so.
I can very distinctly remember all the "firsts" at EddyBos place. My first bedding job with his help, my first poke at 1/2 mile with his 6BR, my first really little group at 100, my first witnessing of a barrel being chambered.
I can very distinctly remember so many phone calls when I had a question or I had messed something up and needed a bail-out. My first stuck-case in my reloading die was on Christmas eve several years ago. As usual, he answered the phone, coached my through it, and problem solved. He was my first phone call the first time my 375 showed case head separation, the first time a scope broke, the first time I blew a primer. Always kind, assuring, teaching....every time.
I can very distinctly remember the first rifle he built for me. A 6.5 WSM. Shot silly great.
Rusty said it best earlier in a conversation we were having. He said "EddyBo was a kind of sun that many people orbited". Lots of that orbiting began around the rifle stuff, and to be sure, he was a great guy to know when it came to rifle knowledge and skill. But many of us had the great joy of orbiting a little closer....road trips, or fishing, or visiting him in the hospital, MM and I eating with he and Marty...it goes on and on. There was so much more to this big guy than rifles. He was a man who forgave; a man who tended to his family with respect and care; a man who chose the high road in business affairs; a man who made it a practice to view himself as no better than anyone else. More than any other descriptor, the one that fits EddyBo best in my opinion, is the word generous. I could learn a very great deal about generosity simply remembering his generosity toward me.
Sadly, I can very distinctly remember my last conversation with EddyBo. It was this last Tuesday, just after lunch. Lasted about 25 minutes. We talked very little, if at all about rifles. Thankfully, he knew so much about rifles. But more so, I'm thankful that my friendship with him went beyond shooting. It's the "beyond shooting" part of EddyBo that will be most endearingly remembered. I will miss very much, our exceedingly generous friend, EddyBo.