Monday, June 25, 2012

Meeting Uncle Homer

This photo of Uncle Homer Circle was taken around 1974, which is about the time I began reading his fishing articles in Boy's Life and in fishing magazines. Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S.

Getting to meet Homer Circle was a thrill to me. After all I'd read been reading his articles since I was a young boy. I simply wanted to shake hands with Uncle Homer and introduce myself, but he didn't let the meeting stop there. Instead he immediately began asking me questions about myself and my then-new writing career, and it was obvious by the way he looked straight into my eyes as I replied that he truly cared about the answers.

Our second meeting, though, reveals even more about the sort of man that Uncle Homer was. A couple of years had passed since that first conversation, which had lasted maybe 15 minutes, yet Uncle Homer called me by name when he saw me, and he spoke to me with the familiarity of an old friend (or uncle), even asking questions about things I had told him the first time we met. I only got opportunities to speak with Uncle Homer a handful of times, but each time he asked questions about me, and he always left me with a little joke that seemed to have been hand selected for me.

I'm quite certain that my of remembrances of personal encounters with Uncle Homer mirror the experiences of hundreds of people in the outdoors industry. The "uncle" name that Homer Circle carried throughout his career fit him so well because he was like a favorite uncle to virtually everyone he met. Uncle Homer Circle died Friday at the age of 97 and will be missed by many, with memories, photos and hand-typed letters all cherished.

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